FY 2022 Reimagining Justice: Testing a New Model of Community Safety
During this webinar, which was held on June 29, 2022, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) personnel provided information about the FY 2022 Reimagining Justice: Testing a New Model of Community Safety funding opportunity. The presenter discussed the purpose and goals of this funding opportunity; reviewed its eligibility requirements; and addressed frequently asked questions.
REIMAGINING JUSTICE: TESTING A NEW MODEL
DARYL FOX: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar, FY 2022 Reimagining Justice: Testing a New Model of Community Safety, hosted by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. At this time, it’s my pleasure to introduce Tenzing Lahdon, Senior Policy Advisor with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, for some welcoming remarks and to begin the presentation. Tenzing?
TENZING LAHDON: Thank you, Daryl, and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining today’s application webinar for the fiscal year 2022 Reimagining Justice: Testing a New Model of Community Safety. My name is Tenzing Lahdon and I am a Senior Policy Advisor at the Bureau of Justice Assistance, on the courts, community, and strategic partnership team. I am joined by my co-panelist, Associate Deputy Director Betsi Griffith, on today’s webinar. Next slide, please.
Just very quickly today, we will spend some time doing an overview of the program, discussing eligibility, award information, review some of the resources available to potential applicants, and answer some of your questions. Next slide, please.
So, before we get started, I’ll spend a few minutes sharing an overview of the Office of Justice Programs and of the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Office of Justice Programs, or OJP, is a federal agency that provides leadership, grant, training, and technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, to assist victims, and enhance rule of law by strengthening criminal and juvenile justice systems. Its six program offices support state and local crime-fighting efforts, fund crime victim service programs, help communities manage sex offenders, address the needs of youth in the system and children in danger, and provide vital research and data. Those offices include Bureau of Justice Assistance, Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the National Institute of Justice, the Office for Victims of Crime, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. OJP also works closely with two other grant-making components of the Department of Justice, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, or the COPS Office, and the Office on Violence Against Women. Next slide, please.
BJA was specifically created in 1984 to reduce violent crime, create safer communities, and reform our nation’s criminal justice system. BJA strengthens the nation’s criminal justice system and helps America’s state, local, and tribal jurisdictions to reduce and prevent crime, reduce recidivism, promote fair and safe criminal justice system. BJA focuses its programmatic and policy efforts on providing a wider range of resources, including training and technical assistance to law enforcement, to corrections, treatment, reentry, justice information sharing, and community-based partners to address chronic and emerging criminal justice challenges nationwide. And for more detailed information, there is a link on the screen so you can learn more about our programming. Next slide, please.
The Department of Justice is committed to advancing the work that promotes civil rights and racial equity, increases access to justice, supports crime victims and individuals impacted by the justice system, strengthens community safety, protects the public from crime and evolving threats, and builds trust between law enforcement and the community. Next slide, please.
And as a result, a priority consideration will be given to applications that include projects that will “A. promote racial equity and remove barriers to access and provide opportunities for communities that have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by inequality.” To receive this priority consideration, you will need to describe how you will address potential inequities and barriers to equal opportunity and/or contribute to greater access to services for underserved and historically marginalized populations.
Another way to receive priority consideration is to demonstrate that the applicant’s capability and competencies for implementing proposed project are enhanced because the applicant identifies as a culturally specific organization whose primary purpose is to provide culturally specific services to, for example, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic and Latino population, Native Americans, and other indigenous people of North America. More detail around OJP priority areas is on page 8 of the solicitation, including definitions of underserved community and what we mean by culturally specific organizations. Next slide, please.
And just a quick reminder, the solicitation was released on May 31st of this year and the grants.gov deadline for this particular solicitation is July 27th. The JustGrants deadline for submission of the full application is August 1st, 2022. One thing I do want to highlight is unlike in the years past, when the deadline for the JustGrants full application had been 11:59 p.m., this year that’s going to be 8:59 p.m. eastern time. So, that is a change from prior year. Next slide, please.
And before I go over goals and objectives of this solicitation, I would like to pause and ask our Associate Deputy Director Betsi Griffith if she would like to share how the solicitation came about, as this is a brand new solicitation for us. Betsi?
