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U.S. Department of Justice: Enhancing Youth Access to Justice Initiative

Deadline: March 2, 2017

The Enhancing Youth Access to Justice Initiative will provide funding to (1) develop and implement standards of policy and practice to effectively manage well-resourced, statewide juvenile indigent defense systems; (2) develop state or regional resource centers to help state, tribal, and local juvenile defense systems enhance the quality of legal representation, leverage resources, and collect and analyze data to measure the effectiveness of specific initiatives; and (3) support community- based nonprofit organizations that provide direct civil legal services, mentoring, and reentry planning to youth in out-of-home placement who are transitioning or have recently transitioned back to their families and communities. More information on these three categories is as follows:

  • Category 1: Juvenile Defense Training and Technical Assistance. OJJDP will select a training and technical assistance provider to focus on juvenile defense, identify gaps in practice, and train on strategies. Training and technical assistance should emphasize adolescent brain and behavioral development, recent advances in neuroscience, and the impact of exposure to violence and trauma on human development and well-being. It should emphasize data-driven, evidence-based, juvenile defense delivery system improvement strategies and best practices for employing a trauma-informed and developmental approach standard in juvenile justice service delivery.
  • Category 2: Regional Juvenile Defender Resource Centers. Regional juvenile defender resource centers (centers) will serve individual juvenile defenders and help state, tribal, and local juvenile defense systems within their service area to enhance the quality and availability of legal representation, leverage resources, and collect and analyze data to measure the effectiveness of reform activities in states. The centers should provide cost-effective, innovative, localized training for the juvenile indigent defense bar, including public defenders and court-appointed counsel working on behalf of juvenile indigent defendants, particularly in traditionally underserved locations, such as tribal systems and rural areas.
  • Category 3: Second Chance Act Juvenile Reentry Legal Services. Community-based service providers will provide civil legal services to youth who are reintegrating into their communities following secure confinement or out-of-home placement. Services that should be provided include mentoring; record expungement and/or sealing of juvenile records; and helping clients overcome legal obstacles/barriers associated with the collateral consequences of justice system involvement, such as obtaining housing (including public housing), professional licenses, drivers’ licenses, employment, and education. The successful applicants will select, hire, place, and train attorneys and other support staff to deliver civil legal services to youth up to age 24 who recently were released from secure confinement or out-of-home placement for offenses committed while they were 18 years old or younger. Attorneys should be placed in nonprofit legal services organizations or community-based organizations that have experience providing legal services to juveniles returning to their communities from confinement or out-of-home placements.

Amount: Varies by category:

  • Under Category 1 (training and technical assistance), one cooperative agreement of up to $1.5 million for a 24-month period of performance.
  • Under Category 2 (regional defender resource centers), $800,000 in the form of two cooperative agreements of up to $400,000 each for a 36-month period of performance.
  • Under Category 3 (reentry legal services), $1.5 million in the form of five grants of up to $300,000 each for a 24-month period of performance.

Eligibility: Varies by category:

  • Category 1: Eligible applicants are limited to nonprofit and for-profit organizations (including tribal nonprofit and for-profit organizations) and institutions of higher education (including tribal institutions of higher education. For-profit organizations (as well as other recipients) must forgo any profit or management fee.
  • Category 2: Eligible applicants are limited to nonprofit and for-profit organizations (including tribal nonprofit and for-profit organizations) and institutions of higher education (including tribal institutions of higher education). For-profit organizations (as well as other recipients) must forgo any profit or management fee.
  • Category 3: Eligible applicants are limited to nonprofit organizations (including tribal nonprofit organizations) and institutions of higher education (including tribal institutions of higher education).

Link: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=290991

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