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U.S. Department of Justice: Innovative Responses to Behavior in the Community – Swift, Certain, and Fair Supervision

Deadline: June 25, 2019

The Innovative Responses to Behavior in the Community: Swift, Certain, and Fair Supervision Program (SCF Program) will provide state and local parole and probation agencies with information, resources, and training and technical assistance (TTA) to improve responses to offender behavior in accordance with the principles of swiftness, certainty, and fairness, in order to prevent recidivism and reduce crime in their jurisdictions.

Applicants should leverage parole and probation agencies’ capacity to help reduce crime committed by individuals under supervision by utilizing the swift, certain, and fair (SCF) principles of intervention: swiftness—responding to behavior promptly so that offenders connect the response to their behavior; certainty—ensuring that sanctions are applied with consistency and predictability; and fairness—making sanctions proportionate to negative behavior.

Applicants should pursue the following objectives:

  • Develop and implement supervision strategies based on SCF principles, including responses to both positive and negative client behavior
  • Develop and implement strategies for the identification, targeting, supervision, and treatment of “high risk/high needs” offenders who are being supervised in the community (this should include a preliminary assessment of whether those high risk/need offenders are also violent offenders who might not be suitable for community supervision)
  • Evaluate the efficacy of SCF strategies to reduce recidivism
  • Increase the number of supervision decisions (e.g., assignment of conditions of supervision and responses to violations of those conditions, responses to antisocial behavior that do not rise to the level of violating conditions of supervision, such as probationers who report late to a meeting with their probation officer due to work or childcare commitments) that are fair and consistently applied, and with consequences that are transparent
  • Promote and increase collaboration among agencies and officials who work in probation, parole, pretrial, law enforcement, treatment, reentry, and related fields
  • Develop a plan to sustain effective SCF supervision strategies and related collaborations beyond the award period
  • Increase participant perceptions of fairness, consistency, and transparency in supervision decisions

Priority consideration will be given to applicants that address one or more of the following project design elements:

  1. Propose an SCF initiative 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. The proposals must include a description of how this group will be identified and demonstrate access to and use of data and law enforcement input.
  2. Propose an approach that integrates the Risk-Needs-Responsivity (RNR) framework with the implementation of SCF principles to identify the target population for the initiative and ensure that the level of supervision, treatment, and SCF responses align with participants’ risk/need profile. For example, agencies may use the RNR Simulation Tool, or a similar mechanism, to assess capacity to provide risk-reducing programs to the target population; then revise program offerings and content based on the results.
  3. Randomized control trial (RCT) studies are a powerful, much needed tool for building scientific evidence about what works. Therefore, studies employing RCT methods to assess the effectiveness of programs and practices will be given higher priority consideration in award decisions. A strong RCT design should include low sample attrition, sufficient sample size, close adherence to random assignment, valid outcome measures, and statistical analyses. Taking RCT costs into consideration, applicants may want to consider studies using privacy-protected administrative data that are already being collected or implementing an intervention into a program already funded.
  4. Probation and parole agencies serving small, rural communities often face unique challenges to community supervision, including access to scarce resources, such as public transportation, housing, education, health care, and treatment providers. Therefore, applicants proposing to implement an SCF initiative serving a small or rural jurisdiction will be given higher priority consideration in award decisions.

Amount: Approximately $3,000,000 is available to make up to four awards of up to $750,000 each for a project period of 48 months.

Eligibility: States, units of local government, and federally-recognized Indian tribal governments.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=315150

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