BJA Funding and Resources – Corrections, Reentry, and Reform
During this webinar, which was held on March 31, 2022, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) personnel highlighted the primary initiatives BJA plans to fund in 2022 that support jails, prisons, the community-based organizations they work with, and experts to support them. Webinar panelists reviewed BJA opportunities, along with eligibility requirements, examples of allowable uses of funding, estimated funding amounts, as well as training and technical assistance opportunities. A Q&A session followed at the end of the presentation.
DARYL FOX: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to today’s webinar, “FY 2022 BJA Funding Opportunities: Corrections, Reentry, and Justice Reform,” hosted by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). At this time, I’d like to introduce one of today’s presenters, Heather Tubman-Carbone, Acting Associate Deputy Director within the Bureau of Justice Assistance for some welcoming remarks. Heather?
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: Thank you, Daryl. Good afternoon, everyone. And thank you for joining us. We are excited to share these opportunities with you on behalf of BJA. We’re going to talk about nearly 20 solicitations that support corrections, reentry, and justice reform efforts. These represent funding and resources for government and tribal agencies, as well as private and nonprofit organizations. Before we dive in, just a quick note about who we are. I’m Heather Tubman-Carbone, Acting Associate Deputy Director at BJA. And I’m joined today by Jessa Wilcox, Policy Advisor at BJA. We are part of the group that manages these categories of work. As we’ve jumped right in, we’ve already knocked out part of the first two items so we can get to the heart of the matter. We are going to offer a quick introduction to BJA and the types of funding opportunities we have. And then we’ll walk through the individual fiscal year 2022 funding opportunities. That will take most of our time, and then we’ll review the resources available to assist you in the application process. With any luck, we’ll have time remaining for questions. BJA is part of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) at the Department of Justice.
OJP provides grant’s funding, training, research, and statistics to the criminal justice community and is one of three grant-making components at the U.S. Department of Justice. BJA is proud to support our nation’s local, state, and tribal justice agencies with the express purpose of reducing crime and strengthening communities. One of the most important ways that we do this is by providing grants to agencies and communities in order to support their efforts. We do our best to design programs that are responsive to real-world challenges and provide maximum flexibility for implementation. BJA is committed to streamlining the application process and minimizing the administrative burden of managing our grants. We’ve made real progress in the last few years, and it has never been easier to apply for and manage BJA grants. In other words, do not be intimidated by the process or think you need to be an experienced grant manager to apply for BJA funding. If you have the desire to apply and are eligible, we have the support to help you succeed. It is important, however, that you get started early to develop and gather the necessary information for your application. We want you to succeed. So please start early and don’t hesitate to reach out.
The fiscal year 2022 opportunities that we’ll talk about today are put out to the field as solicitations, so you’ll hear us use that word a lot. And these include two types of awards. There are site-based awards, which go to government entities and nonprofit organizations to support a specific effort in their jurisdiction or geographic area of operations. These
awards can include grant funds and technical assistance to support recipients to meet their goal.
The other type of award is to provide that training and technical assistance (TTA) and to support the field at large. Applicants to these solicitations must demonstrate subject matter expertise, as well as an ability to translate that knowledge to site-based grantees and the broader field. The site-based awards are generally made in the form of grants and the TA awards are generally made of cooperative agreements. Cooperative agreements are a type of grant. The important distinction is the amount of federal involvement. BJA and TTA providers work closely to scope the work and respond to needs of the field. Another distinction to be aware of is discretionary and formula grants. Almost all the site-based solicitations we’ll talk about today are discretionary grants. For discretionary grants, applicants apply directly to OJP in response to a solicitation. These grants are typically competitive, and awards are based on a predetermined review process and availability of funds.
For most programs, we receive more applications than we have actual funding for. So we try to find the strongest proposals based on objective review criteria. Formula grants are typically awarded on a noncompetitive basis, meaning every eligible applicant receives some funding. The amount of funding for a specific agency or jurisdiction varies based on a variety of factors. This also includes populations and crime rates. Most formula grant programs are administered by state administering agencies, or SAAs. If you don’t have an active relationship with your SAA, start one today. If you don’t know who your SAA is, you can find a complete contact list on BJA’s website. One last thing before we dive in, a roadmap of sorts: What you see on the screen now are the details we’ll be sharing about each solicitation. You’ll see two slides for each solicitation containing the types of information above and it’s shown here. First, what is the title and what’s the purpose? And then on the second slide for each solicitation, you’ll see who is eligible to apply, how much money we anticipate will be available, and how many awards. And lastly, whether the solicitation is currently open or is forthcoming. We’ll go through these in three categories: corrections, reentry, and justice reform. First up is Corrections. And I’ll hand off to Jessa to take us through.
