FY 2023 Community Courts Initiative Discretionary Grant Program
During this webinar, which was held on April 12, 2023, Bureau of Justice Assistance personnel provided information about the FY 2023 Community Courts Initiative solicitation and how to apply.
Transcript also available as a PDF.
COURTNEY STEWART: Hello, everyone. My name is Courtney Stewart, and I am with the Bureau of Justice Assistance. And today we are here for the Community Courts Initiative Discretionary Grant Program Fiscal Year 2023 Competitive Grant Announcement. Next slide, please.
Here are some important tips for today's webinar. If you are having difficulty hearing the webinar, please ensure that you are not muted. If you still can't hear, dial in by your location using the phone numbers provided on your webinar calendar confirmation. Please feel free to use the chat box if you have any questions while we are in the presentation.
There's live captioning available for deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals. Click the Live Transcript arrow icon to access live captioning. Again, use the chat box for any questions, and the recording transcript and PowerPoint deck will be posted to the BJA website. Next slide.
Your panelists today are myself, Courtney Stewart, and Tracy Lee-Williams, who is also a state policy advisor. Next slide.
Today's agenda includes an Overview of the Office of Justice Programs and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, BJA Adult Drug Court Appropriations, OJP and BJA Priority Areas, Grant Eligibility, Categories, and Requirements, a Review of Application Sections, Tips for Applicants, Application Resources, and Questions and Answers. Next slide.
We will start off with an overview of the Office of Justice Programs. "What is OJP?" you may ask. OJP provides grant funding, training, research, and statistics to the criminal justice community. There are five offices that are within OJP, and they include BJA, which we are from BJA and we are sponsoring the grant, BJS, NIJ, OVC, OJJDP, and the SMART Office. Next slide.
Our mission here at BJA is to provide leadership and services in grant administration and criminal justice policy development to support state, local, and tribal justice strategies to achieve safer communities.
We work with communities, governments, and nonprofit organizations to reduce crime, recidivism, and unnecessary confinement, and also to promote a safe and fair criminal justice system. Next slide.
A little about the BJA office. On the left of the screen, you can see a picture of our new director, Karhlton Moore, and Mr. Moore is over the four offices within BJA, which is the Policy Office, the Programs Office, the Operations Office, and the Public Safety Officer Benefits Office. So all of those offices are within BJA and we work directly with the community to help provide resources and funding for community-based problems. Next slide.
The five major strategic focus areas that we have here at BJA are to improve public safety through measures which build trust with the community and ensure an effective criminal justice system; reduction in recidivism and prevention of unnecessary confinement and interactions with the criminal justice system; integration of evidence-based, research-driven strategies into the day-to-day operations of BJA and the programs BJA administers and supports; increasing program effectiveness with a renewed emphasis on data analysis, information sharing, and performance management; and ensuring organizational excellence through outstanding administration and oversight of all of BJA's strategic investments. Next slide.
We also look to fund, educate, equip, and partner with communities across the United States. Next slide, please.
The Community Courts Initiative Appropriation for fiscal year 2023 is $9 million. That $9 million will support site-based awards. We are estimating this year that we will be able to fund 10 site-based awards, and it also funds the National Community Courts Initiative Training and Technical Assistance support for all operational community courts. Next slide.
The OJP Priority Areas for fiscal year '23 are, number one, Priority Consideration Supporting Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. Applications that propose projects that are designed to promote racial equity and the removal of barriers to access and opportunity for communities that have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by inequity, and B, applications that demonstrate that their capacities and competencies for implementing their proposed projects are enhanced because they, or at least one proposed subrecipient that will receive at least 40% of the requested award funding, identify as a culturally specific organization, and also applications that seek to provide resources to rural and tribal jurisdictions. Next slide, please.
In addition to executing any statutory prioritization that may be applicable, OJP will provide priority considerations to applications as follows: Applications that demonstrate that the individuals who are intended to benefit from the requested grant reside in high-poverty areas or persistent-poverty areas. Next slide, please.
