FY 2022 Visiting Fellows Program
During this webinar, which was held on June 8, 2022, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) personnel provided information about the FY 2022 BJA Visiting Fellows Program opportunity. The presenters discussed the purpose and goals of the opportunity; reviewed its eligibility requirements; and addressed frequently asked questions. A Q&A session followed at the end of the presentation.
DARYL FOX: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to today's webinar, FY 2022 BJA Visiting Fellows Program Competitive Grant Announcement hosted by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. At this time I'd like to introduce Sara Sullivan, Senior Policy Advisor with the Bureau of Justice Assistance for some welcoming remarks and to begin the presentation. Sara.
SARA SULLIVAN: Thank you, Daryl. First, I want to thank everybody for joining us. It's exciting to see that there's so much interest in the fellows solicitation, so we're excited to have you here. We're going to go through a lot of information during the presentation. There are a lot of slides with a lot of information in it. So, I want to make the best use of our time today. So, I may kind of skim some of the info, so I can highlight some of the more important areas. But the presentation will be made available to everyone after the webinar for reference. And so, that's why we provided more information than we're able to cover, so you have that information on the slides after the webinar. We have a number of presenters with us today that represent different areas of focus for the fellowship and I will introduce each of them prior to their part of the presentation.
So the agenda for the presentation that I'm going to go through, so we'll do a brief overview of who OJP and BJA are, an overview of the solicitation, the eligibility requirements, then we're going to spend the bulk of the time covering the six different anticipated areas of focus for the fellows. And then after that, I'll quickly go through some grant requirements, review the different sections of the application, the top grant application tips, as well as support that's available to you. And then we'll save about 10 to 15 minutes at the end for Q&A. As was mentioned earlier, if you have questions as you go, feel free to use the Q&A function over to the right, or you can also save those until the end and type them in then, whatever works best for you.
So what is the Office of Justice Programs? So OJP provides grant funding, training, research, and statistics for the criminal justice community in the field. And we are one of three grant-making components of the Department of Justice. The other two is the Office of Violence Against Women, OVW, and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, also referred to as the COPS Office. BJA is a bureau within the Office of Justice Programs. And what we do at BJA is support local, state, and tribal justice systems through grants and policy development. You can find more information about BJA on our website. Some of the administration priorities that we work on here at BJA is really addressing violent crime as well as ensuring a fair criminal justice system. So we do that through supporting local law enforcement and others that work with communities and victims disproportionately impacted by crime, as well as ensuring their fair access to justice.
Now let's move into the actual fellowship and solicitation. So a little bit of background on the fellowship program, BJA launched the Visiting Fellows Program in fiscal year 2012, so we're going into it I guess 11th year. The intent of the fellowship is to be able to leverage expertise across the country in order to access areas of need or assess areas of need, and develop policies and resources for the field. And then each fellow will make its contribution to a particular priority area with the collaboration of and support of BJA. So some specific information, each fellow will be expected to produce specific deliverables. They can include things like applied research tools, training curricula, toolkits, articles and publications, and also technical subject matter assistance to the field, as well as assisting BJA and enhancing our capacity and the strategies that are available, and then bringing that expertise back to the field.
So the solicitation that we are talking about today was released April 26 of this year. The closing date, so the due date is June 27th, so in just a couple weeks. The program's objectives, we've already covered a number of these. I do want to highlight the second bullet, which one of the objectives is to really bring real-world experience, as well as lived experience and knowledge to BJA that is able to enhance the ability to deliver relevant and effective tools to the field, as well as supporting that we want to, through this fellowship, be able to support the development of researchers, practitioners, as well as BJA staff in order to collectively help advance BJA's mission.
So the eligibility, this is available to individuals. It is also available to state, local, and county governments, and tribal governments or organizations. And those organizations can be organizations of higher education, it can be nonprofits, it could also be for-profit organizations other than small businesses. If it is an organization or a government entity that is applying it needs to be clear who the individual is, or that there's a particular individual that will serve as the fellow within that organization or within that agency. Just one other program requirement that I want to highlight is really a benefit both to BJA and to the fellow that the fellows will have an intimate involvement in collegial activities with both the BJA director as well as staff, provide monthly briefings, and participate in very high-level policy discussions that will inform practice. So the idea is this is a two-way knowledge sharing that you, as a fellow, would have access to the expertise and resources of BJA. And that we will also benefit, and the field will benefit, from your experience and your expertise. And then you can also bring in the information that you glean as part of your time as a fellow back to the field.