BETSI GRIFFITH: Thank you so much. I appreciate it. I love the work that is really associated with the solicitation. It’s part of a larger portfolio where what we really try to do is work with you in the field that are out there doing work every day as part of our larger field-initiated activities to really form partnerships with you and help you take your ideas and bring the expertise to the table and really translate by testing approaches in
your community, ways that we can really bring new ideas and also translate those ideas to other jurisdictions. We’re also very excited that this work places a lot of emphasis on being able to let community-based organizations and community leaders bring answers to the table, working with our criminal justice and other service providers and behavioral health providers on these critical issues. We know, again, you know your communities the best and oftentimes are out there doing great work, and we really want to form more partnerships, and sometimes, our resources can be limited to state, local, and tribal criminal justice agencies. So, this is one of actually several opportunities that are out on the street right now to fund community-based organizations, so we’re really excited about those opportunities and hope you’ll consider applying and partnering with us. Just as a quick aside, the other two that are open, there’s one more generally that is part of our field-initiated solicitation that focuses on a couple of different areas, including pretrial strategies. The grants.gov deadline for that is July 6th, and the overall JustGrants deadline is July 11. And then we’re also very excited to have some resources to work with community-based organizations that really want to help us tackle the issues that communities and victims are facing around hate crimes and hate incidents. And that solicitation, which is called Community-Based Approaches to Hate Crimes, and again, community-based organizations are eligible, closes a little, like, mid-month, with the JustGrants deadline being on the 18th, and I believe about 7 days before the 11th, we’ve got the grants.gov deadline on that one.
This in particular, a couple things I just want to kind of mention. Really creates an opportunity, we think, to allow you to kind of come up with strategies that help figure out in your community ways that you can work collaboratively with other partners and really create a network of partners who can work together, who haven’t necessarily been traditionally part of that conversation, working with criminal justice, including law enforcement partners, to kind of come up with these creative solutions. As part of the funding streams, we are requiring that you really focus in on a location or a set of neighborhoods that have had a significant increase in some kind of crime, we’re not defining what that crime is specifically, but are looking at this increase in crime that you’re trying to respond to. That’s something that’s kind of required by our funding appropriation, so, please make sure, particularly in your need statement, that you really spend some time outlining that, and then how the strategy is going to respond to it. And then, I think the third piece is really, you know, we know that there’s lots of different creative ways that you can help solve community issues, address safety concerns, resolve conflicts, and really support folks that are in communities that might be in crisis or at risk for being involved in the criminal justice system and coming up with new ways to address those strategies. So, that’s really what this is designed to accomplish. And with that in mind, Tenzing, I will turn it back to you.
TENZING LAHDON: Thank you, Betsi. As Betsi highlighted, the goal is to improve community safety by identifying promising new and innovative community strategies, safety strategies that will reduce and prevent crime, improve community residents’ perception of procedural fairness by funding its development, implementation, and testing one or more sites. So, the objectives for this under the solicitation are first to identify a locality--that can be one or more economically disadvantaged neighborhoods within that locality--where crime is persistent and is concentrated, to serve as an implementation site for the proposed community engagement strategy. Next slide, please.
Continuing with the objectives. The second is identifying organizations, local law enforcement agencies, and other entities within the site that will serve as partners and subawardees. Third is to utilize the proposed community engagement strategy to empower residents to design and refine the community-based safety model. Fourth, is to provide technical assistance and subawards to support the implementation of the community safety model. Fifth is to work with a research partner to assess needs, document implementation, and develop tools to support further implementation in the field. Sixth is to combat, address, and otherwise respond to precipitous or extraordinary increase in crime or in types of crime. Seventh is to increase investments in and build capacity of local and community resources and institutions in the project sites that can reduce and prevent crime and enhance community engagements in these partnerships. You can find goals and objectives and deliverables on page 6 of the solicitation. Next slide, please.
So, I saw a question that came in the Q&A about eligibility, so, very timely. So, who is eligible to apply for this funding? Native American tribal governments, both federally recognized and other than federally recognized tribal governments; nonprofits, both with or without 501(c)(3) status with IRS; private institutions of higher education; public and state-controlled institutions of higher education; and other. And more detail around eligibility is on page 1 of the solicitation. Next slide, please.