The priorities of the BJA Community Court Initiatives include adhering to the principles and practices of community courts and the community court model; serving high-risk and high-need participants as determined by a validated risk assessment tool; ensuring equity and inclusion via collection of retention and access data; serving individuals who reside in high-poverty areas or persistent-poverty areas; supporting veterans and tribal communities; and partnering with law enforcement and the local justice system. Next slide.
The Program Goal is to support efforts by state, tribal, and local governments to establish and enhance community courts in their jurisdictions. Next slide.
A brief history of community courts. The Center for Justice Innovation, formerly known as the Center for Court Innovations, created the first community court over 28 years ago in New York City, the Midtown Community Court. The courts are designed to serve as an innovative criminal justice response to support the needs of the local community. The Center extended this idea to other New York City neighborhoods, including Red Hook, Harlem, Brownsville, and to other jurisdictions around the world. And today, there are more than 70 community courts operating across 23 states and seven foreign countries with many more in a planning process. Next slide.
Last year, we awarded the jurisdictions that are on your screen with a Community Court Grant Award. So these are the newest cohort and they are currently working on developing and/or enhancing their programs. Next slide.
Okay. The grant categories. For fiscal year, we have two grant categories. Category1 is Planning and Implementation, and Category 2 is Enhancement. So if you would like to plan a court, be sure that you are applying under Category 1 to plan and implement a new community courts program. And if you are enhancing your program, please ensure to apply under Category 2 that you would like to enhance and increase the number of clients in your program or enhance your program in some other type of way. So please ensure that you are applying under the correct category. Next slide, please.
Eligibility. Please ensure that your agency is eligible to apply. This information is located on the first page of the solicitation for both categories. The following entities are eligible to apply. State governments, including territories, city or township governments, county governments, Native American tribal governments, and other state, city, township, county, or tribal governments acting directly or through agreements with other public or private entities on behalf of a single community court. My apologies for the error in the slide. Next slide, please.
Application Deadline. Please ensure that you remember you have two application deadlines. The first application deadlines is with Grants.gov, and the second is in JustGrants. So you will receive a copy of these slides and you will have all of the information that you need to go into Grants.gov and the second, into JustGrants, in order to develop your application and to make sure that you are properly registered with both. So please don't forget that because I don't want you to forget to apply within JustGrants and not be able to submit your application. Next slide, please.
Allowable Use of Funds. Category 1, planning and implementation. The grant maximum will be $900,000. The period of performance will be up to 48 months, and there will be five awards. Planning and implementation applicants must be ready to commit to a six-month planning phase and the development of an action plan followed by an implementation phase that adheres to the requirements of the solicitation and the key community justice principles found in the Principles of Community Justice and the CJ Today Publication.
In addition, planning and implementation applicants must submit a written action plan within the first six months of the grant to coincide with the six-month planning phase described above. And please note that you will have assistance developing your six-month action plan. Our training and technical assistance provider will be there for you to help you in developing and submitting your six-month action plan. Next slide.
Category 2, Enhancement. The grant maximum for the enhancement grant is also $900,000 for 48 months, and there will be five awards.
Enhancement grants are available to eligible jurisdictions with an operational community court program. Funding may be used to assist a jurisdiction to scale up its existing program's capacity, provide access to or enhance treatment capacity or other critical support services, enhance program operations, expand or enhance behavior health treatment and recovery support services, and to improve the quality and/or intensity of services based on needs assessment. So if you plan on expanding your program, and these are not the only ways to expand, these are just examples for you to use while you are developing your grant application. So if you have some different ideas that will work within your community, please feel free to put those in your application. Next slide, please.
Capacity. Determine if your agency has the capacity to do the work or if you need additional resources. Identify if you need partners, and if so, reach out to your partners as soon as possible. So if you would like to partner with a community-based organization, please ensure that you develop a meeting, make your phone calls early so that you're able to get them committed and on board for your application to be complete. Next slide, please.