So with that, we're going to dive into the six anticipated areas of focus for BJA fellows. So as I mentioned--as we'll talk about later, when you submit an application, you will be applying for one of these areas of focus and there will be one fellow selected for each area. So the first area up is the Researcher-Practitioner Partnership Fellowship to Reduce Substance Use-Related Crime and Overdose. And I'm happy to introduce Mallory O'Brien, who is a Senior Scientist with BJA, and she will review this topic area. So Mallory, I'll take it over to you.
MALLORY O'BRIEN: Sara, I'm really excited to be here with all of you. This is an amazing opportunity, something I wish I would have considered earlier in my career.
These visiting fellowships are just--you will learn so much, you will be able to provide so much to the field, as well as to the staff at BJA. So I can't encourage you not to apply for this opportunity. It is really an amazing opportunity. So let me just talk a little bit about the researcher-practitioner partnership fellowship to reduce substance use-related crime and overdose. So, this is the first focus area, as Sara mentioned, that we're going to be talking about, and I think it's really important to recognize that this is looking at a researcher-practitioner partnership. It's not only a researcher-practitioner partnership with the field, but again, also with the practitioners at BJA. So this fellow will support the strategies to enhance researcher-practitioner partnerships designed to reduce substance use-related crime and overdose as part of the Comprehensive Opioid Stimulant and Substance Use Disorder Program, COSSAP.
COSSAP provides financial and training and technical assistance to states, local governments, and American Indian tribal governments to develop, implement, or expand comprehensive efforts to identify, respond to, treat, and support those impacted by illicit opioids, stimulants, and other drugs of abuse. The fellow will focus on identifying and documenting COSSAP-funded promising and emerging practices to leverage data and research to enhance responses to crime associated with substance use disorder, and drug disorders and fatalities. The fellow will work in coordination with BJA staff, grantees, and training and technical assistance partners to scan the field for promising and effective research partnerships with local practitioners that advance our understanding of strategies to reduce overdose, substance use disorder, and related crime, including efforts to track trends locally, and get ahead of challenges facing local communities and tools to support the field. Additionally, the fellow will have direct experience in criminal justice and behavioral health or public health research. And will bring their knowledge to the field and support the national COSSAP efforts. The fellow will work on one of the teams within BJA, which is the Courts, Community, and Strategic Partnerships Team. So again, I really encourage you to apply. I think this is an awesome opportunity and I look forward to seeing all of your applications. Thank you.
SARA SULLIVAN: Thank you so much, Mallory. Next up is the Enhancing Support for Persons With Criminal Justice Involvement That Are in Recovery Fellowship. And I'm happy to introduce Michelle White, a Senior Policy Advisor with BJA. Michelle.
MICHELLE WHITE: Thank you, Sara. And I'm going to start by saying I'm pinch-hitting today for one of my teammates at BJA, Tim Jeffries, who is the resident guru of all things peer recovery support services. So I am going to share a little bit about what this particular fellowship is all about and add a little bit of nuance of things that he shared with me as well. So, I'm going to talk about enhancing support for persons with criminal justice involvement that are in recovery fellowship. The fellow here should possess lived experience, both in recovery and criminal justice involvement, ideally at various intercept points of the criminal justice system. This fellow will utilize relationships with national organizations and field connections to bring a perspective that can enhance the COSSAP and Adult Drug Court Program Peer Recovery Supportive Service Initiative. That is a mouthful. That's why we say PRSS on a regular basis. And also utilize expertise to eliminate the power of peer-to-peer engagement to reduce recidivism. So this includes connections to other federal partners, efforts to advance PRSS, particularly in juvenile, tribal, and other behavioral health settings, so connecting justice and behavioral health.
The fellow will also assess and develop strategies and tools to reflect lived experience and related research strategy for how peer recovery strategies can assist in overcoming stigma, strengthening prosocial attitudes and beliefs, and enhancing active coping strategies to prepare for successful reentry. So what I think you'll hear quite a lot here is across all the intercepts of the criminal justice system. The fellow will work with BJA staff, grantees, training and technical assistance providers, and recovery community organizations to bring knowledge of the field to support peer recovery programming. The fellow will also be expected to collaborate with an advisory board, which will drive the directions of services needed for that population with a specific focus around corrections, jails, prisons, problem-solving courts, and other points across the sequential intercepts in a variety of programs that exist and new ones to be implemented. And just like the fellow that Mallory mentioned, this person will work with our Courts, Community, and Strategic Partnerships Team, which happens to be the team that both Mallory and I are on. So we very much look forward to reading applications and adding these very really valuable folks to our team. Sara, I'll turn it back to you.