So, because this is a new solicitation, we wanted to make sure that we provided clear guidance and highlight what the proposal design should include. So, the first item here is a proposed locality or one or more economically disadvantaged neighborhoods with a locality experiencing a precipitous increase in crime or types of crime to develop and test a model. Outline process of recruiting and identifying partnering organizations and entities within the target area that will receive the subaward. And technical assistance to implement this plan. A strategy for engaging residents and leaders in the targeted neighborhoods in development of a community-based strategy safety model that will address the precipitous increase in crime or types of crime, and build capacity among community institutions and service providers to address less serious and lower-level crimes. BJA encourages applicants to include details on how it will engage community
residents, leadership, local government agencies such as social services or community development agencies, local institutions such as school or faith-based institutions, and those most impacted by community safety strategies, including those with lived experience and crime victims. And how you plan to collaborate with subawardee partners to execute your community engagement strategy and develop the community safety model within the first year of the award. Next slide, please.
In terms of rules and responsibilities of intermediary organizations, we ask that you clearly identify the lead applicant and describe a management plan for coordinating across collaborating entities. The successful applicant is expected to determine its project partners, and these partners will receive training and technical assistance from the intermediary organization throughout the length of the project. Next slide, please.
The applicant serving as the intermediary organization may be a national, regional, or a more local organization with expertise in community safety strategies and established capacity to work with site-based community organizations and entities and government agencies, particularly those focused on underserved communities. Applicants will identify a researcher who will collaborate with the site-based partners and the intermediary organization to collect data, conduct regular assessments, and report findings to the intermediary organization and site partners to learn whether any adjustments are needed during the implementation process. Next slide, please.
So, for the solicitation, BJA expects to make up to three awards with an estimated award amount that can range from $250,000 to $3 million. The performance period is expected to be 36 months. The total anticipated award under the solicitation is $3 million and the anticipated start date for the programs will be October 1st of this year.
So, the application as it’s submitted should include the SF-424, or the application for federal assistance; a program abstract; a program narrative; detailed budget worksheet; indirect cost rate agreement, if it’s applicable; same thing for tribal authorizing resolution, if it’s applicable; financial management questionnaire; disclosure of process related to executive compensation, if applicable; disclosure of lobbying activities; high-risk disclosure and justification. And before I move to the next slide, I want to notate that the program or the proposal abstract, the program narrative, the budget worksheet, and the timeline or the time task plan are required to pass a basic minimum requirements review, so if you are missing any of these four items, then your application will not move to peer review or will receive any further consideration. So, make sure that you submit all that I listed, but those four items are something that you should not miss in your application submission. Next slide, please.
Additional attachments that you should include are the timeline or time task plan; resumes and job descriptions for key staff; letter of support and/or MOUs; applicant disclosure of pending applications for similar activities or duplication of costs; DOJ certified standard assurances; DOJ certification regarding lobbying, suspension, drug-free work environment, debarment; and, lastly, research and evaluation independence and integrity form if it’s applicable to your proposal that you are submitting. Next slide, please.
So, as I mentioned, each proposal will be required to include a proposal abstract that should be no longer than 400 words summarizing the proposed project, including the purpose of project, the primary activities, expected outcomes, service area, intended beneficiaries, specific crime issues to be addressed, subrecipients if you know. You will need to include applicant’s name, performance period, and the total funding that you’re requesting, key partners. If you are seeking a priority consideration, please notate which priority consideration you are requesting, if it’s 1A, 1B, or both. There is a JustGrants web-based form for the project abstract. Next slide, please.
The proposal narrative should not be longer than 15 pages, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins. The following section must include as a part of proposal narrative the description of issue, which is scored at 20%; it should describe the target locality or neighborhood, including the nature and scope of crime in the targeted community. How persistent increase in crime or other type of crimes have significantly impacted the targeted community. Discuss the targeted area’s assets, challenges, any experiences that have restricted or limited opportunities for communities and economic development. And please include overall demographic data of the residents in that jurisdiction. Describe any gaps in existing approach to addressing crime and its root causes; risk factors, particularly for less serious offenses. Finally, talk about how your application is proposing to address these identified issues.