Planning and Organizing, and I believe this is the slide in which I turn the presentation over to Tracy.
TRACY LEE-WILLIAMS: Good afternoon, everyone. I'm Tracy Lee-Williams and I'm a state policy advisor in the Programs Office, and I'm going to be going over all the sections of the application. Of course, this is going to be brief, but I'm going to give you a little detail so that you can kind of have an understanding of what's required. Okay. Number one, of course, your Application for Federal Assistance, better known as SF-424 to us government employees.
Okay. Proposal Abstract is required, including the information for evidence-based program features and the total budget amount, which cannot exceed $900,000, as Courtney just mentioned. The Proposal Narrative, the Budget Detail Worksheet and Budget Narrative, Indirect Cost Rate Agreement, if applicable, Tribal Authorizing Resolution, if applicable, Financial Management and System of Internal Controls Questionnaire. It's not as scary as it sounds. You'll find that out when you go in to submit it. Disclosure of Lobbying Activities, again, government lingo, SF-LLL, and Additional Attachments. Next slide, please. Next slide, please.
This solicitation identifies Basic Minimum Requirements that an application must meet to move forward to peer review, okay? So moving forward to peer review means your application is in the door, but it's going to go through an intense review process, okay? Note to the wise. Applications that do not contain all elements designated by BJA as critical, and the solicitation would not be submitted to peer review. Okay? So this means the door will basically be shut if you don't have all of the elements that are designated by BJA as critical.
There are four critical elements of the solicitation: the Proposal Abstract, Proposal Narrative, Timeline, which is a Web-based Form, the Budget Detail Worksheet, and Budget Narrative. Next slide, please.
Okay. I'm going to go through this quickly. This is a lot of information, and you can find this information on the solicitation. Okay. As Courtney stated, there are two funding categories, number 1 and number 2. You need to list in your Abstract the name, location, and address where the proposed community court program is or will be operating, name and contact information for the designated community court judge and program coordinator, the amount of funding requested, which should not exceed the 900,000 maximum limit, number of participants proposed to receive services over the life of the grant.
You should describe the plan to provide treatment and indicate whether your jurisdiction is leveraging any other federal funding sources to support the community court. You must identify the maximum, minimum, and average length of the program participation. You must describe the target population and affirm whether the community court has access to a medication-assisted treatment. Again, another acronym, MAT. Okay. Explain the plan to employ a risk assessment tool and to use the data to provide treatment and services to address opioid, stimulant, and other substance use or misuse, including recovery support services. Next slide, please.
Your Proposal Abstract must also indicate which of the principles and practices of community courts that will be addressed and the page numbers where each item is described. So if you're seeking the priority consideration 1A, 1B, 2, or all three, you need to identify which one. Also, you need to identify what pages in the Proposal Narrative that you have provided your plan to respond to the priority consideration. If you are applying for 1B, please note the subawardee that's going to receive funding and the proposed amount. Also, note whether or not you are a rural or tribal jurisdiction seeking priority consideration. Important note to pay attention to. There's a 400-word maximum, written in third person, and entered into the JustGrants web-based form. Next slide, please.
You need to make sure and follow the instructions about page limits for the Proposal Narrative. Okay. Word to the wise. If the Proposal Narrative fails to comply with these length restrictions, BJA may consider such noncompliance in the peer review process and in the final award decision, okay? So that means you're in the door, and if your narrative is not formatted correctly, you may be dinged for that when it goes through peer review and the final decision is made.