JESSA WILCOX: Thank you so much, Heather, and thank you all for joining us today. As Heather said, my name is Jessa Wilcox, and I am going to start with talking about giving you an overview of the FY ’22 solicitations focused on corrections. And as the slide says, these are programs whose focus is making jails, prisons, community supervision more effective change agents and safe for people who work or supervise or reside there. We know that people who are listening in today are interested in both the site-based grants and the TA programs. So as Heather showed you before, we have a little guide: If you see a lightbulb, that’s to know it’s a site-based Grant, and a handshake, that is a TA cooperative agreement.
So first, we’ll move to our first one. This is the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for State Prisoners Program, also known as RSAT Program. This is a site-based grant program. And as Heather just described, this is actually one of our formula-based programs. So it’s only open to states and territories. The purpose of this program is to develop, implement, and support both substance use treatment programs and adult and juvenile correctional facilities and recovery support and after care services post release. Treatment for co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders may also be supported using RSAT funds.
Going to the next slide about RSAT. This is where BJA expects to make up to 56 awards, totaling $40,000,000. The average amount of the award will be $514,218. And this will go to states and territories as a formula. And then states and territories can then award subgrants through a competitive or noncompetitive process to state agencies and units of local governments, including federally recognized Indian tribes, as well as to community-based service providers. RSAT awardees are supported by a training and technical assistance provider. They’ll have access to that provider as well as the RSAT resource center. BJA will announce when the solicitation is open and you will be able to access this solicitation and more information about it on our website.
And as I just mentioned, the RSAT awardees are supported by a TTA provider, which BJA is recompeting this year. The role of the selected TTA provider will be to assist BJA formula grantees and subrecipients in accomplishing the overall program’s objectives and the objectives of their specific grant-funded projects, and to meet the requirements of the RSAT Program, which includes establishing a therapeutic community, periodic drug testing, and aftercare programming. Next, thank you.
BJA expects to make one award of up to $1.2 million. And eligible applicants are nonprofit organizations, for-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, faith-based organizations, and consortiums. The selected TTA provider must be able to administer comprehensive and high quality TTA to grantees overseeing substance use disorder treatment in prisons and jails, including medication assisted treatment, and align its policies and practices with the promising practices guidelines for residential substance abuse. And this solicitation, once it’s open, will be accessible at the website linked to on this slide.
Our next program is implementing the PREA Standards, Protecting People Who Are Incarcerated, and Safeguarding Communities. This is a site-based grant program. And the purpose of this program is to fund projects designed to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse and sexual harassment confinement facilities and to achieve and maintain compliance with the PREA Standards. And for this solicitation, confinement facilities include prisons, jails, community confinement facilities, juvenile facilities and lockups.
There are three categories in the solicitation, and BJA expects to make five awards in category one, to state agencies, category two, local agencies, five awards and two awards to tribal agencies in category three. The average award amount is $250,000. And this solicitation is actually already open.
There’s two deadlines, which we will go into in a little bit more detail at the end of this webinar, but they’re noted on this slide, the first deadline is May 19th, and the second is May 23rd. And if you want to learn more about the solicitation, I think one of our co-hosts will put the link in the chat to a webinar that is just about this PREA solicitation, and it’s scheduled for April 19th at 3:00 PM.
Next, I’m excited to talk about a brand new program we are competing in FY ’22. Just a little context, the vast majority of adults under correctional control in the US are on community supervision. In fact, there are twice as many adults on probation and parole as in prisons and jails. Meet—the need of this population, this year, BJA is competing a TA solicitation to run a Community Supervision Resource Center. This program will provide expertise to advance the practice of community supervision, and pretrial probation, and parole. The center will be a resource hub, which will provide information, guidance, and support on best practices in community supervision.
BJA plans to make one award for $2,000,000. And applicants should notice and make sure that the budget is divided into $1,000,000 for the resource hub and $1,000,000 for ad hoc TTA. Also a special note on the solicitation for applicants to submit a project plan for three years but a budget for one year. To TA solicitation again, so eligible applicants are nonprofit organizations, for-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, faith-based organizations, and consortiums. The solicitation is not open yet but, again, will be accessible at our website.
I’m going to very briefly discuss this next program since, as you can see from the slide, the solicitation has already closed. But this is a Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation, otherwise known as CTAS. BJA expects to make over $42,000,000 in awards to up to 43 federally recognized tribes and tribal consortia. Funds may be used to fund institutional corrections and reentry programming or to fund renovation, expansion, or permanent modular projects for tribal justice facilities. A solicitation that is open is the Tribal Corrections Capacity Building TTA Program. The purpose of this program is to fund a TA provider to support and strengthen tribal correctional systems capacity to enhance public safety and facilitate successful community reintegration efforts. The successful applicant for this solicitation must be able to offer assistance on both community supervision and reentry programming. BJA expects to make one award for $1,000,000. Eligible applicants are nonprofit organizations, for-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, Native American tribal organizations, faith-based organizations, and consortiums. And this
solicitation is also open. Please note the application deadline of May 11th for Grants.gov and May 23rd for JustGrants.
