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U.S. Department of Justice: Innovations in Supervision Initiative: Building Capacity to Create Safer Communities

Deadline: May 1, 2018

The Innovations in Supervision Initiative: Building Capacity to Create Safer Communities (Innovations in Supervision) aims to provide state and local community corrections agencies with information, resources, and training and technical assistance (TTA) on ways to improve supervision capacity and partnerships with other justice agencies to prevent recidivism and reduce crime in their jurisdictions. The goal of the Initiative is to improve the capacity and effectiveness of community supervision agencies to increase probation and parole success rates and reduce the number of crimes committed by those under probation and parole supervision. Such efforts would reduce crime, admissions to prisons and jails, and save taxpayer dollars.

The Innovations in Supervision Initiative is part of the Public Safety portfolio, also known as the “Innovations Suite.” The Innovations Suite of programs invests in the development of practitioner-researcher partnerships that use data, evidence, and innovation to create strategies that are effective and economical. Innovations Suite programs, including this Initiative, are advised to work with a research partner in the “action research” approach to:

  • Develop strategies and partnerships to reduce crime
  • Enhance implementation and accountability
  • Analyze data to focus resources
  • Build communities of practice
  • Sustain effective strategies and initiatives

The Initiative will make awards in two categories:

1. Improving supervision to reduce crime and recidivism: Three entities will be awarded to pursue the following objectives:

  • Reduce recidivism and violent crime.
  • Align agency practices with best and evidence-based practices to: 1) focus resources on individuals at high risk of recidivating and at higher risk of committing violence, including using normed and validated risk assessments to inform case management decisions; 2) establish quality programs to address criminogenic needs and implement with fidelity, and consider responsivity factors when placing people in programs; 3) implement community supervision practices, including incorporating incentives and sanctions into the supervision process to encourage positive behavior changes; 4) position supervision officers to be agents of behavior change, including training in communication techniques that promote intrinsic motivation for positive change (i.e., enhance responsivity) and training to respond effectively to the special needs of individuals with mental illnesses and other behavioral health disorders; 5) implement continuous quality improvement plans that measure outcomes and promote accountability such as collecting data on short-term outcomes to indicate progress toward recidivism-reduction objectives (e.g., changes in individual attitudes, behaviors, or responsiveness to services) and holding performance management meetings between supervisors or managers and staff to discuss data findings, identify areas that need improvement, and reward staff for progress.
  • Assess and document the process and outcomes of implementing recidivism and violent crime reduction strategies to serve as models for other agencies throughout the nation.
  • Promote and increase collaboration among agencies and officials who work in probation, parole, pretrial, law enforcement, treatment, reentry, and related community corrections fields.
  • Support capacity-building activities, including: staff training to meet the rehabilitative and supervision needs of the supervision population; assessing and addressing gaps and/or quality of service provision; standardizing new or existing strategies to promote replication and scaling; and developing and implementing performance metrics.

Applicants that propose strategies to reduce violent recidivism, among high risk offenders under supervision who have a history of serious violence and are identified in concert with local and/or state law enforcement, will receive priority consideration.

2. Collaborating with supervision agencies to reduce crime and recidivism: A TTA provider will be selected to pursue the following objectives:

  • Administer a competitive TTA program to provide assistance to local- or state-level probation agencies and their partners to develop and implement innovative or evidence-based strategies to reduce recidivism and crime among supervisees at high risk of committing violence.
  • Administer a selection process to select three teams—comprised of a probation or parole office (lead), a law enforcement or prosecution office, and a research partner, if applicable—to receive TTA, which demonstrates that the teams have the commitment of the necessary partners and need for assistance.
  • Make and administer subawards of $500,000 to teams to support implementation.
  • Based on the experience working with the teams, develop a model and guide for how community corrections agencies can effectively work with law enforcement and prosecutor partners to address crime and hold offenders accountable.
  • Assist teams to develop and track performance measures and an evaluation strategy.
  • Document implementation lessons learned.

Amount: Dependent upon category, as follows:

  • Category 1: A total of $1,950,000 is available to make up to three awards that range up to $650,000 each. The period of performance is 36 months.
  • Category 2: One award of up to $2,000,000 will be made. The period of performance is 36 months.

Eligibility:

  • Category 1: States, units of local government, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments
  • Category 2: National-scope private and nonprofit organizations (including tribal nonprofit or for-profit organizations) and colleges

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=301577

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