The Proposal Narrative must be double-spaced. Use standard 12-point font. Times New Roman is preferred. Use one-inch margins, not to exceed 20 pages, and page numbers should be 1 of 20, 2 of 20, et cetera. A helpful hint is a table can be single-spaced and can be put in an attachment if it is not a required component of the proposal narrative. The way that the peer reviewers will go over and make their selections based on the different percentages or the weight of the different Proposal Narrative sections is, Description of the Issue is 20%, Project Design and Implementation is 40%, Capabilities and Competencies is 20%, Plan for Collecting the Data Required for this solicitation's performance measures is 15%. The remaining 5% is based on the Budget Narrative and the Budget Detail Worksheet. Next slide, please. Next slide, please. Okay. I'm sorry, go back one slide.
As I stated, the Description of the Issue is worth 20%. So please refer to your solicitation for the specific bullet points to be addressed, and it's based on the category which you're applying for. The Project Design and Implementation section is worth 40%. Please demonstrate that the eligible community core participants will have equal access to and be able to promptly enter the program following a determination of their eligibility. You should describe a plan to provide treatment and services to address opioid, stimulant, and other substance use disorder needs.
Also, if you're applying for priority category 1A, please demonstrate how the project will address issues related to racial equity and/or remove barriers to access or provide greater access to services for those who have been historically marginalized, underserved, and adversely affected by inequity, inequality. See the solicitation for the specific bullet points to be addressed, and that should also be based on the category for which you are applying. Next slide, please.
Capabilities and Competencies is worth 20%. So refer to the solicitation for the specific bullet points to be addressed, again based on the category which you're applying for. If you're applying for priority category 1B, please describe how being a culturally specific organization will enhance its ability to implement the proposed project. Plan for Collecting the Data Required for this Solicitation's Performance Measures is worth 15%. Please describe the court's current abilities to collect and analyze client-level demographic, performance measurement, and outcome data. Please see the solicitation for the specific bullet points to be addressed based on the category for which you are applying. Next slide, please.
You have to submit a Time Task Plan and that it should outline the goals and objectives to be met during the project period. Also, you need to summarize the major activities and note the expected date of completion and the responsible agencies. Also, please indicate the number of program participants to be served quarterly. Next slide, please.
Draft your budget early in the process before you make any commitments. Basically, don't write a check that you can't cash. Make sure you carefully read and understand any required budget expenses detailed in the application, especially the required grantee meetings.
Also, make sure you read carefully to understand any caps on expenses or expenses that are not allowed. Please refer to the DOJ Grants Financial Guide, which is basically the bible of DOJ grants management. This will be very helpful to you throughout the lifetime of your award. And also, you need to complete the JustGrants web-based budget form. Refer to the OJP Grant Application Resource Guide, which is in the solicitation. It's just a click away. Next slide, please.
The Budget Narrative should relate directly to the project design. There should be no expenses in the budget that are not referenced in the proposed narrative. For example, do not ask for drug testing supplies if you have not included drug testing as a component in your project description. Personnel costs should relate directly to the key personnel for the project. Subrecipients should be categorized as either subawards or procurement contracts and be clearly stated in the Proposal Narrative. Please refer to the OJP guidance on this topic, and here's the link. It's very important that you differentiate between the two because this is a requirement, and the subawards are based on how much of an intricate part of the program that particular entity plays in your program.
The budget should include adequate funding to fully implement the project, but not more than the amount listed in the solicitation as the available funding amount. The Budget Narrative should leave no questions for a reviewer about the purpose of the requested funds. The total federal request entered into the SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance, should match the total federal request in the application budget for the entire project period. Next slide, please.
The Budget Web-Based Form, should itemize each budget for each year of the grant. The 25% match is required, and match can be a combination of cash and in-kind. In-kind means, if you want to, for instance, have personnel that would totally dedicate 10% of their time to the program, that amount can be applied towards match. There is no minimum requirement for the cash match. Do not report any overmatch in the budget. However, you may discuss it in the overmatch in the narrative. Please note, if you submit any more than the 25% for your match, you will be held liable for those funds.