SARA SULLIVAN: Thank you. Next up, we have the Building Capacity of Community Violence Intervention Leaders to Enhance Community Safety Fellowship. And I'd like to introduce Kathy Browning, who is also a Senior Policy Advisor here with BJA.
KATHARINE BROWNING: I'm sorry about that. Hi, everybody. I'd like to start by just echoing what Mallory and Michelle have said that this is a great opportunity for anybody looking to get involved in some of the work that we do and really provide support to BJA
and OJP staff on a number of important initiatives. In this one, we are looking for someone to essentially come and provide support to the new community-based violence intervention and prevention initiative, which is being led out of OJP. And with BJA, NIJ, OVC, and OJJDP, sort of a large initiative. And we are looking for a fellow that has experience working in the field as a credible messenger or a practitioner who has actually done this work to come in and particularly focus on how to best support the workforce of CVI practitioners across the country. We know a lot of people are already doing this work. We know that there are some best practices, but we also know that there are areas for growth in terms of developing the workforce out there. So we will be looking for this fellow to identify some of the BJA needs of the field, as well as gaps in educational opportunities for CVI practitioners. And we would be looking for this person to provide recommendations to us, you know, about these TTA and educational needs. So, this was sort of a complement to the larger CVIPI, which is what we refer to it, initiative. And it would be an opportunity to work with both BJA and OJP staff who are engaged in the work and leading the work on CVI right now. And as the previous presenters have said, this fellow will also work in the Courts, Community, and Strategic Partnerships Team. So I look forward to getting some great applications for this, because we really would like to have support and assistance from people in the field. Thank you. I'll turn it over back to Sara.
SARA SULLIVAN: Thank you. Next up, we have the Supporting Law Enforcement, Outreach, Communication, and Engagement to Enhance Awareness of BJA Resources Fellowship. And covering that section, I'm happy to introduce Vince Davenport, who's one of the Associate Deputy Directors with BJA and oversees our law enforcement operations team. Vince.
VINCE DAVENPORT: Thank you, Sara, and good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining. And this position would actually operate within the Law Enforcement Operations Division. And just a little bit of context that I think is important. If you think about the Department of Justice, obviously it's a federal entity. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is the component within DOJ that really has kind of the lead for providing support to state and local law enforcement. And the support comes in various forms. It's grant funding, it's training, it's technical assistance, it's policy guidance. And basically anything that the Department of Justice can do to support state and local law enforcement, and state and local includes tribal and territorial as well. The Law Enforcement Operations Division is usually involved. And one of the challenges is that there are over 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the country. And although we have some really good mechanisms in place, some national relationships established with stakeholder organizations, professional associations, so on and so forth, it's still extremely difficult to ensure that the information about really important resources that BJA has to offer gets down to where the people that need it the most really know that it's available and they know how to access it. So this fellow will help us to really develop some pathway--some conventional and some unconventional pathways to the field. When I refer to the field, I'm referring to the 18,000 agencies out there, and this will require, I assume, a combination of different strategies, whether it's social media, whether it's different regional convenings.
You know, it's really up to you to help us take the experience and the passion that you have in this area. Maybe you've got experience in law enforcement, maybe you've got experience in communications or marketing, whatever it is, we want to be better at making sure that law enforcement, whether it's a small rural agency or a major agency in a big city, we want to make sure that the right people know about our resources, they know how to access it, because that's how it does the most good. It's a really exciting opportunity to be involved in--communicating with law enforcement across the country. The challenges are immense, probably some of the biggest challenges that I've seen in my lifetime, and the fellow in this position will really be involved in some really cutting edge, front page, above the fold issues in law enforcement. And we're really excited to get some good quality applicants. And so if this sounds like something that you’d be interested in, don't hesitate, apply. And we look forward to seeing the applications. Thank you, Sara.
