N.C. to Compensate Victims of Sterilization in 20th Century Eugenics Program

North Carolina will become the first state to compensate victims of a mass sterilization program that targeted poor minorities in a 20th century eugenics program, offering a $50,000 a person.

In a vote today, the Eugenics Compensation Task Force recommended the lump-sum amount, putting a three-year statute of limitations on claiming those funds.

The task force also established a pool to fund mental health services for sterilization victims.

The state has located 72 such victims, according to Jill Lucas, communications director for the North Carolina Department of Administration.

A final report on today’s recommendations will be given to Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue to consider. She will pass along her recommendations to the Generally Assembly, which will make a final decision about compensation.

Some lawmakers had urged as much as $1 million for each victim.

“The state recognizes that a wrong has been done and while these actions can never be reversed, the governor has made it a priority to reach out and help identify and compensate victims for their experience,” said Lucas.

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