Next is the program design, which is scored at 40%, so it is a big chunk. Applicants should describe how they will respond to the issues defined in the prior section. Project design discussion should include planning engagements, engagement strategy, development, implementation, and assessment in the intended partner site or sites, and how the strategy will address the precipitous increase in crime or types of crime that will be addressed by the proposed approach. Also describe collaboration with key partners and community residents and other stakeholders. Describe the process of identifying and monitoring subawards as well as identifying a research partner to collect relevant data and perform regular assessment of overall progress.
For those applicants seeking a priority consideration for priority 1A, that should be described in this section. It should address how the proposed project will address issues related to race equity and removal of barriers to access and opportunity and/or contribute to greater access to services for communities that have historically been marginalized, underserved, and adversely affected by inequality.
The capability and competency section is scored at 25%. It should describe applicant management structures, identify key partners and staff, and describe how the applicants and partners will implement the program. It should discuss any prior collaboration that will be enhanced upon and should describe how the coordination will be executed throughout the duration of the program. And please do not forget to include resumes and job descriptions for any of the proposed staff or key partners who will be funded under the project.
Finally, if the applicant is seeking a priority consideration under 1B, it should describe within this section how being a culturally specific organization, or if you’re funding a culturally specific subrecipient organization, will enhance its ability to implement the proposed project and should also specify which culturally specific populations are to be served or to have their needs addressed under this proposed project.
The proposal narrative should include a plan for collecting data. This will be scored at 5%. You should describe the method for collecting, reporting data around project effectiveness. On page 15 of the solicitation, there is a link to some examples of data that BJA may expect to collect from the applicants or successful applicants.
Also required in each proposal is a budget detail worksheet or budget narrative, which is scored at 5%. Next slide.
The budget detail worksheet and the budget narrative are now combined in a single web-based format in JustGrants. The budget detail worksheet should describe all the budget line items and those budget line items should directly be related to meeting the project’s goals and objectives. The budget should demonstrate how the applicant will maximize cost effectiveness, and the budget should include some funding to support research and evaluation, but it should not exceed more than 20% of the total budget. And if you are seeking a priority consideration under priority 1B based on the identification of at least one proposed subrecipient as a culturally specific organization, the proposed funding for the subrecipient must be a minimum of 30% of the award.
Lastly, we recommend that you budget for travel or training expenses to attend meetings and, for example, it could be to attend a collaborative partners meeting or training, or technical assistance. So, I think that would be helpful, and it’s recommended. It’s not required in the solicitation. And as a reminder, there is no match requirement for this solicitation. Next slide, please.
Applications that meet the basic minimum requirements will be evaluated by peer reviewers. As you can see, the project design and implementation plan is graded at 40%, capabilities and competencies at 25%, description of issues at 20%, and data collection at 5%, and budget at 10%.
Other important considerations may include geographic diversity, strategic priority, available funding, and past performances if you had a prior OJP grant. Next slide, please.
Next, we will go over several available resources to help applicants. Next slide, please.
So, if you are interested in learning about our current and open BJA funding, then you can find that information in the link provided. The second hyperlink will take you directly to the solicitation page. Please refer to the solicitation for all necessary information and required documents. This presentation was meant to highlight the most relevant information but did not cover everything that was in the solicitation. Next slide, please.
The next few slides will provide some tips and support for prospective applicants. Next slide.
So, there are two important dates to know, and yes, application is due on August 1st, but there is an earlier deadline that I just want to make sure that is not missed by everyone or by anyone. On July 27th at 8:59 p.m. eastern, you have to submit the SF-424 and SF-LLL in grants.gov. Please try to submit your application materials, whether it’s in grants.gov, the first two forms that I mentioned, or in JustGrants, the full application, before the due date to allow for sufficient time in case there’s any errors or issues with your submission. Next slide, please.
The next few slides highlight common areas of issues in submitting applications that people have had in the past, and I’m not going to go to each one of these, but I do want to highlight that they are here, and I highly recommend that after this webinar, when the slides are available on BJA’s website, to go back and review them, especially the application tips section. Next slide, please.
And just a quick note, please follow the guidance provided in the OJP grant application resource guide. The link is included in the solicitation. It’s like all over the solicitation, there’s a hyperlink for the application resource guide, so, please use that guide. Next slide, please.
Another thing that I should mention is the application checklist on page 19 and 20 of the solicitation. That is a very helpful resource as you’re developing your application. It also lists out all the things that you should include with your application. Next slide, please.