Moving on, I’m pleased to highlight another new TA program that BJA is funding in FY ‘22. This is called Improving Corrections Data Analysis-Virtual Academies. And the purpose of this program is to help state-level corrections agencies analyze their data, identify what they need to measure, train staff on how to collect and analyze the data, and provide guidance on how to use the results of this analysis to improve operations. BJA expects to make one award for $1,000,000. Again, it’s a TA award so eligible applicants are national in scope, private and nonprofit organizations, public and private colleges and universities, Native American tribal organizations other than federally recognized tribal governments. This solicitation is not yet open, but again will be accessible at our website.
And, again, another brand new TA program this year is the Jails and Justice Support Center. The purpose of this project is to assist jails in creating and sustaining safe and effective environments for people who are incarcerated in them, who work there, or visit there through the provision of information resources, training, and TA. BJA has partnered with the National Institute of Corrections to administer this program. We expect to make one award for $2,000,000. Eligible applicants again are national in scope, private and nonprofit organizations, public and private colleges and universities, Native American tribal organizations other than federally recognized tribal governments. Look for the solicitation to be open on the BJA website as well.
And I have one last corrections-focused solicitation and then I will turn it back over to Heather to discuss our solicitations for reentry and justice reform. Our final corrections program is another TA award, it’s the Corrections Officer and Staff Safety and Wellness Center. BJA recognizes that both institutional and community corrections officers and staff face many challenges, threats, and stressors that require education, training and support to ensure their safety and wellness. Correctional officers and staff need to be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to address the emotional and mental aspects of corrections work, as well as the strategic and tactical aspects of the profession. So to address this need, this project oversees a repository of policies, protocols, trainings and innovations that will improve officer safety and wellness. The TA provider will also deliver trainings and may partner with corrections agencies to test new strategies, policies, and protocols. BJA expects to make one award for $500,000 and eligible applicants again are national in scope, private and nonprofit organizations, public and private colleges and universities, Native American tribal organizations other than federally recognized tribal governments. Look for this solicitation to open as well on our website. And now I’ll turn it over to Heather.
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: Thanks, Jessa. The next set of solicitations support reentry. These are largely funded by the Second Chance Act and are designed to support
comprehensive and collaborative strategies to reduce recidivism, increased life chances, and related outcomes during incarceration and continuing into the community. The Second Chance Act Community-based Reentry Program seeks nonprofits service providers and Native American tribal governments to partner with corrections agencies to provide critical transitional services as people return from incarceration back to the community. Nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribal governments are eligible for this program. Institutions of higher education are not eligible as nonprofits for this one. BJA anticipates making 18 grant awards in this program for up to $750,000 each. This solicitation is currently open, and the deadline—the first deadline is in May. As Jessa said before, we’ll talk more later about the dual deadline. You may want to note the dates for those you are interested in as we go along.
Next up, we have a new spin on two longstanding programs this year. The Smart Reentry and Smart Supervision Programs are combined into one solicitation, and this will help agencies improve their capacity to reduce recidivism. While those are done in different ways with either a reentry or supervision vantage point, they also have things in common. Corrections agencies working on reentry and supervision agencies working to provide— also work to provide services and support to individuals based on their assessed needs and to facilitate outcomes through accountability and positive change. And the agencies that receive these awards need to track outcomes of current policies and practices to inform future decisions. To do this, agencies need tools to work smarter. So this year, BJA is additionally seeking a TTA provider to develop technology tools that will work with agencies’ existing case management systems to make sense of data to make the most informed decisions and direct activities. We anticipate making up to eight awards for the Smart Reentry Group at $1,000,000 each up to four awards for Smart Supervision at $850,000 each, and one award for TTA and tool development at $7,000,000. All three of these will be categories in a single solicitation. Eligibility requirements of each category will specify government entities that have planning operational responsibility for corrections institutions, in smart reentry, and government entities that have responsibility for community corrections or community supervision and smart supervision. The eligible applicants for TTA and tool development are national scope private, nonprofit, public and private and tribal organizations. Applicants must demonstrate correction, reentry, supervision and tech expertise and are expected to dedicate a substantial portion of the budget to the tech tool. This solicitation will be released soon. Please be sure to read carefully.
