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U.S. Department of Justice: Smart Pretrial Demonstration Initiative

Deadline: May 27, 2014

The Smart Pretrial Demonstration Initiative (SPDI), administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), is part of BJA’s “Smart Suite” of crime fighting programs—Smart Prosecution, Smart Policing, Smart Supervision, and now Smart Pretrial. The FY 2014 SPDI grant program seeks to build upon analysis-driven, evidence-based pretrial justice by encouraging local and tribal jurisdictions to effectively implement risk assessment and appropriate supervision and/or diversion strategies targeting pretrial outcomes within their jurisdictions.

The goal of SPDI is to test the cost savings and public safety enhancements that can be achieved when jurisdictions move to a pretrial model that uses risk assessment to inform decision making and employs improved risk management strategies (supervision and diversion). SPDI sites selected under this grant announcement will work with a BJA-supported researcher to measure their pretrial outcomes (pretrial rearrests and failure to appear) and associated pretrial justice costs.

BJA seeks proposals from local and tribal jurisdictions interested in collaboratively addressing the viability of the following key elements of SPDI. At a minimum, sites will be required to implement and utilize a BJA-approved empirically derived pretrial risk assessment instrument, as well as develop, implement, and utilize risk-based supervision strategies. Applicants should address each of the key elements below, noting any legislative or similar challenges in implementing these key elements.

Key Elements:

  • The immediate or early release of eligible arrestees, after positive identification and assessment of risk of flight and pretrial recidivism.
  • The screening of every booked defendant for risk of flight and pretrial recidivism using a BJA-approved risk assessment tool.
  • The early review of charges by a seasoned prosecutor.
  • The presence of defense counsel, prepared to provide effective representation, at the earliest hearing that could result in pretrial detention.
  • The release or detention of defendants is informed by the outcome of the risk assessment and adversarial hearing. Where permitted by current legislation, preventive detention hearings should be considered.
  • The use of court reminder protocols and risk-based supervision and/or diversion for released defendants.
  • If convicted, the transfer of information about the defendant’s pretrial supervision outcomes to the sentencing court, prosecutor, defense counsel, as well as any subsequent supervising authority.

Amount: Up to three awards that cover both Phase 1 and 2 at up to $100,000 per year, for a total budget of $200,000. Applicants should prepare 2-year budgets.

Phase 1 funding will be used to: support a local SPDI site coordinator who will staff the local policy team; support travel of the policy team to a 2-day grant kick-off training in Washington, D.C.; reimburse local expenses for data collection; and support travel for the local site coordinator to one other training or site visit.

Sites will advance to Phase 2 based on the quality of the work plan and the progress made during Phase 1 to codify agreements that allow for implementation. Sites must have BJA approval prior to moving on to Phase 2 (see Award Special conditions on page 22).

Phase 2 funding will be used to: support a local Smart Pretrial site coordinator who will staff the local policy team; reimburse local expenses for data collection; support travel of the policy team to a 2-day Smart Pretrial Summit in Washington, D.C. or a like venue; and support travel for the local site coordinator to one other training or site visit.

During Phase 1 and 2, sites will be required to participate in training, webinars, and work with the Bureau of Justice Assistance researchers.

Depending on the availability of funding, BJA anticipates making supplemental awards for Phase 3 based on project performance. As such, sites may be selected to advance to Phase 3 based on successful implementation of the sites’ work plan developed in Phase 1 and progress made during Phase 2 to codify agreements that allow for sustainability. It is anticipated that Phase 3 may be funded through supplemental funding.

EligibilityEligible applicants are limited to local public and private entities (as fiscal agent), including non-profit and for-profit (including tribal non-profit or for-profit organizations), faith-based and community organizations, and units of local government (including federally recognized Indian tribal governments as determined by the Secretary of the Interior). For-profit organizations must agree to forego any profit or management fee.

Linkhttps://www.bja.gov/Funding/14SmartPretrialSol.pdf

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