SARA SULLIVAN: Thank you. Thank you so much, Vince. Next up, we have the Enhancing the Prison Rape Elimination Act Implementation Effort. And I am happy to introduce Tom Talbot, who is a Senior Policy Advisor here at BJA. And I am going to ask the assistance of Daryl to make sure that Tom is able to be unmuted.
TOM TALBOT: I think I just heard a beep. Sara, can you hear me?
SARA SULLIVAN: Yup. You're all set.
TOM TALBOT: Perfect. Wonderful. Thank you, and my sincerest apologies for the technical problems that I'm experiencing and my inability to connect via camera. But I'm delighted to be here with you all by phone. As Sara mentioned, I'm Tom Talbot, a Senior Policy Adviser at BJA, and I'm responsible for the work of BJA's Prison Rape Elimination Act or PREA Management Office. This office was created by DOJ leadership back in 2013, and the PREA Management Office is comprised of four people who are responsible for carrying out most of DOJ's legal and statutory responsibilities related to PREA implementation. As articulated in the original PREA Statute that was passed unanimously by both Houses of Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2003, in the two subsequent amendments to the PREA Statute in 2016 and 2018, and in the national PREA Standards, which were promulgated by DOJ in 2012, some of the key responsibilities of BJA's PREA Management Office include overseeing a robust clearinghouse of information and resources for stakeholders across the country with responsibilities related to preventing, detecting, and responding to the sexual victimization of persons who are confined and successfully implementing the PREA Standards. We're also delivering strategic support, training and technical assistance to agencies and confinement facilities that need help in achieving and maintaining compliance with the PREA Standards. And we're directing an exciting and competitive PREA site-based grant program that targets state, local, and tribal agencies and jurisdictions across the country.
The responsibility that really distinguishes the work of BJA's PREA Management Office from other BJA programs is our responsibility over the nationwide PREA Audit Function. On behalf of DOJ, the PREA Management Office certifies, recertifies, and decertifies PREA Auditors, and a key ongoing challenge we continue to work hard to address is the quality and integrity of PREA Audits that are occurring across the nation. We're doing everything we possibly can to ensure that DOJ's Certified PREA Auditors effectively hold confinement agencies in facilities accountable for the meaningful implementation of the PREA Standards. And to give you all a sense of the scope of our work, there are approximately 13,000 confinement facilities, including prisons and jails, juvenile confinement facilities, police lockups, and community confinement facilities with responsibilities under the PREA Standards. Since the PREA Audit Function was implemented in 2013, there have been almost 8,000 PREA Audits conducted in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, in the District of Columbia. In addition, close to 1,000 auditors have been trained and certified by the PREA Management Office, and there are currently 280 DOJ Certified PREA Auditors across the nation.
So excellent progress has been made to date in regards to PREA implementation, and we continue to generate substantial momentum in agencies and facilities for achieving and maintaining compliance with the PREA Standards. However, a great deal more work and resources are really needed to fulfill the great promise of the PREA Statute and the PREA Standards, which is, of course, to eliminate the tragedy of sexual victimization in confinement once and for all. So, if you have PREA implementation experience and/or experience working with individuals who are confined, who have been sexually victimized, then my BJA colleagues and I would ask you to strongly consider the unique and exciting opportunity to be the PREA fellow in BJA's PREA Management Office. We're at a critical point in the very steep arc of PREA implementation, and we'd love to have a PREA fellow join our small but mighty and dynamic team in the PREA Management Office, which is a part of BJA's larger corrections, reentry, and justice system reform team. So thanks so much for joining us
today. I'll pass the baton back to our fearless leader, Sara. Thanks again and sorry for the technical problems.
SARA SULLIVAN: Tom, we heard you great, so no worries at all. And last but not least, I want to invite Michelle White back to cover the last and final six focus areas. Michelle?
MICHELLE WHITE: Thank you, Sara, and I have to tell you, as someone who has worked both in, and with many, many pretrial service agencies, this fellowship is particularly exciting to me. So I want to talk a little bit about what this potential fellow could expect. So in terms of what we at BJA would like to see would be that this fellow would conduct a national scan of recent efforts of state and local jurisdictions to implement criminal justice reforms at the pretrial phase. This includes, in particular, all of the great innovations and changes that came out of operations during the pandemic and also all of the current work that is being done around DEI issues, so the integration of all of those things. The fellow will also explore how the field uses data and assessment strategies to identify who is coming into the system. Any unnecessary pretrial confinement, which we know continues to be a huge issue, expedite dismissal of cases at the earliest possible stage where appropriate, determine the accessibility of defense counsel, the capacity to offer interventions that enhance alternatives to incarceration, and understand practitioners' ability to target and connect folks to evidence-based interventions. So that was a lot, but a lot of work to be done in this area.