Another Second Chance Act funded program is Improving Reentry Education and Employment Outcome. This program is designed to enhance correction systems ability to expand education and employment programs that emphasize strong partnerships with correction, parole, probation, education, and workforce development and reentry service providers. Education and employment will be individual categories in this solicitation. BJA anticipates making seven awards to improve correctional education and up to 17 awards
to improve employment services and connection. Awards in both categories will average $900,000. Eligible applicants are state, local, and tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations. Moving into another Second Chance Act program, the Improving Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Outcomes for Adults and Reentry Program. As the name suggests, it enhances corrections systems and community-based service provider’s ability to address people substance use disorder treatment and recovery support needs, both during incarceration and through reentry. BJA will prioritize applications that support the implementation or expansion of medication assisted treatment in line with priorities of this administration. There will be two categories of funding, one directed to units of state, local and tribal governments and the other to nonprofit organizations, with the objective of funding a total of eight awards to a combination of both government agencies and nonprofits. Brand new this year is the Crisis Stabilization and Community Reentry Program. This program will support comprehensive and collaborative reentry and clinical services to individuals who are incarcerated and experiencing mental illness and substance use disorders. BJA anticipates making 10 awards for $750,000 each to state county, city, or township government, institutions of higher education, public housing authority, Native American tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations.
Next up, the Second Chance Act to Pay for Success Initiative helps government entities to enhance or implement performance-based and outcomes-based contracts with reentry and permanent supportive housing providers with the goal of reducing recidivism and addressing the substance use disorders impacting people who are formerly incarcerated. BJA expects to make up to six awards for $1,000,000 each to state, local and tribal governments and Housing Authority. The solicitation is open and the first deadline is June 14th.
The next solicitation is the Swift, Certain, and Fair Supervision Program. In this program, community supervision agencies apply the principles behind Project HOPE from Hawaii. In the solicitation, community supervision agencies include adult probation, parole or pretrial supervision or their equivalent, such as prosecutor-led post adjudication diversion. BJA anticipates making five awards around $800,000 each. This solicitation is open and the first deadline is May 20th. Please note there will be a separate webinar for this solicitation on April 6th. We’ll share the link for that in the chat.
Our last group of solicitations focuses on justice reform. These solicitations facilitate data driven efforts to create more fair, effective and efficient state system through policy and practice change and reallocation of resources. And this first one, BJA is seeking an assessment and coordination provider for the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. JRI as we call it uses a data driven process to help states improve the fairness, effective— effectiveness, and efficiency as you heard earlier of their criminal justice system. The selected provider will work in collaboration with the state level TTA provider who work
hands on in the state to conduct initiative-wide evaluation and provide coordination support to BJA.
BJA expects to make one award for approximately $750,000 to a private or nonprofit organization, college, or university to provide this assistance.
Our last solicitation is another new one. For the last three years, Justice Counts has been a broad coalition of stakeholders to develop and reach consensus around a set of metrics for each part of the justice system, and to create a range of tools and resources that will enable policymakers and practitioners to adopt the metrics. This includes technology solutions to organize and publicly share data across each state. This Justice Counts Implementation Program will build on the efforts already underway by supporting states to adopt the metrics and put them to use. This solicitation will also fund a training and technical assistance provider to both help the selected states and advance the field at large. In responding to the solicitation, states may apply for grants and technical assistance or just individualized technical assistance.
BJA anticipates making awards to up to 15 states for $350,000 each and one TTA award for $4,000,000. Nonprofits, private, and public institutions of higher education, public and state—excuse me, Native American tribal organizations other than federally-recognized tribal governments are eligible for TTA and state governments are eligible for the first category of state awards. For more information about the Justice Counts Initiative, please visit www.justice-counts.org to learn more. The link is also in the chat.
This concludes the portion of the presentation that runs through specific BJA programs and solicitations. We have some general and additional resources and information to further assess your needs. While we did not discuss during—excuse me. While we did not discuss them during today’s presentation since they are not funding opportunities per se, please keep in mind that the majority of our competitive grant programs have a correlating training technical assistance provider. We only discussed them today if we are competing the opportunities. We previously noted that some solicitations have been posted for the field. Those that have not been posted or released yet will be released on a rolling basis. To stay abreast on when those funding opportunities will be posted, we suggest that you subscribe at the BJA website in order to receive electronic email notification. We will provide the official BJA web link shortly. In addition to the application submission deadlines, we typically post our solicitations at least 20 days before closing. This timeframe may vary however, and solicitations may be posted for a shorter or longer duration. So please read carefully. And now I will turn things back to Jessa.