Applicants should estimate the cost of travel and accommodations for up to three (Categories 1 and 2) team members to attend up to two conferences and/or trainings each year to support ongoing capacity and success in implementation. Also, if you are planning to sponsor a conference, meeting, or training, you need prior approval for the planning of it, and the reporting of the conference in our reporting system. Next slide, please.
Please do not forget about the additional attachments when you are preparing your application. Make sure you triple-check your checklist to make sure you have everything. Note to the wise. If you do not have all of your required attachments to your application, your funds will be withheld until you meet those requirements. So make sure that you attach all the necessary documentation which is listed on the application checklist. Next slide, please.
The additional attachments are the Research and Evaluation Independence and Integrity Statement, Documentation of High-Poverty Areas or Persistent-Poverty Counties, if applicable, Plan to Ensure Equivalent Access is recommended, Documentation on Advancing DOJ Priorities, if applicable, a Signed MOU by Community Court Team Members or by a Designated Agency Representative, and that's recommended as well, Letter of Support for Each Named Partner Entity, Tribal Authorization authorizing Resolution, if it's applicable, the Time Web-based Form is required, and résumés of key personnel, if applicable. Next slide, please. And I'm turning it back over to Courtney for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
COURTNEY STEWART: Thank you, Tracy. Now, we'd like to talk about a few grant requirements that we need to make sure that you are aware of, and the first one is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA-approved medications. BJA requires grantees, where possible, to make all forms of FDA-approved medications to treat substance use disorders available to participants under the care and prescription of a physician. The Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division published guidance further clarifying protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act for individuals with opioid use disorders, including potential violations of the ADA by facilities or programs that do not allow an individual to be able to continue taking doctor-prescribed MATs, which are medication-assisted treatments.
So please be sure if your program has any participants that are taking any MATs are able to continue to be under the care of the physician and to continue to take those medications while they are in your program. Next slide.
Equitable Access. BJA requires applicants to describe a plan to collect and examine access and retention data to identify and eliminate disparities that exist for race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability in admission protocols or elsewhere in the Community Courts Initiative.
The plan may include use of the National Center for State Courts and the National Drug Court Institute's Equity and Inclusion Assessment Toolkit or incorporate the American University Racial and Ethnic Disparities Program Assessment Tool. So please, click on the links so that you can research those, so that you can check the toolkits and the assessment tools out to determine which one would best meet the needs of your program and incorporate it into your application. Next slide.
The Controlled Substance Act. Award recipients are prohibited from using federal funds to support programs or activities that violate the Controlled Substance Act. Programs or activities funded under a BJA Community Court Initiative award must ensure that community court participants are tested periodically for the use of controlled substances, including medical marijuana. So in other words, you must test for marijuana. We are aware that some states have legalized marijuana, but since this is a federal program, you must test for marijuana. Next slide, please.
Violent Offenders Prohibition. Under the Adult Treatment Court Discretionary Grant Program authorization, BJA funds may not be used to serve persons who are violent offenders. This prohibition applies only to programs or activities that are funded by the BJA grant award, including match funds contributed by the grantees. Please note, not included in the federal offender definition is a person whose charges are dropped or reduced to a nonviolent offense or charge, a conviction punishable by less than one year in incarceration, and/or a prior federal arrest even if the offense involved the threat or use of force or illegal use, possession, or carrying of a firearm or dangerous weapon.
And also note, grantees may use and are encouraged to use other funds for their treatment court program and serve these participants using those other funds. Grantees must be able to track those expenditures to ensure the separation of funds. Documentation must be maintained to show to an auditor if necessary. So the Community Courts grant funding falls under the adult treatment court funding. So that is why no violent offenders can be served using BJA funds. However, you can serve violent offenders if you choose to. Just make sure that you have separate funding to serve your violent offenders and that you can track that. So if you want to serve that population, you can. Just ensure that you don't do it with the BJA funds. Next slide, please.