This fellow will also explore perceptions of the public, along with justice practitioners' experiences related to current practices through polling focus groups, and I would say also working with other BJA staff, our many, many grantees who work at this particular area of the sequential intercept and other TTA providers around identifying those barriers to implementing changes and practices, but also to provide field-driven, promising and evidence-based practices and tools to support analysis to help make an informed decision around changes to justice systems at the local level in particular. So this fellow should have direct experience in pretrial assessment, supervision, and diversion practices, along with demonstrable understanding of data-driven approaches to system examination and change. And so, as you've heard a number of times, we really want somebody who's been there, done that, and is excited to come and work with us. This is a really great opportunity to shape the future work around pretrial at BJA, and in a way that really reflects where the field is, where the field has been, and most certainly where the field wants to go. So I really look forward again to reading those applications and working with whomever this selected fellow is on our team. Thank you. And I'll turn it back to Sara.
SARA SULLIVAN: Thank you, Michelle. So that covers our six different program areas. I'm going to dive into some of the award information, budget information, and get a little bit more detailed into the application component. So as I've mentioned a couple of times now, we expect to make approximately six awards, and there'll be one per focus area. The maximum amount per award will be $350,000. That covers a two-year period with the start date of October 1st of this year. Budget information. There's a lot of information on this slide, so I want to highlight a few different areas. One is the first bullet talks about time expected to work onsite at BJA. So generally fellows are expected to spend time onsite. As everyone is dealing with the pandemic, that is kind of shifting and evolving as we go. So you should include in your application what this onsite time would look like, and what would be best for what you are presenting and applying to do as part of your fellowship. This 1,100 hours don't fit too closely to that. That was kind of written before BJA had started a pilot program for current staff over the next year, which after staff would come in on a consistent and as-needed basis. But there's a lot of flexibility in that. So happy to answer any specific questions you have when we get to the Q&A, if you have any specific questions about the onsite requirements. In addition to the fellowship, there are particular things that we can fund and it does not fund. So what it does fund is salary, expenses, housing, travel, equipment, and some other limited expenses that are laid out specifically in the solicitation. Things it does not fund are particularly salaries or costs for others. The goal and the purpose of this solicitation is to fund an individual fellow. There are some exceptions to not being able to fund others, and that's also laid out in the solicitation.
Here are the 11 application sections. I will go through a few of these in more detail in following slides. And then in addition to those sections, here are additional attachments that are required to be included in your application. They include a timeline, resumes and/or job descriptions, letters of support and memorandum of understanding. So what these are is essentially attaching these letters or MOUs that highlight key partners for your fellowship, and what their support that they're going to provide, the roles, and agreement to collaborate. As we went through, the applicants can be individuals or they can be organizations or agencies. If it is an organization or an agency, that organization or agency needs to provide a letter or an MOU outlining kind of what the details are, and how it will work with the fellow that's being proposed.
The Abstract. So the Abstract is a short, no more than 400 words, summarizing the proposed project. So it needs to include obviously the applicant name, the project period, the total funds requested. It needs to include which one of those six areas of focus the applicant was applying for; an explanation of the proposed period of the residency at BJA; as well as a summary of the applicant's criminal justice or other relevant experience; a summary of the project that includes the goals, objectives, and deliverables; and then a short statement on why the applicant wants to be a fellow with BJA. Next up is the Proposal Narrative. So this line not only outlines the different sections of the proposal narrative, but also how those different sections will be weighted in the scoring of the application. So you have the Description of the Issue; the Program Design and Implementation; the Capability, Capacity, and Competency; the Plan for Collecting the Data; and then in addition the Budget component, which is about 10% of the application. And there's a description of what should be included in each one of these sections and the proposal. This section should not exceed 20 pages, and should be submitted as an attachment. The Budget and Budget Narrative that was mentioned on the last slide should include a budget for each year of the grant. Also, just want to note that there's prior approval, planning, and reporting for any conference or meeting or training class. And there is also not a match requirement for this solicitation.