JESSA WILCOX: Thank you, Heather. I’m just going to end this today while going over some of the resources available to applicants. So I want to start with the Department of Justice Program Plan. This is a one stop shop to find information for your agency’s needs
in relation to grant funding that covers several criminal justice topic areas. This goes beyond BJA funding and includes grant opportunities across the entire Justice Department. At the beginning of today’s webinar, Heather described the Office of Justice Programs and how it has—it’s just one of three grant components within the Justice Department in addition to the Office on Violence Against Women, or OVW, and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services or the COPS office. The DOJ program plan allows the user to explore upcoming initiatives, funding amounts, and application deadlines. This includes funding opportunities from OJP, OVW, and COPS all combined. So please examine the link here when you have the time and to get started on what may be available to address your needs. All right. This is an incredibly important reminder. Both Heather and I talked about the dual deadlines for each solicitation. There’s Grants.gov, which is step one, and then JustGrants which is step two. So Grants.gov is where you will submit an SF-424 and the Lobbying Disclosure Form. Typically, five days after the Grants.gov deadline is—will be the Justice—JustGrants deadline. This is where you’ll submit the full application. This is different than last year. The length of time between Grants.gov and JustGrants is shorter this year. So please note that. Another change that’s different this year is that the submission deadline times for both Grants.gov and JustGrants are now 8:59 PM Eastern Time. Not 11:59 PM Eastern Time as it has been in past years. So just in general, you’ve heard both me and Heather say this, just read the solicitations carefully for exact instructions on how to apply. And also for what reviewers will score the applications on. Everything is in the solicitation.
Next slide, please. I think—so then, I’m going to go very quickly, just through another couple slides. We have Application Assistance for both Grants.gov and JustGrants. So Grants.gov, the slide gives information for the telephone number, the email address. And just note that this is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week except on federal holidays. And this is where you can get your assistance if you’re having difficulties with Grants.gov.
And we have the same JustGrants technical support as well. Again, there’s a phone number and email address and the hours of operation slightly more limited, but still available Monday through Friday 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM Eastern, and Saturday, Sundays, and federal holidays, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Eastern. And finally, contact info for the OJP Response Center for solicitation support and general assistance. Please note these hours of operation are slightly more limited. It’s 10:00 to 6:00 Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. What’s really important about this slide is it shows you how to subscribe to receive email notifications of new funding opportunities and other resources. Many of the solicitations we went over today are not open yet. So make sure you subscribe so you will be notified as soon as they are. And this slide just includes a helpful list of resources that can assist you with your applications. All of them are available online and the URLs are spelled out here. Just for example, if the solicitation has a match requirement, the DOJ Grants Financial Guide will give you detailed instructions of what is required for you in the
application. And what it would mean if you are awarded the grant funds, what a match requirement would mean. And here’s the BJA Grant Applicant Education Series. You can go to this to access previous webinar recordings, transcripts, and slides. This webinar will also be archived at this site, as well as any specific solicitation focused webinars and other topic areas that BJA is funding such as law enforcement or courts.
And finally, this is just a plug to become a peer reviewer. As many of you know, almost all of our discretionary solicitations are reviewed by peer reviewers. And BJA gives much weight to the scores and comments of peer reviewers when making funding decisions. So if you are interested in using your experience and expertise to assist BJA and making funding determinations, please add your resume to our peer reviewer database for either this year or to be caught up in subsequent years. Please submit an up-to-date resume or CV to [email protected]. And finally, please stay connected. You can learn about our funding opportunities through email, Facebook, Twitter, and of course, BJA’s own website. And then finally, just a quick reference for some important contacts, grants— if you have solicitation content assistance, if you have questions with Grants.gov, or with JustGrants, here’s a slide with all the information necessary to contact them. And I think that’s it for me. We’re—Heather and I are happy to take any questions that you have.
DARYL FOX: Okay. Thanks, Heather. Thanks, Jessa. Give me a minute just to get your notes together. So I just want to make an important announcement to everybody. There’s been some questions on it. The PowerPoint recording and transcript for today will be posted to the BJA website. So if you run a little later, I had trouble with some content on the slides. That’ll be posted so you can go back and reference it as needed. If you do have a question, please enter it in the Q&A box, bottom right-hand side of your screen and select all panelists and we’ll get to those in order as they come. So the first one coming in is, “Regarding the reentry solicitations available, are there any that provides specific funding for reentry housing?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: That is a great question. So, yes, yes, and it depends exactly what type—exactly how you want to support reentry housing. So I’d strongly recommend looking through all of the Second Chance Act solicitation releases, except for perhaps the Substance Use Disorders it’s focused on. Pay for Success is explicitly about that and others can be used to facilitate partnerships and collaboration, including referrals, assessments, and other supports that are built around that. Pay for Success is designed explicitly for that.
DARYL FOX: “Do you know if one can access prior year’s awards on the BJA website?” This person in particular wants to learn as we see funding within State of Oregon as well as nationally.
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: I’m sorry, Daryl, do you mind reading those? I lost your audio. It’s just as you were reading the question. I apologize.