And here are a few other resources. On the right-hand side, where it says “checklist,” includes all of these that are underlined and in blue, are hyperlinks to training pages, specifically for JustGrants. Next slide.
The link to the application submission checklist is included on page 19 of the solicitation and it walks you through different stages, and, you know, the checklist will have all that information. Next slide.
JustGrants training and resources are listed here. Includes PowerPoint slide deck from prior webinars, training videos, step-by-step process on how to submit application in JustGrants, as well as other training videos related to pre- and post-award. So, it’s a good place if you’re having any issue or you want a step-by-step process to see how to submit the application. Next slide, please.
If you need any assistance with submitting your SF-424 and SF-LLL, here are some phone numbers and email addresses that you can reach out to. The great thing about grants.gov is they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except on federal holidays. They will be able to assist you with any needs you have in grants.gov. Next slide.
And then JustGrants, which is what you will be using to submit your full application, they also have a customer support hotline with lots of availability. Just note that this one is not available 24 hours a day. It’s available from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the week and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. eastern on weekends and holidays, and it’s all eastern time. You can also reach them via email that’s listed here. Next slide.
And finally, there’s the OJP Response Center, so, if you have any questions or need just general assistance about the solicitation itself, here’s where you can go to ask those questions. If you would like, you can subscribe to receive email notifications of new funding opportunities and other resources as well. Next slide.
And because it’s so important, here is another reminder about the two-step process. So, the first step is to submit the SF-424 and SF-LLL form in the grants.gov by the deadline of July 27th, 2022, 8:59 p.m. eastern time, and step two is to submit a full application in JustGrants by the deadline of August 1st, 2022, 8:59 p.m. eastern time. Next slide, please.
And if you come across any issue with submitting the two forms in grants.gov or issues submitting the application in JustGrants, please make sure you reach out to either JustGrants or grants.gov as soon as possible. You want to make sure that you document your request for technical assistance and request approval to submit your application after the deadline to this email address, that’s [email protected], within 24 hours of the deadline. Make sure you document all issues, including ticket number provided by the help desk as well as your attempts to address these issues prior to the deadline. Next slide, please.
Certainly, if you want to stay tuned to hear more about funding opportunities or other programs with OJP, you can text OJP with your email address to 468-311 to subscribe. You can also follow OJP and BJA on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or visit BJA’s website. Next slide, please.
So, quick reference. If you need help with the two SF forms that I mentioned, you can contact JustGrants—not JustGrants. For the two SF forms, you can contact grants.gov. If you need help with application submission, you can contact JustGrants, and if you need help with the content or have questions about the solicitation, you can reach out to BJA. This is all the contact information that’s listed here along with when they are open or available to respond to you. Next slide, please.
These are the resources for funding opportunities as well as other useful links as you are putting your application together. Next slide.
And I want to say thank you so much for your patience as we got through all the slides. So, with that, I’m going to stop here and open up for Q&A. I do want to introduce one other person on the webinar who has not spoken yet but will be assisting me and Betsi with answering some of the questions, and that is Hayne Yoon. She is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Office of Assistant Attorney General at DOJ and I just want to introduce her in case you see her pop up and so you know who is speaking. So, with that, Daryl, do we have any questions in Q&A that you want to go through?
DARYL FOX: Yes, most certainly. First, I think Betsi, you wanted to mention a couple things before we proceed to the Q&A section.
BETSI GRIFFITH: Yeah. Again, you know, as I mentioned earlier, we really are interested in expanding, you know, the organizations and partners we work with at BJA. I know this is a lot of information and I think Tenzing did a wonderful job of really kind of going through the details. We will be posting and Daryl can kind of outline later where these slides are available, but a lot of what we went through here is really intended to be resource information. So, what I would say is, if you’re new to kind of applying to us, go ahead and look at that application. Look at the details about kind of what you need to apply and make sure you’ve got that initial registration process kind of set up with SAM and are prepared to do the grants.gov application process. Those forms don’t take a lot of time, but if you don’t submit that part, you don’t get to get to Part 2, which is really where we know the good work and the substance is. So, I just want to just say this is really intended to be a resource. Process these questions. There is on the solicitation a link to a resource center. You can call our call center to answer a lot of questions, and if they can’t, reach back out and make sure that we’re getting that information back available. I just want to kind of encourage you guys. I know, again, it’s a lot of information, but I think once you get into it in the substance, you’ll find that we’re really just focused on giving you an opportunity to kind of tell your story and talk about the issues you’re trying to tackle.