So next up, there are a lot of resources available for grant applicants, and I want to make sure that everybody is aware of that are available to you leading up to the grant application deadline. So first, the BJA solicitation webpage and then the webpage specifically for this solicitation for the fellows. Some Tips and Support. There are two important dates to know. Yes, the application is due June 27th, but there is an earlier deadline that I just want to make sure that is not missed by anyone. So June 21st, by 8:59 p.m. eastern time, you have to submit an SF-424 and an SF-LLL in Grants.gov. And I will provide information in a few slides following if you need assistance with that. And then there is the application deadline. But in order to be eligible and able to submit your full application, you had to have submitted those two forms by June 21st. One thing I'll recommend, and I can say this from personal experience as someone who has submitted solicitations prior to joining BJA is not to wait until that deadline. Try to submit your materials and your applications, whether it's in Grants.gov or in JustGrants before that due date, so we really want to allow sufficient time in case there are any errors, whether there are technical errors or other. And if there are, that you can resubmit the application within the timeframe. So that's a recommendation that, you know, you don't want to wait until the end. So the last thing you would want is for your application to not be accepted solely because of any technical issues.
And there's quite a number of Application Tips for about three or four slides. They're very specific, and they really highlight common areas of issues in submitting the application that people have had in the past. I'm not going to go through each of these, but I wanted to highlight that they are here, and really recommend after this webinar, when the slides are available, that you go back and go to these few slides that cover the Application Tips. Here are some additional resources. There are some learning videos, including kind of getting ready to apply, how to initiate the application in Grants.gov, how to locate an application. So if this is your first time and you're not familiar with Grants.gov or you're not familiar with JustGrants, I recommend coming in to the slide, clicking some of these links to prepare for and view how you're going to access that information to be able to submit your application. This is also a checklist of what we recommend doing leading up to the application submission deadline.
Here are a few other resources. There's a training page specifically for JustGrants that's available to you as well. Again, all of these that are underlined and in blue are links. So you'll be able to link directly to those pages when you bring this up on the PowerPoint that's going to be provided to you after. If you need assistance, here is some phone numbers and email addresses that you can call. If you need assistance in Grants.gov with those two SF forms that I mentioned that has an earlier deadline, there's a phone number you can call. The great thing about Grants.gov is they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except on federal holidays. They'll be able to assist you with any needs you have in Grants.gov. And then JustGrants, which is what you'll be using to submit the application, they also have a customer support hotline with a lot of availability. Just note this one is not available 24 hours a day. It's available, but it has pretty extensive hours, from 5:00 to 9:00 during the week, and 9:00 to 5:00 on weekends and holidays. And then finally, there's the OJP Response Center. So if you have questions or need just general assistance about the solicitation itself, here is where you can go to ask those questions. If you'd like to, you can subscribe to receive email notifications of new funding opportunities if there are potentially future solicitations you may be interested in. And because it's so important, here's another reminder about that dual deadline and to make sure that you cover both of the deadlines.
If for some reason your application is late, we want to make sure ASAP you reach out to either at JustGrants or Grants.gov if you run into any issues. You want to make sure you document your request for technical assistance and request approval to submit after the deadline. So if you miss the deadline for whatever reason, email this email address, the [email protected] within 24 hours, and they will want to see documentation that you attempted to address these issues prior to the deadline in order to decide if they're going to approve your late submission.
Here are ways to stay connected if you want to get info sent out to you, our social media pages, text function if you want to get updates on the text function, and then again our website. So quick reference, if you need help with the two SF forms, you can contact Grants.gov. If you need help with the application, you can contact JustGrants. And if you need any content assistance on the solicitation, you can reach out to BJA and this is all the contact information and when they are available. So with that, I am going to stop here and open it 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 with answering some of the question and answers that are not part of the six areas of focus, and that is Betsi Griffith who's here with us. She is an Associate Deputy Director as well and oversees our Courts, Community, and Strategic Partnerships Team. So I just want to introduce her in case you see her pop up, you know who is speaking. So with that, Daryl, do we have any questions in the Q&A that you want to go through?
DARYL FOX: Yes, most certainly, thank you for that. If you do have a question, please go ahead and enter that in the Q&A box, which is on the right-hand side bottom right of your screen, send to all panelists, and we just have about 13 or so minutes on today's webinar to address those. So the first one, Michelle, this is going to be directed to you, “Can you speak more to the DEI portion regarding the pretrial area?”