DARYL FOX: No problem. This person is interested in finding out if they could access prior year’s awards information to see who’s been funded through BJA, is that available on the website?
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: Absolutely. So…
JESSA WILCOX: Yup.
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: Go ahead.
JESSA WILCOX: Sorry, Heather. I was just going to say I’m going to put a link in the chat to our BJA funding/award page.
DARYL FOX: And the next question was trying to distinguish between two of the reentry programs. The Second Chance Act community-based and then the Smart Reentry, can you just describe what the major difference is that one needs to consider for those two?
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: Absolutely. So I’ll start with the community one. The eligible applicants for the Community-Based Reentry Program include non-profit organizations. The Smart Reentry and Supervision Program does not have that eligibility. Those programs are only open to—and I will qualify that in a second. But those programs are open to corrections and supervision agencies. Where you’ve seen on that slide referenced that there are openings for non-profits and public and private agencies— excuse me, organizations, is to provide the technical assistance. So which is not an opportunity, by the way, under the community, so we have a continuing technical assistance provider supporting this site. So the mean—meaning on the distinction between the eligibility distinction, just because that’s the question we get most often, please don’t hesitate to pop a follow up in the chat if you wanted to know more about the specific activities that each support.
DARYL FOX: “For the Smart Reentry solicitation, is the $1,000,000 limit a hard cap, or is this something that’s flexible depending on justification that’s being submitted?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: The $1,000,000 is a hard cap. Anybody’s welcome to submit for lower than that, and we certainly had that in the past. But the $1,000,000 is a hard cap.
DARYL FOX: And then “Are any of these in conjunction with youth or juvenile justice grants for Fiscal Year 2022?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: These are not. So juvenile efforts are not supported by BJA, but our sister agency, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, put out their own series of solicitations. Many aligned with what we’re doing here at BJA, and those will be the best place to look.
JESSA WILCOX: And just to add on. The few solicitations that do accept applications that focus—that can focus on juveniles, for example the PREA solicitation, will clearly note it either on the slides or on the solicitations themselves. But our sister agency is definitely the best place to go.
DARYL FOX: “Is there a particular—anything preventing someone from applying if their city or county already has funds through BJA, a particular organization?
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: Absolutely not. Yup. Anyone, whether it’s your 2nd, your 50th, everyone who comes to apply, we think of it as like everybody needs multiple bites of the apple. This is not a one shot solution. So, yes—or so sorry, no, there’s not a limitation. Yes, please apply. And it is certainly valuable to demonstrate. If there’s any concern that this is like—concern or opportunity to demonstrate how you’re building on past efforts, our only—the only thing that would knock you out of contention would be if the new request duplicates efforts that were previously funded by the old award. So that’s the one thing to be very careful of.
DARYL FOX: “In regards to the reentry program and community participation, is this only for tribal communities or county detention facilities also able to apply?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: They’re both able to apply.
DARYL FOX: That is a good question regarding the—once solicitations get posted. Can you just describe what the meaning of the status open is in regards to the solicitations?
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: Absolutely. That is a great question. I know we use different terminology as we go along. So when we say there’s the—sorry, the continuum, is, sort of, like there’s a development stage, which is on the back-end behind the scenes that we’re working on, and nobody sees. And then there’s the posting, when a solicitation goes live on the website, and the world is able to see it, and to apply to it. The period between the posting date and the deadlines are what we consider the open time. So that is the time when you can both see both solicitations and apply to them. Once we reach the closing date, you’ll always be able to see, you know, the nature of the World Wide Web. You’ll always be able to see what we had posted and what was available. But after the deadline, we will no longer consider those open, because they’re not current opportunities.
DARYL FOX: “Are there any opportunities that emphasize family support and reunification as it pertains to reentry within any of those opportunities?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: Absolutely. So the Community-Based Reentry Program under Second Chance, as well as the Smart Reentry Program, while those are not the sole focuses of that, we absolutely support efforts to that under those programs.
DARYL FOX: “Do you know if there’s going to be a webinar held for the Second Chance Act Community Based Reentry Program solicitation specifically in addition to this?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: I do not believe so.
DARYL FOX: “Are potential applicants able to view sample grant applications, particularly in regards to the project narratives and the elements of an application?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: Yes most of the time. The reason I say most of the time is because if for any reason there has been delays in making awards, we cannot make public the application materials for those awards. And sometimes, for example, with a new program, there’s just not—there’s not something in existence that we can share yet. But any questions to that end can absolutely be submitted to NCJRS. And they will filter them through to us if there’s not already something on hand to respond with. One other thing you might consider doing, though, is the big wide world of Google. There is so much incredible literature out there from Grants recipients who describe what they received funding for, how they implemented it, and the results of that. And at times that can be— either—are even in some ways almost more valuable, because it lets you know, not just what was envisioned, but how that all played out so you can factor that in as well.