There's a few tips we'd like to share with you all as you are working through your application process. JustGrants. Please carefully read the “How to Apply” instructions linked in the solicitation and give yourself plenty of time to complete the Grants.gov and JustGrants submission by the established deadlines. So the first thing you should be doing, again, is to complete the Grants.gov and JustGrants submissions, and please use the telephone numbers, the email addresses that are listed for you if you have any problems getting registered. The SF-424/UEI/SAM. Make sure that the correct UEI is entered into the SF-424 form and that is registered in SAM. The specific agency registered under the UEI number in SAM will be responsible for submitting the full application in JustGrants and administering the award if it is funded. So be sure that whatever agency applies and is registered in SAM is the agency that submits your application.
SF-424/federal request amount. The federal request amount entered in the SF-424 should match the total federal request in your application budget for the entire grant project period. And another tip is, do not include any of the prohibited costs listed in the solicitation. So be sure all of your costs are able to be met. Please ensure that you read through the prohibition list so that you don't include any of those in your request. Next slide, please.
Some more tips. Budget subaward versus procurement awards. You should carefully review the OJP Grant Application Resource Guide, subsection titled Information on Proposed Subawards, if any, and Proposed Procurement Contracts, if any, and the resources linked to therein to ensure you properly categorize your costs. So you want to make sure that you're clear on what a subaward is and what a procurement contract is so that your budget can be approved.
And another tip, budget/match. Every line in the budget should be identified as either federal or non-federal. All non-federal, which are match cost items, must meet the same allowability guidelines as federal costs. As noted earlier, do not include any overmatch in the 25% requirement in the budget. Application attachments, and another general tip. Follow the instructions exactly in the application and submission section of the solicitation. It is helpful for reviewers if you upload each required attachment as a separate file numbered to match the solicitation. If you combine files, please include a table of contents. Next slide, please.
Application Attachment Common Issues. The disclosure of pending applications is required for all applicants. The Fiscal Agent MOU is required for any city or county applying for funds on behalf of a community court. The Research and Evaluation Independence and Integrity Statement attachment is required if you are proposing to use federal funds to pay an outside evaluator, and the Time Task Plan must indicate the number of program participants to be served quarterly to demonstrate how the total number of anticipated participants will be served before the end of the grant period.
So these are just some common issues. Sometimes applicants do forget these documents or do not ensure that they are fully completed. So just be sure that you have completed and attached all the documents that apply to your specific application. Next slide, please.
And we will round out our presentation with Tracy just giving you additional information on resources available for you as a grant applicant.
TRACEY LEE-WILLIAMS: Okay. Going over some of the Community Court Resources, the Community Justice Today, joint publication by BJA and the Center for Justice Innovation, is a great resource. It's based on values, guiding principles, and models of contemporary community courts and community justice centers. Also, the Planning and Community Court video panel is a panel discussion from the 2020 Community Justice Conference with best practices and feedback from the community court. Once you receive your copy of this webinar, you can click right onto those titles and it'll take you to those different resources. Next slide, please.
Okay. There is a BJA Grant Application Series to access previous webinar recordings, transcripts, and slides. Please visit this link. Next slide, please.
There are three great funding webinars that I strongly suggest that you look at or listen to prior to developing your application. The first is “The Funding Process: First Steps to Applying, How to Prepare Now, and Other Considerations.” Okay. In this webinar, the attendees learned what registrations are necessary to apply, how to navigate Grants.gov and JustGrants, and what resources are available for applicants.
Also, “Applicant Mechanics: Submitting an Application.” This was held on various dates, but I strongly suggest that you go and access this presentation and get a feel for that information. Lastly, the “Grant Writing Workshop: Selling Your Treatment Court Program.” I especially emphasize that you watch this recording because it'll provide you an overview of the major components of BJA's request for proposals as well as provide examples of each required section. Next slide, please.
Application Assistance. There is a Customer Support Hotline and the email and web access for Grants.gov. Okay? So the Grants.gov agency provides information on available federal funding opportunities for various federal agencies. So this is not applicable to OJP, but all federal funding opportunities for various federal agencies. Next slide, please.