MICHELLE WHITE: Sure, I'd be happy to. And it might be slightly dangerous to ask me to speak to this because I could probably go on for a very long time. So I'll try to keep my answers short and somewhat sweet. So, there really are many, many layers to how this applies to this fellowship. So this would be data collection around current practices and integrating DEI into an assessment of those practices, looking at what evidence-based interventions could be applied, again, in the context of addressing diversity, equity inclusion, whether it be diversity of staff that work in pretrial services agencies, whether it be in terms of equity in access to services or defense counsel, again, I could go on and on and on. But I think it's really thinking about how this fellow would approach this long list of items within the bullet points in the solicitation and that I mentioned today, sort through that lens and weaving that through all of the different types of whether it be data collection or focus groups reaching out into the field, and then also developing future looking, planning around pretrial and justice reform.
DARYL FOX: Great. Thanks so much. And this one kind of piggybacks on that, Michelle, actually, while you're up, “There was a mention that it would be preferable for somebody with a lot of expertise in the pretrial process. Does that mean that those that do not, will not be considered for the award??
MICHELLE WHITE: I never like to say would not be considered. It's certainly having experience as a practitioner in the field of pretrial services, is really who we're looking for, so someone with that type of experience is certainly preferred.
DARYL FOX: Okay. And this one can be opened up, “Is the onsite requirement for BJA in the Washington, DC area or are there other locations?”
SARA SULLIVAN: I can take that one. When we're referring to the BJA offices, we're referring to the DC office.
DARYL FOX: “Do individuals apply directly or must they be attached to an organization?”
SARA SULLIVAN: No, individuals can apply individually and not be attached to an organization. I think that was the very first bullet of eligible applicants or individuals.
DARYL FOX: And then, “Knowing it depends on funding each year, is this a repeating opportunity that's put out every year by BJA?”
SARA SULLIVAN: It has been a repeating opportunity in the past, but that's also subject to funding.
ELIZABETH GRIFFITH: So, this is Betsi Griffith and I'll follow up on that a little bit. Just one thing I want to emphasize is that each year, we tend to vary the areas of focus depending on kind of what our priorities are. So while we may issue the Visiting Fellows solicitation pretty consistently, the topic areas we focus on are likely to change.
SARA SULLIVAN: Thank you for adding that, Betsi.
DARYL FOX: There was a question on how much detail is needed in regards to housing costs related to spending time onsite with BJA. We're going to go ahead and put the link to the DOJ Financial Guide and therefore, you have a lot more specifics that you can reference. And then also, if we can go back to slide 45, OJP Response Center is a great resource. If you do have any questions, programmatic about solicitation itself or requirements, you can contact them directly, if there's something in follow-up you need to ask.
SARA SULLIVAN: Thank you, Daryl. I think that's the best place to get the answer to that question, unless Vince or Betsi, you have anything to add to that?
ELIZABETH GRIFFITH: So the only other thing I would add is just, you know, the whole spirit of our work and you'll see it's sort of built into the solicitation--in the selection criteria--is that we're looking for, you know, reasonable requests. So just kind of keep that in mind and also relevance to the strategy that you're proposing. So obviously, you're going to want to see a correlation to the, you know, what you've outlined in terms of your proposed housing or other related travel expenses has to be connected towards kind of your strategy of when and how you would be coming in to collaborate with BJA staff during the period of the residency. And I know, I think I saw another question just more generally about any other guidance on the residency period. I'll acknowledge, you know, in the last couple of years, we've had to sort of adjust our strategy. And, you know, I think we are much more able to work through a hybrid of being present as needed in the office for activities, but also working in a hybrid way, in a virtual way where needed. But really, the intention here is, we are looking for folks that are, you know, willing and able to come in for key meetings and to sometimes spend extended time with us for events, but also really to build a relationship with the staff. You know, so I think having some flexibility in your approach would be important to the success of kind of proposing an approach in your application.
