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U.S. Department of Justice: Building and Enhancing Partnerships to Support Incarcerated Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Deadline: July 25, 2016

The U.S. Department of Justice seeks to support the development and enhancement of partnerships between correctional agencies and community-based victim service providers with the goal of increasing access to outside support services for incarcerated survivors of sexual abuse.

In 2003, the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed with the objective of eliminating prison rape. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice released the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) final rule (“Rule”). One of the requirements under the PREA Rule is that correctional agencies must attempt to make available to incarcerated survivors an advocate from a rape crisis center. Correctional agencies are encouraged to enter into an agreement with a rape crisis center to afford incarcerated survivors an opportunity to receive services from a trained advocate with background and expertise in providing sexual assault advocacy services.

To date, many correctional facilities have not developed partnerships with victim service organizations to provide these services. Currently, there are a limited number of facilities that have partnered with victim service providers to ensure that incarcerated survivors of sexual assault are receiving services as recommended in the PREA standards. Additionally, according to the National PREA Resource Center, many rape crisis or similar victim service organizations experience significant challenges in providing services to incarcerated survivors. The challenges include: a lack of resources and capacity on the part of rape crisis centers, including lack of funding to support victim services and to coordinate with corrections; a lack of staff resources to partner to develop and implement victim services in corrections; and a lack of participation by correctional facilities. For many rape crisis centers or similar victim service providers, increasing client volume and the logistical complexity of providing services to incarcerated survivors, especially without financial resources, are also significant challenges.

Under this grant, selected victim service organizations shall:

  • Partner with underserved correctional agencies (agencies that do not already have formalized partnerships with victim service providers), including, but not limited to, local jails, local juvenile facilities, and community confinement facilities
  • Collaborate with the partner correction agency to develop agreed-upon victim advocacy services, response protocols, and method of delivering services
  • Cross-train victim service and correction facilities staff on the provision and delivery of victim services to incarcerated survivors
  • Work with the facility to provide inmate education about the availability of victim services
  • Develop a program plan for implementation
  • Provide direct services to incarcerated survivors
  • Prepare a plan for program sustainability

Amount: Up to $1,200,000 is available for four awards of $300,000 each, per year, for up to four years.

Eligibility: Nonprofit organizations, including tribal nonprofit organizations. Applicants should have demonstrated knowledge of and experience with providing support services to victims of sexual abuse and/or rape crisis coalitions, and a strong desire to provide victim support services to incarcerated survivors of sexual abuse.

Link: http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/Solicitation.aspx

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