The JustGrants Technical Support center will provide technical assistance for submitting the full application in DOJ's JustGrants system, okay? They have a hotline and they're manned between Monday and Friday from 7:00 to 9:00, Saturday, Sunday, and federal holidays from 9:00 to 5:00 Eastern Standard Time. They can also be reached by the web and email. Next slide, please.
Application Assistance and Support. The OJP Response Center provides solicitation support and general assistance. You can send an email to [email protected] or call the toll-free number. The Response Center hours are from 10:00 to 6:00 PM Eastern Standard Time from Monday through Friday. You can also subscribe to receive email notifications of new funding opportunities and other resources. So sign up to receive the twice-monthly JUSTINFO newsletter as well as the weekly Funding News email. You can subscribe at this link and be sure to select Funding News as an area of interest. Next slide, please.
There are resources for FY 23 grant applications. The OJP Funding Resource Center at this link, the DOJ Financial Guide, DOJ Grants Financial Management Online Training, and OJP Grants Application Resource Guide. All of these are great resources and I suggest that you keep them handy so that you can refer to them throughout your grant management journey. Next slide, please.
Stay Connected. Email updates. You can text OJP at 468-311 to subscribe. Social media. Facebook at this link, Twitter at this link. And also, for information on funding opportunities, publications, initiatives, visit BJA's website at this link. Next slide, please.
In addition to all those resources I told you to keep handy while you're going through the lifetime of your award, here's a quick reference for important contacts. Here is the Solicitation Content Assistance contact information. Submit the SF-424 and SF-LLL at Grants.gov. Here is the contact information, and the JustGrants system to submit your full application, and here is the contact information for them as well. Next slide, please.
If you have any questions in the Q&A box or to send to All Panelists, please do so now. There are some questions that are in the Q&A, and one is, "In a state where marijuana has been legalized, if a participant tests positive for marijuana, does that necessitate an action to be taken in our program?" Now, this is only applicable to BJA award funds. So if you have a participant that is in your program, but they are not being served with BJA funding and you all are funding them through your various resources, that is fine. But you cannot use BJA funds to serve a participant in your program.
"Is housing assistance allowable for community court participants or just to people participating in drug court program, the portion of the CCA program?" I think Courtney can respond to that better than I can. Courtney?
COURTNEY STEWART: Yes, Tracy. Thank you. What you would want to do is go back and review your list of allowable expenses to ensure that housing assistance is an allowable expense for the Community Courts Initiative. So, again, go back to the list of allowable expenses and read through that thoroughly so that you can understand if what you want to do in terms of housing and how you want to provide housing and what your thoughts are are within the guidelines.
And if you have any questions, if anyone has any questions, but if you want to talk about this more specifically and you've researched and reviewed the guidelines, please send me an email. My email address is on the solicitation, and I can ensure that you can get a more specific answer based on what housing looks like for your program.
TRACY LEE-WILLIAMS: Okay. "Can judges' and prosecutors' salaries count toward in-kind match?" Yes. However, please ensure that the amount of time that's going to be applied towards the in-kind match, the prosecutor and the judge are totally dedicated in their time to the program, okay? So if you were to do both, it would be co-meet. So if the judge is contributing 10% of their times for hearings, then you can apply that amount of time based on the judge's salary and multiply by 10% and then you could apply that towards your match. I think the next question would be more so for Courtney.
COURTNEY STEWART: Yes. I think the next question is, "Can a court move forward with the implementation phase sooner than six months if the action plan is approved sooner?" Oh, yes. Absolutely. You, as a grantee, will be working with our training and technical assistance provider, who will assist you with developing your action plans. And once you get those approved, you can get moving with your program. So absolutely.
TRACY LEE-WILLIAMS: I think the next question also is in Courtney's arena. It's about the culturally specific organization.