VINCE DAVENPORT: Thank you, Betsi. And I want to add just an extra piece to that. And it not only applies to this question, but I think it applies more broadly to the entire fellows program. And, you know, we've provided in the solicitation some pretty, you know, what we think is adequate kind of guidance in terms of a framework. But in reality, we don't want to be overly prescriptive because we don't claim to have the monopoly on good ideas and pathways forward on these topics. We're deeply invested. We care about this and we know there's a lot of really smart, talented, creative people out there. And hopefully, many of you on this call fit that description. So, what we want you to do is feel free within the parameters that we provided to be creative. You tell us how you want to do this. You tell us how you think you can help us achieve the goals that we've described in the solicitation. And if that involves a particular arrangement with regard to housing, or travel, or whatever, we're open really to anything, so long as it falls within the general framework and the parameters that we've provided. So don't feel that somehow you've got to write a solicitation, you've got to create a proposal that you think is what we want based on you know, kind of, the parameters. The parameters are meant to be loose in certain ways to inspire you, for you to be creative, be thoughtful, think of a plan. If you've got a proposal over the next 24 months that you think is great and that we'll love, and it will help us to achieve what we want to achieve, that's what we want and that's what we're hoping to get in these applications.
SARA SULLIVAN: Thank you so much for adding that, Vince.
DARYL FOX: Yeah, it kind of segues into this question as well, “As fellows, are we developing new ideas, describing them, and submitting them as part of the application or based on the application, would they be coming up with those once awarded?”
VINCE DAVENPORT: I'm happy to maybe just to put a finer point on what I just said. Really both are great. That's terrific. If you see things in the solicitation or in one of the six topic areas that you have some direct knowledge and some direct experience, and you feel that there's enough meat on the bone there in that description for you to put forth a thoughtful proposal that will help us to achieve kind of this broader objective, that's great. But if you've been thinking about this topic and many of you I suspect you're on this call because you're in a profession or you care about the nature of this work generally--if you've been thinking about something, if you've got some creative ideas that you really want to test and you really think are exciting and have potential for the broader criminal justice field, by all means, you know, lay that out, tell us what you want to do, and tell us how it fits within the parameters that we want to achieve. And the only other piece I'll add to that is, this is not a one-way street where we want you to come in, you know, and to provide services, your ideas, your creativity, and your effort. We want to--this is a really important opportunity for you to become part of kind of the BJA family as well. And so in addition to the work that is clearly described in the solicitation, you can fully expect that there will be any number of other opportunities for you to be involved in potentially other aspects of work that BJA does, and we want to have that relationship, we want to help to develop you as well. And so by being a fellow at BJA, you also will have the benefit of mentoring, and guidance, and direction from some really experienced people who are on the national stage doing this work, and so you'll definitely gain a lot as well.
ELIZABETH GRIFFITH: I completely agree with what Vince has said. I really think, you know, again, we definitely want to signal to you things that are important to us, but we also really want to hear your ideas and thoughts and know that we can always grow and benefit from that kind of two-way conversation. I'm conscious of time. I see there's two other questions that have come in, I'll jump and take the first one. And that is, “Can a federal agency apply?” And the answer is no. BJA's mission and authority is really focused on work with state, local, and tribal systems. So we cannot fund federal agency related activities. And then the last question really relates to community violence. So I'm going to turn that question over to Kathy Browning to answer.
KATHARINE BROWNING: Hi. So the question about community violence is kind of long, but I think it's sort of getting at, you know, “How do we define community violence and what are we focused on here? And what's the relationship to school shootings and what we will be funding?” I think, you know, it's important to note that, you know, community violence involves a wide range of things that we're really focused on in this, portion, and even the CVIPI solicitation on programs that target high-risk individuals. And by high risk, we're talking about those who are at high risk of either, you know, committing gun violence, or those that are at risk of being victims of violence, and often many of these individuals are both. So, I think the key there is and the focus here for this fellows solicitation to really look at the needs of CVI practitioners. So, I know the question kind of goes into, are we looking at like target hardening kinds of activities, and I would say that not as much. I know school shootings are on everybody's mind right now. But I think the focus here is on, you know, the practitioner, CVI practitioners who are working with the highest risk people, what are their needs, what kind of training is needed, and, you know, what kind of supports are needed for them. So hopefully, that's helpful.
SARA SULLIVAN: Thank you. And I think that is all the questions we have, and we are right at time. So, just a reminder that you will receive an email with links to access both the presentation and the recording of this webinar, you can refer back to it. Feel free to use the numbers and emails on the screen if you have any follow-up questions. And we thank you so much for joining us and we're really excited to see the applications that come through. So thank you so much. Thank you to all the panelists and the speakers and hope everyone has a great day.
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