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U.S. Department of Justice: Improving Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Grant Program

Deadline: February 16, 2017

The Improving Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Grant Program (Improving Criminal Justice Responses Program), formerly known as the Grants to Encourage Arrest and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program (Arrest Program), is designed to encourage partnerships among state, local, and tribal governments, courts, victim service providers, coalitions and rape crisis centers, to ensure that sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are treated seriously, requiring the coordinated involvement of the entire criminal justice system and community-based victim service organizations.

The Improving Criminal Justice Responses Program challenges the community to work collaboratively to identify problems and share ideas that will result in effective responses to ensure victim safety and offender accountability. Funds may be used for the following purposes:

  1. Implement pro-arrest programs and policies in police departments, including policies for protection order violations and enforcement of protection orders across state and tribal lines.
  2. Develop policies, educational programs, protection order registries, data collection systems, and training in police departments to improve tracking of cases and classification of complaints involving sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Policies, educational programs, protection order registries, and training described in this purpose area shall incorporate confidentiality, and privacy protections for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
  3. Centralize and coordinate police enforcement, prosecution, or judicial responsibility for sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking cases in teams or units of police officers, prosecutors, parole and probation officers, or judges.
  4. Coordinate computer tracking systems and provide the appropriate training about sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking to ensure communication between police, prosecutors, parole and probation officers, and both criminal and family courts.
  5. Strengthen legal advocacy service programs and other victim services for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, including strengthening assistance to such victims in immigration matters.
  6. Educate federal, state, tribal, territorial, and local judges, courts, and court-based and court-related personnel in criminal and civil courts (including juvenile courts) about sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking and improve judicial handling of such cases.
  7. Provide technical assistance and computer and other equipment to police departments, prosecutors, courts, and tribal jurisdictions to facilitate the widespread enforcement of protection orders, including interstate enforcement, enforcement between states and tribal jurisdictions, and enforcement between tribal jurisdictions.
  8. Develop or strengthen policies and training for police, prosecutors, and the judiciary in recognizing, investigating, and prosecuting instances of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking against older individuals and individuals with disabilities.
  9. Develop state, tribal, territorial, or local policies, procedures, and protocols for preventing dual arrests and prosecutions in cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, and develop effective methods for identifying the pattern and history of abuse that indicates which party is the actual perpetrator of abuse.
  10. Plan, develop, and establish comprehensive victim service and support centers, such as family justice centers, designed to bring together victim advocates from victim service providers, staff from population specific organizations, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, probation officers, governmental victim assistants, forensic medical professionals, civil legal attorneys, chaplains, legal advocates, representatives from community-based organizations and other relevant public or private agencies or organizations into one centralized location, in order to improve safety, access to services, and confidentiality for victims and families.
  11. Develop and implement policies and training for police, prosecutors, probation, and parole officers, and the judiciary in recognizing, investigating, and prosecuting instances of sexual assault, with an emphasis on recognizing the threat to the community for repeat crime perpetration by such individuals.
  12. Develop, enhance, and maintain protection order registries.
  13. Develop human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing programs for sexual assault perpetrators and notification and counseling protocols.
  14. Develop and implement training programs for prosecutors and other prosecution-related personnel regarding best practices to ensure offender accountability, victim safety, and victim consultation in cases involving sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
  15. Develop or strengthen policies, protocols, and training for law enforcement, prosecutors, and the judiciary in recognizing, investigating, and prosecuting instances of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking against immigrant victims, including the appropriate use of applications for nonimmigrant status.
  16. Develop and promote state, local, or tribal legislation and policies that enhance best practices for responding to the crimes of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, including the appropriate treatment of victims.
  17. Develop, implement, or enhance sexual assault nurse examiner programs or sexual assault forensic examiner programs, including the hiring and training of such examiner.
  18. Develop, implement, or enhance Sexual Assault Response Teams or similar coordinated community responses to sexual assault.
  19. Develop and strengthen policies, protocols, and training for law enforcement officers and prosecutors regarding the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases and the appropriate treatment of victims.
  20. Provide human immunodeficiency virus testing programs, counseling, and prophylaxis for victims of sexual assault.
  21. Identify and inventory backlogs of sexual assault evidence collection kits and develop protocols for responding to and addressing such backlogs, including policies and protocols for notifying and involving victims.
  22. Develop multidisciplinary high-risk teams focusing on reducing domestic violence and dating violence homicides by: (A) using evidence-based indicators to assess the risk of homicide and link high-risk victims to immediate crisis intervention services; (B) identifying and managing high-risk offenders; and (C) providing ongoing victim advocacy and referrals to comprehensive services including legal, housing, health care, and economic assistance.

Note: Because the majority of the statutory purpose areas listed above include functions and/or activities that are inherently governmental or law enforcement focused, victim service providers applying as the lead applicant may seek funding to address only the following purpose areas: 5, 6, 10, 16, 17, 18, and 22. Victim service provider applicants interested in addressing purpose areas 6, 10, 18, or 22 must partner with the appropriate government agency necessary for the effective implementation of the selected purpose area(s).

Applications proposing activities in the following priority areas will be given special consideration:

  • Strengthen and revitalize coordinated community response and multi-disciplinary teams, prioritizing those that meaningfully involve organizations and programs that focus on marginalized communities
  • Increase support for sexual assault, including services, law enforcement response and prosecution
  • Meaningfully increase access to OVW programming for specific underserved populations (based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, geographical region, etc.)
  • Increase the use of promising or evidence-building practices, where available
  • Integrate principles outlined in recent Department of Justice guidance on ‘Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence’ into policies, training, and supervision protocols and systems of accountability

Amount: A total of $30,000,000 is available to award up to 58 grants that range from $450,000-$900,000 and average at $555,500. The project period is for three years. Specific funding levels are:

  • Service area population up to 500,000: a budget cap of $450,000
  • Service area population of 500,001-900,000: a budget cap of $750,000
  • Service area population of over 900,000: a budget cap of $900,000

Eligibility: States; Indian tribal governments; state, tribal, and local courts (including juvenile courts); units of local government; state, tribal, or territorial domestic violence or sexual assault coalitions; or victim service providers.

Link: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=291037

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