DARYL FOX: Getting a couple more questions about the reentry section as well. We touched on this, but just to elaborate. “Could you elaborate a little bit more on what needs to be considered when comparing the Smart Reentry versus the Second Chance Program? Specifically, do they have to have a specific element of technology to be competitive? So, you know, what’s the standard for that?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: Yeah. So yes, I can go into that. But, no, they do not have to meet a technology standard. And this, of course, we realize this is one of the hazards of sharing a whole lot of information at warp speed. So I’m happy to go back. Daryl, would you mind taking us back to slide 31? It just might be helpful to see it as well. Thank you. So this is the Community-based Reentry Program, funded through Second Chance. The other one, which we can jump to that slide in a second, the Smart Reentry and Smart Supervision is also funded by Second Chance. So the Community Reentry Program, the distinction here is that this program is for nonprofit service providers, and Native American tribal governments who will work in partnership with corrections agencies
to provide transitional services. There is no technology requirement here and there’s no reference to technology, certainly technology can be utilized. But the technology reference comes in the next one, which is—let me tell you which slide, Daryl. At slide 33, if you don’t mind. And I know there is a there is a lot to unpack here. You know, let’s go to slide 34 actually.
So for this program, there are three categories of competition. There’s Smart Reentry which is primarily for state local governments who have planning and operational responsibility for institutional corrections, so think prisons. Then there’s Smart Supervision which is for those government entities that have planning and operational responsibility for community supervision. Think of those as the first two categories. That’s what it will appear as in the solicitation. So in those two cases, those government entities who have the roles and responsibilities can apply to receive what—two things, one, is funding to implement, expand, or do other things in response to their capacity building need to think of training staff, standing of a program, implementing risk assessments of greater fidelity, sort of all those evidence-based practices, as well as testing out innovative approaches. Now, to run alongside that will be that third category of tech training, technical assistance and tools. And that is a group that will not only provide subject matter expertise to guide to the Smart Reentry and Smart Supervision grantees. But this year for the first time, they will also develop technology tools that will work with those grantee agencies, case management systems. So think of it as—you know, we hear all the time that—and this is intentionally not prescriptive, I should say. But we hear all the time—for example, in supervision agencies that case management systems are complex and collect a ton of useful information, so it’s not always actionable information. And that supervision officer tend to use a very particular system, individualized and particular system of notebooks and posters and keeping information in million places because the technology that they have at their disposal doesn’t really organize that well for them. So what we’re envisioning is a technical assistance provider who comes in and helps develop tools to help make sense of the data contained in those systems and present it in an actionable way. So think of for—just for the sake of example, something, like, if there were sort of like a tickler or a ping that tells an officer, “Hey, you know, you’re supposed to be visiting with these clients once a month and you’ve not seen these three yet.” That is just one example. I’m hesitant to give a list of them because I don’t in any way want to rule out a different approach. This is intentionally open to hear what the field proposes. So before I go further down that route, I want to pause and whoever asked that question, please feel free to put a follow up—a follow up in the system, so that we can—so that I can be more directive and responsive.
DARYL FOX: Thank you very much for that. “Can you provide a little more information on improving reentry education and employment? And is that open to nonprofits?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: Let me scroll back to that real quick. I don’t want to speak out of turn, so I’m going to double check. All right. So that is on slide 36. And education and employment. The first category is the education one, the second category will be for employment. And that is open to nonprofits. It’s open to state, local, tribal governments and nonprofits.
DARYL FOX: Regards to the reentry program and community participation. There’s a little bit of confusion on the two categories, rural and non-rural, particularly those are their metropolitan areas—sorry, considered for this. Can you just clarify that eligibility requirement for that?
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: Sure. I’m sorry. I’m just trying to find the slide so I can reference the exact language. Daryl, can you repeat the question one time, if you don’t mind?
DARYL FOX: In regards to the eligibility and what defines rural and non-rural for the reentry program and community participation.
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: It would be helpful to know which reentry program in particular just so I can address specific language. So whoever answered that wouldn’t mind putting that in the chat. The—in general, rural and non-rural are designations that BJA does not assign to areas, those are either census or otherwise designated. And we rely on the agencies to self-identify which category they should be applying them.
DARYL FOX: “And then how many awards are there for the Second Chance Act Reentry Grant?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: And little more information, all—they are all Second Chance Act funded Reentry Grants.