DARYL FOX: Great. Thanks so much for that, Betsi. So, just a reminder—if you do have a question, far bottom right of your screen, hit the three dots, QA, send to all panelists, and we’d like to get through those. We still have about 17 or so minutes left in today’s webinar, so, plenty of time. Also, just a reminder—there’s been a couple questions. The PowerPoint recording and transcript for today will be posted to the BJA website. When those items are posted, you actually will be sent an email notification to the email you registered with today. It’ll link you to that directly so you won’t have to search for it. It will be located within the solicitation on the BJA website. And a lot of these questions, some of them have come in have been addressed throughout, but we’ll go ahead and ask them just for more elaboration on, so, first one: “Are cities eligible to apply for this grant?”
BETSI GRIFFITH: Tenzing, do you want to take that? Yeah, OK, go ahead. Sorry. Good.
TENZING LAHDON: I’m not sure. Daryl, if you can pull and—OK, right there. So, as I mentioned, it doesn’t appear that cities can, but I think Betsi or Hayne can elaborate on that, but our focus—eligibility right now is for Native American tribal governments, nonprofits, institutes of higher learning, private or state and public. So, those are our eligible candidates.
BETSI GRIFFITH: Yeah, and I think part of this kind of gets to the point I was making earlier, that we have a very limited set of opportunities to really fund community-based organizations and nonprofits as our partners. And so, the focus here really is on those organizations working in partnership with. But I do, you know, depending on the circumstances, they could probably make a subaward to a government entity, but I think really the idea here is to create alternatives, because we do have many other funding streams, including the field-initiated solicitation I mentioned earlier today, where you could test some of those ideas out. That’s another area where we give folks an opportunity to address, you know, those precipitous increases in crime, as well as a number of our programs. We have, you know, a lot of topical specific solicitations with significant money behind them to deal with you know, kind of a myriad of issues that cities are facing where they would be eligible to apply.
DARYL FOX: Great. Thanks so much. Next question. “Can you explain a little bit more about the deliverables on page 7 of the solicitation around selection criteria, collaborating organizations within the site?”
BETSI GRIFFITH: Yeah, I’m going to jump on this quickly, and then Hayne, if you want to kind of add any other comments, let me know. Again, the idea here is, we’re really
trying to emphasize here is this is, again, not one of our traditional situations where a particular organization or entity, government entity, for example, will come in and build their own strategy. This is really designed to be a collaborative network of people that are working together, that will definitely result in some number—again, we’re looking to you to kind of pitch it based on the amount of money you’re asking for, etc., but things you think are a feasible amount, right, to have a couple of these subawards go out to be able to work with entities that can bring new ideas and expertise and solutions to solve increases in crime and challenges in communities that you’re facing today. And what we want to do is make sure that that’s done in a way that is meaningful, that there really is some time built in the front where you can see to really—yes, we got some people to sign on the letter of application, but really spend a little time kind of defining a little more what that partnership’s going to look like, thinking about how you’re going to engage with the communities you’re planning to work with as part of this. Figuring out what the needs are and using data and information, because you can see again, we want that researcher-practitioner partnership to really help people understand and target the issues that they’re facing. So, this is really defined as saying, hey, we don’t want this to be one award to one entity for a solution, but really a collaborative process that’s being brought to an identified location and bringing those new ideas and their expertise to the table. And then I’ll turn it over to you. And then maybe just one more thing, Hayne, before I turn it to you and then you can see--as you get the money and you’re working with sites, part of it’s about building the capacity of those organizations you’re working with and figuring out what worked and what didn’t work and being able to evaluate that a little bit. So, those are kind of what’s built into those deliverables.
