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U.S. Department of Justice: Justice Reinvestment Initiative – Reducing Violent Crime by Improving Justice System Performance

Deadline: January 7, 2019

The Justice Reinvestment Initiative: Reducing Violent Crime by Improving Justice System Performance seeks to help sites to apply and expand the Justice Reinvestment approach to identify and respond to crime and other public safety problems, explore innovative and cost-saving strategies, and to reinvest in strategies that can decrease crime and reduce recidivism. The Program provides funding to develop, implement, and test innovative and research-based responses to high-cost drivers of crime and other public safety and community challenges, as identified through data analysis. Challenges may include chronic crime problems, emerging crime problems, or barriers to justice agencies’ ability to address such problems, including those related to law enforcement, prosecution, sentencing, jail and prison, probation and parole. For example, high-cost drivers may include: opioid and substance abuse; high system utilization by populations with significant mental health issues; repeat violent offenders; or lack of information sharing or technology integration within the criminal justice system.

The Program seeks applicants in two categories:

Category 1: State, Local, and Tribal Justice Systems: Applicants are expected to address persistent or emerging crime and public safety problems, or to remove impediments to directly addressing them. Applicants should review the entire criminal justice system spectrum – from event to reentry – to identify opportunities for improvement that align with holding violent offenders accountable, addressing the opioid epidemic, supporting law enforcement and correctional institutions, and supporting victims of violent crime. Objectives are:

  • Collect and analyze data, and identify and respond to crime and cost drivers, including crime and costs associated with investigating, prosecuting, and detaining individuals who have committed crimes and are in the U.S. without legal immigration status. For example, by reducing gang violence and time to deportation.
  • Engage stakeholders across the justice system (e.g., law enforcement, jails, treatment providers) to diagnose and develop coordinated responses. For example, improve data collection and training about types of victimization, trauma, and related needs in order to develop policies and procedures to maximize benefits (e.g., accessing federal resources to aid victims of violent crime, use of databases to track restitution orders and collection, increasing the amount inmates pay toward victim restitution), and to reduce the collateral effects of violence.
  • Test, establish, and/or expand innovative ideas and evidence-based strategies to prevent and respond to crime. For example, assess the correctional population to ensure appropriate bed space usage and, if needed, seek strategies to correct the inmate mix to prioritize bed space for serious, chronic, violent offenders. Focus state probation and parole agency resources on identifying offenders’ risks for general and violent recidivism, and related substance use and mental health needs, and mitigating their risk for engaging in violent behavior or being the victims of violent crime.
  • Foster effective and consistent collaboration with justice system agencies to improve strategic and tactical system operations. For example, implement and test approaches to consistently gather and validate intelligence collected in jails and prisons (e.g., about security threat groups); and develop and implement plans to respond to intelligence behind and outside the walls.
  • Use data, technology, and intelligence to focus resources on the problems, people, and places associated with concentrations of crime and cost drivers. For example, review existing violent crime and opiate reduction strategies to determine whether they are having the intended effects, and improve performance if they are not. Develop analytic capacity to inform more targeted and effective strategies to address specific crime problems.

Category 2: Innovations in Information Sharing to Coordinate Crime Reduction: Applicants are expected develop and test innovative and responsible tools to facilitate information sharing and coordinate community corrections, law enforcement, prosecutors and other system stakeholders to improve identification of, and coordinated responses to, violent crime that could later be applied to the justice reinvestment process. Applicants should propose ethical approaches to remove offender anonymity – addressing how and when offenders come into contact with each part of the criminal justice system and across jurisdictions – in order to make the most efficient use of resources and to hold offenders accountable. Objectives are:

  • Break down information sharing silos and challenge current practices that may impede a community’s violent crime reduction strategies.
  • Develop comprehensive and integrated data-sharing and notification systems about violent offenders moving into, between, or being released into communities.
  • Build data-analysis capacity and improve justice system partners’ abilities to produce across-system analysis that provides a better understanding of the contributions of pretrial, probation, parole, reentry, and other services to crime trends.

Priority considerations: Applicants may receive priority consideration by explaining how the problem area identified in the application could be addressed through cooperation with federal immigration authorities or other cooperation program, honoring requests for notice of release, transfers of custody, and/or short term extensions of custody, and providing access to detention centers so federal immigration authorities may conduct interviews. Applicants that propose to address operational gaps related to repeat violent offenders or precipitous increases in crime may additionally receive priority consideration.

Amount: A total of $10,025,090 is expected to be available to make six awards of up to $1,250,000 each for a 36-month project period.

Eligibility: Categories 1 and 2: Eligible applicants are states, local units of government, and federally recognized Indian tribes. Category 2 also includes applicants that are private and nonprofit organizations (including tribal non-profit or for-profit organizations), colleges and universities, both private and public (including tribal institutions of higher education, with national law enforcement and corrections expertise.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=310279

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