DARYL FOX: “With respect to the Justice Counts implementation, does this involve taking on the role currently held by CSG? Or is this a program that’s complementary to their work?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: It’s the former, so Justice Counts was awarded in Fiscal Year 2019 and every three years, BJA recompetes the—recompetes the award. Additionally, this year, we’re expanding it, so that we can make state level awards to support implementation. So it is not taking over the exact role of—that CSG currently holds because they are completing those objectives and deliverables. But it is absolutely aligned with that. It is the next phase. So CSG would be the incumbent.
DARYL FOX: “Is there anything preventing a federally recognized tribe from applying to both the CTAS Purpose Area 3, and the Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program? Does it take an account multiple applications for the same type of program or project?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: There’s nothing…
JESSA WILCOX: I was just..
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: Go ahead. I’m sorry.
JESSA WILCOX: No, no, no. Please go.
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: I’m sure [INDISTINCT] so I’m happy to hand off. My quick response would be that it is absolutely appropriate to submit both as long as the efforts to be supported, like, the particular activities and use of funds in each proposal are distinct.
DARYL FOX: Okay. Just kind of going through the list here as we get towards the end. “The currently received JRI, Justice Reinvestment Initiative fund, is a grant from our state agency, are we able to apply for additional funds through the opportunity?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: Yes. That is—that is separate and distinct.
JESSA WILCOX: Daryl, this is Jessa. I saw one question asked if county governments were eligible applicants for the Swift, Certain, and Fair Program and I just wanted to say, yes, they are.
DARYL FOX: “And is there a—how many awards are there for the Second Chance Act Community-based Reentry Grant?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: I am running back to that slide. We anticipate making 18 awards for up to $750,000 each.
DARYL FOX: Do you have that number, Heather? I’ll put that up briefly as we—do you know what slide number?
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: Yes, that is slide 32. Another reminder, this one is currently open, so it has been posted. The details are available, you can download the full solicitation.
DARYL FOX: And this was mentioned, I don’t know if it’ll jog your memory during your presentation. At one point, if you don’t already have a relationship with them, you can find them on this website. Do you—I don’t know if you recall what that may have been referencing.
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: Yeah, it was the state administering agencies. So the entity was in a state who’s generally responsible for administering funds to agencies they’re in.
DARYL FOX: Okay. So as we’re nearing the end of the program. Couple more questions just, kind of, looking through the list here. “If you don’t spend all the allotted funds within the timeframe, is the grant extended or do you need to reapply? What happens to these funds?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: Jessa, do you want to take that one?
JESSA WILCOX: Sure, Heather. Sure, if you have—as a grantee has not been able to spend all of the allotted funds, you will apply for a no-cost extension. And that is in a completely different process than it is for applying for a solicitation. During the past two years, non-cost extensions have just been granted because of the impacts of the COVID pandemic. But that’s something that the TA provider will help you and the staff at BJA will help you think about if it makes sense to apply for a no-cost extension.
DARYL FOX: “If the organization’s a relatively new nonprofit, is there any requirements on as performance are eligible—for eligibility like that or is it just services offered that’s being considered?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: There is no requirement, there’s no time-based requirement. I’m hesitant to say it’s about services offered only because in certain grant programs, the funds can be used to expand or establish new services. So I don’t want to—so I’m hesitant to say yes, it’s the latter. But it is not the former. There is no requirement to have been established for a certain period of time.
JESSA WILCOX: And when you look at the solicitations, most of them will have a section on capabilities and competencies of the applicant. And so that would just be a time for the applicant, the new nonprofit to describe their capabilities and competencies and how they will be able to accomplish the goals and objectives of the project.
DARYL FOX: “And just regarding budgets, are certain line items such as supplies be reallocated into training all within the grant? Is that something that could be done or there’s specific restrictions on that?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: It can be done. I wouldn’t say that there are restrictions as much as there are formal processes, including submission and review by both our division, the policy office, as well as the program side who helps everyone remain in compliance with allowable use of federal funds.
DARYL FOX: “And for the Employment Outcomes Program piece, is it applicable to help people in recovery not necessarily incarcerated?”
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: I would read the specifics of the solicitation in order to access Second Chance Act dollars as mandated in the authorizing language from Congress. It must be in service of reentry. So this must serve individuals who are being
released from incarceration in jail, from jail, prison or otherwise detained. And so yes, it can be used for people who have behavioral health problems to be addressed. That’s absolutely an intent, they must also be in reentry.
DARYL FOX: Okay. Thanks for that. So as we’re nearing the 2:00 PM end here, is there anything else, Heather or Jessa, that you want to say in closing?
HEATHER TUBMAN-CARBONE: No. Just thank you all for joining us today.
JESSA WILCOX: Yes. I echo Heather. Thanks.
DARYL FOX: So on behalf of the Bureau of Justice Assistance and our panelists, we want to thank you for joining today’s webinar. This will end today’s presentation.
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