HAYNE YOON: Thank you, Betsi, and hello, everyone. You know, we’re really excited to see so much interest in this solicitation, and also love to see these questions. Definitely keep them coming. This is a brand new solicitation, so we understand that there’s a lot of interest but also probably a lot of questions. And as Betsi mentioned, you know, we really want to encourage stakeholders and organizations that aren’t sort of usual recipients of these solicitations to apply. And in terms of what we envision as the sort of collaborative model for this is that, you know, this is a complement to traditional law enforcement. It’s not meant to be a replacement, but certainly in a lot of neighborhoods and jurisdictions already, we know that there are organizations and partnerships. Someone I think asked a question about private entities. Certainly, there are private entities as well that act as stakeholders in communities, that act to enforce norms of community safety and help ensure, you know, that people and residents in communities feel safe. And so, the idea is, as Betsi said, we really want to encourage you to come to us with your ideas about who are the entities in your neighborhoods, localities, that would be useful partners in creating this community safety model. So, we really want to encourage, you know, your innovation. We know that communities are already experimenting with these kinds of models all around the country and we would like to encourage you all to further develop these ideas in partnership with us.
DARYL FOX: Great. Thanks so much for that. Next question is “Does BJA have a definition for a precipitous increase in crime?” Some criteria wrapped around the—
BETSI GRIFFITH: I’ll take this one. I would say no. We really try to make this as flexible as possible. We don’t want to predefine it because we know that the dynamics are very different in different places, but there, as you can see, it’s got to be significant. It’s a precipitous increase, right? So, it’s got to be significant, but at the same time, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a particular kind of crime. It could be all kinds of crimes or could, you know, be one or two types of crimes that you’re kind of dealing with. It could be lower-level issues, you know, less serious and violent, or it could be things on the deeper end, you know, so, we’re trying to remain as flexible as possible with that funding stream. I would really focus on the questions we ask in the selection criteria, because we asked you guys to answer the same questions that we are asking the peer reviewers to evaluate you on. So, really spend some time on the selection criteria, which is that outline for the narrative we’re looking for, and in particular in the statement of the problem. Spend some time thinking about, and ideally, we talk about some of our expectations about just providing some data to support that.
DARYL FOX: “Does the grantee have to select all subawardee partners through the formal RFP process, or can the applicant identify any partners at the initial proposals?”
BETSI GRIFFITH: I mean, I think we’re open to whatever works, but we just definitely want to make sure that there’s an opportunity for, you know, building partnerships and working with, you know, new entities. So, you know, I think kind of having a mix is important, but Hayne, I don’t know if you want to add anything else about that.
HAYNE YOON: Yeah, certainly, if you want to identify the partners you plan to work with, that’s fine. What we didn’t want is to limit applications so that you’re required to list all partners up front in the application. There’s some flexibility so that you can begin thinking about the possible partners and determine that at a later point.
TENZING LAHDON: And the only thing I’ll add is if you have partners that, you know, you have good relation, that, you know, works in community setting and are really, you know, impactful in the community, then yeah, go ahead and include that, you know, as a part of your proposal or as a part of, you know, you might already have an MOU in place with them so you can include that in your application or the proposal and explain. And maybe you can list that under the competencies and capabilities section, because that can be your strength as well.
DARYL FOX: “Is there guidance on how much of the overall award should be allocated to subawards?”
TENZING LAHDON: I think there is. If you are asking for a priority consideration for a culturally specific organization, I think there is a requirement of at least providing them a minimum of 30%, I believe. I’ll just quickly pull. So, I think that’s one of the—but I don’t think, other than that, there is any specified allocation.
BETSI GRIFFITH: I think the other thing I would encourage folks to do is to look both at the statements in the project design selection criteria and the budget section. The budget should hit the spirit of, kind of the intention of the solicitation but also what you’re proposing, and I think if those things are aligned, you know, that’s most important as opposed to a specific number. Hayne, I don’t know if you have anything else you want to add there.
DARYL FOX: “Can the applicant organization also serve as the research partner?”
BETSI GRIFFITH: Can you repeat that, please?
DARYL FOX: Yes. “Can the applicant organization also serve as the research partner?”
BETSI GRIFFITH: You know, certainly our goal is to get some data out of the process that can be used to help you all to assess the effectiveness of the program, to be able to support, you know, future investments. So, I think, you know, if you have the applicant organization being the same as the agency implementing, you just need to figure out how you’re going to ensure a certain amount of independence between those two activities at a minimum.
DARYL FOX: And the next several questions are about the local targeted community aspect. “Is BJA looking for proposals focused on a single locality, or can one proposal address multiple?”