COURTNEY STEWART: Yes. A culturally specific organization is an organization that identifies what their culture is. So for an example, if it is a Native American Indian organization and that is expressed in the application, that's fine. If it is an African American organization, just as long as it is expressed, that it is a culturally specific organization. So just be sure to define what that is, what culturally specific is for that organization. What culture is that organization representing?
Next question. "Can this grant be used for youth and young adults too?" Yes. There are no restrictions on age for this grant. So if you want to serve youth and young adults, you would be able to do so under this funding. I see another question here. "Are community court full-time personnel an allowable expense in this grant funding?" Yes, absolutely. That is an allowable expense.
TRACY LEE-WILLIAMS: Courtney, I think that's more in your realm. "Does BJA fund courts whose jurisdiction is only ordinance-level violations?"
COURTNEY STEWART: I would have to go back and research some of our past grantees. So I wouldn't want to give you an answer that's incorrect. But there's nothing, there are no restrictions on any courts that only handle ordinance-level violations. So I would not see why not, but I would like to research that and just determine if any of our other courts that receive funding are in the same situation. So if you want to send me an email, I can follow up on that for you.
TRACY LEE-WILLIAMS: "When are recipients notified that their application has been selected?" Okay. When your award has been approved and signed off on by OJP, you'll receive an award letter saying, "Congratulations. You received an award for the Community Court Initiative," for whatever the amount of money that you were approved for. And once you receive that, then your authorized representative has to sign off on it, accepting the award, and then we move forward to actually processing your funding so you can receive access to those funds. So you'll receive a package, an application award package saying that you were approved.
COURTNEY STEWART: I see another question here. "We had a teen/youth court for a few years, but it was put on hold in 2020 due to the pandemic. We are planning and..." Oh, the question has disappeared, but I think I can remember it. You're planning to bring that court back and you want to know which category you should apply in. I would apply in planning and implementation since you had actually put the program on hold.
I would go with planning and implementation because you may need to take a look at your planning and what you plan to implement back in 2020, because things have changed so much with COVID and with the virtual environments. I would just plan to do that through Category 1 so that you could do a good review of your previous policies and procedures and see if anything needs to be changed.
I just wanted to take a moment to see if there are any more questions. And if you have a question later on after you get off of the webinar or a couple days from now, again, please feel free to email me. My email address is in the solicitation, and use your resources. There are a lot of resources available, a lot of links, a lot of guides. Please use those and contact us if you need help. We're here to help you. We don't mind answering questions.
Give us as many questions as you have because we want you to be successful. We are here to help you to be successful. Tracy, do you have any last comments while we wait just a few more minutes to see if any more questions come in?
TRACY LEE-WILLIAMS: Sure. If you have any program-related questions as far as programmatic or administrative issues or concerns that you may have, please feel free to email me. My email address is [email protected], and I will be happy to assist you with any of your needs, and so that we can address those before you submit your application. That will help raise your likelihood of it being approved.
COURTNEY STEWART: And Tracy, I think I see a couple more questions that have come in. One is, "Can you repeat how we will receive these slides?" If I'm not mistaken, the slides will be emailed to all of the participants. Is there anybody who can confirm that for me?
TRACY LEE-WILLIAMS: No, I'm unsure, but I am...Courtney, I'm not sure, but, of course, we gave them our email information, so they can reach out to us and we can get it to them. Oh, I'm sorry. The Center for Court Innovation stated that they will send all of the participants a copy of the slides.
COURTNEY STEWART: Okay. Great. Thank you, Tracy. And then there's another question here. "Just to be clear, this isn't substance abuse-based? Could be mental health-related?" Yes. Yes. It could be substance abuse-based. It could be mental health-related. It could be both or it could be either.
Okay. I don't see any more questions. I just want to thank everyone for attending the webinar. I'm really excited. Community Courts is really growing. It's a great program and it's a great way for you to provide an additional resource for your community. So please apply for the funding. And again, if you have any questions, just let us know.
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