BETSI GRIFFITH: I don’t think we’re trying to predefine it, but Hayne, please feel free to jump in.
HAYNE YOON: Yeah. So, I mean, I think the limitation here is the amount of funding. So, certainly, you know, what we’re encouraging is to fully fund this model. You know, we would imagine it would be difficult for applicants to apply for a variety of sites, and so that’s why I think the solicitation specifically mentions a locality, you know, one or more neighborhoods. What we really want is for organizations and applicants to be able to test this model and fully implement it. We imagine, but don’t know for ourselves, that it would require a significant amount of funding, particularly to subawards and so forth, so that it would be very difficult to implement this kind of model in multiple jurisdictions. You know, there aren’t limitations on that per se, but the obvious limitation is just the sheer amount of funding that would be available to do this.
DARYL FOX: “Does the grant allow for nonprofits to include a contracted writer?”
BETSI GRIFFITH: I’d look at the financial guide as to what expenses are allowable. I’m not sure that that’s an allowable expense. I would definitely look at the financial guide for more information. And if you want, we could certainly clarify that and follow up afterwards.
DARYL FOX: “Can an organization focus on target population within a jurisdiction rather than it being neighborhood-based?”
HAYNE YOON: So, the requirement is to select a locality or one or more neighborhoods. However, it doesn’t prohibit you certainly from focusing on certain types of crime. As Betsi mentioned, there’s flexibility for the precipitous increase in crime. It could be a certain type of crime, so, if a particular community is experiencing a lot of, say, drug offenses, and that’s the increase, you know, certainly that could be explained in the application. However, the goal of this is to focus on a particular locality or neighborhood, so it’s really sort of site-based, and then within that you could certainly focus on certain types of crime and safety associated with reducing those types of crime. But the goal isn’t to sort of focus on the, I guess, that sort of target population more broadly and then apply that to a variety of locations. It’s more sort of a site-based kind of a model, if that makes sense.
DARYL FOX: “What is the distinction between inner…”
BETSI GRIFFITH: Daryl, before you go here, I just want to kind of come back to this, you know, question of location and just, you know, I’ve been doing this work a long time in location. I think Hayne’s point was so important about, like, scaling this, because it’s something you can test and trying to actually figure out and see an impact, as opposed to seeing this as an opportunity to try and fix all the challenges that face a community or a set of communities in a jurisdiction. You got to take it piece by piece, is really the thing I’ve learned over time, and then once you build that foundation you can, you know, if you have success, you can kind of leverage other resources. So, I really encourage you to, you know, be targeted in your focus, because what you’re really trying to do is work in a very collaborative way and try new things, and so, I think, you know, it’s important to think about the scale there and not overcommit. I think it’s just really important and I want you guys not to feel too much pressure, right, to fix everything. We know these ideas are so important that you can help us translate to the field. So, you know, bring that focus on the issues and the partnerships you think where you can have an impact.
DARYL FOX: Great. Thanks so much for that elaboration.
TENZING LAHDON: Just before we move to the next question, I did include a link to the DOJ financial guide, and so I sent it to all attendees as well as that question around how much we can award to subawards. There was only one requirement, so I included that language also and sent it to all the attendees.
DARYL FOX: Great. Thanks so much for that. With that, we are at 3 p.m., so very good segue to go ahead and conclude for today. If you do have any questions, as I mentioned earlier, you can contact the OJP Response Center at [email protected] for any questions that we weren’t able to get to today. And, like I mentioned earlier, this webinar presentation will be posted to the BJA website in approximately 7 to 10 business days, so keep an eye out for that. Anything in closing for the panelists today?
TENZING LAHDON: I just want to say, like Daryl already mentioned at length, both the presentation and recorded webinar will be available on the BJA funding webinar page, but feel free to use the numbers and emails that you saw on the screen as it relates to any follow-up questions regarding the solicitation, regarding JustGrants, regarding grants.gov. So, on behalf of the Bureau of Justice Assistance and our panelists, we want to thank you for joining today’s webinar, and thank you so much for participating. We enjoyed reading the questions and responding to the questions as well. So, have a great day.
Opinions or points of view expressed in these recordings represent those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. Any commercial products and manufacturers discussed in these recordings are presented for informational purposes only and do not constitute product approval or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice.