U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)
07/19/18 11:59 PM ET
Grants to USA government agencies, educational institutions, nonprofits, faith-based or community organizations, and tribal governments to reduce violent crime and promote safe neighborhoods. Applicants must verify or create the required registrations in advance of the deadline.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is designed to create and foster safer neighborhoods through a sustained reduction in violent crime, including, but not limited to, addressing criminal gangs and the felonious possession and use of firearms. The program's effectiveness depends upon the ongoing coordination, cooperation, and partnerships of local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies—and the communities they serve—engaged in a unified approach led by the U.S. Attorney (USA) in all 94 districts. Acting decisively in a coordinated manner at all levels—federal, state, local, and tribal—will help reverse a rise in violent crime and keep American citizens safe. PSN provides the critical funding, resources, and training for law enforcement, prosecutors, and their PSN teams to combat violent crime and make their communities safer through a comprehensive approach to public safety that marries targeted law enforcement efforts with community engagement, prevention, and reentry efforts.
With PSN, each USA is responsible for establishing a collaborative PSN team of federal, state, local, and tribal (where applicable) law enforcement and other community members to implement a strategic plan for investigating, prosecuting, and preventing violent crime. Through the PSN team (referred to as the “PSN task force”), each district will implement the five design features of PSN—leadership, partnership, targeted and prioritized enforcement, prevention, and accountability—to address violent crime in their respective districts.
PSN is the lead grant initiative in a suite of programs focused on reducing violent crime. The programs in the PSN Suite are PSN, Strategies for Policing Innovation, Innovative Prosecution Solutions, Crime Gun Intelligence Centers, National Public Safety Partnerships, Technology Innovation for Public Safety, Innovations in Community-based Crime Reduction, and Community-based Violence Prevention Demonstration. These separate initiatives coordinate proactively with the PSN task force in the respective district of the USAO to enhance collaboration and strengthen the commitment to reduce violent crime.
PSN encourages the development of practitioner-researcher partnerships that use data, evidence, and innovation to create strategies and interventions that are effective and make communities safer. This data-driven approach enables jurisdictions to understand the full nature and extent of the crime challenges they are facing and to direct resources to the highest priorities.
Each federal judicial district is eligible to apply for a funding allocation, based on its violent crime rate and population. After BJA grant funds are disseminated, the recipients (fiscal agents) must hold a competitive application process to determine subrecipients for the funds, in line with the priorities and strategies identified by the PSN task force. This competitive process, conducted by the fiscal agents for the purpose of awarding funding to subrecipients, must be based upon objective eligibility criteria, application requirements, and application review procedures to be determined by the fiscal agent in advance of the competition. BJA applicants must establish a selection team of non-federal personnel (either from the district’s PSN task force or independent personnel, e.g., former Assistant USAs or former police chiefs) who will select the fiscal agent. The competitive process conducted by the fiscal agent will determine which subrecipient proposals will be selected to implement the PSN violence reduction strategy. The individuals who evaluate the subaward applications and provide subaward recommendations to the fiscal agent may not play a role in the production of all or part of any subaward application, nor can they be employed by the federal government or by a subaward applicant, in order to ensure the integrity of the subaward competitive process. All subrecipient applicants’ proposed uses of PSN funds must address the priorities and goals of the district’s PSN strategy.
A PSN task force may enter into an agreement with the State Administering Agency (SAA) responsible for managing its state’s Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program awards to serve as fiscal agent.
An evaluation of PSN, funded by the National Institute of Justice and conducted by Michigan State University (MSU), found that:
-PSN target cities achieved a 4.1 percent decline in violent crime, compared to a 0.9 percent decline in non-target cities.
-Of the PSN sites for which case studies were conducted, 8 out of 10 experienced statistically significant reductions in violent crime, ranging from 2 percent to 42 percent.
Research has also shown that PSN has been associated with:
-A 17 percent decrease in gun crime victimization in Detroit.
-A 31 percent reduction in shootings involving criminal gangs in Boston.
In its evaluation, MSU identified the following key factors for success: USAO leadership; cross- agency buy-in; strong integration of research partners; access to current crime-related data; and the flexibility of the program to adjust to the particular realities of individual jurisdictions. Because there are significant differences among U.S. communities in the level and nature of violent crime, PSN needs to be able to adapt to the unique circumstances of each local jurisdiction.
Each USA district is advised to undertake the following steps to develop its fiscal year (FY) 2018 PSN grant application:
Step One: Develop a Strategy. Meet to discuss an overall strategy to support the PSN task force’s efforts to reduce violent crime, including, but not limited to, felonious firearm crimes and criminal gang violence.
Step Two: Select a Fiscal Agent. As described on page 5 of this solicitation, choose the one organization that will act as the fiscal agent to receive the full funding allocation, and then distribute to and oversee all subrecipients. SAAs may serve as fiscal agent for more than one USA district should there be multiple districts within a state. Please note that the selected fiscal agent cannot also be a subrecipient of the PSN grant funding.
Step Three: Develop an Overall Budget Determine how to allocate the funding available to the district among the initiatives outlined in the PSN task force’s strategy.
Step Four: Determine a Method for Selecting Subrecipients. Develop a subaward competition strategy that will be used to select the subrecipients of the funding to carry out the initiatives in the PSN task force’s strategy.
Step Five: Certify Applicants. Forward the name of the fiscal agent to the U.S. Attorney for certification.
Step Six: Complete the Application. Have the fiscal agent prepare and submit the funding application to BJA by the established deadline in this solicitation.
Required PSN Design Features:
There are five PSN design features that all PSN grant applicants must address in their PSN strategy. The five design features are:
United States Attorneys, working with state, local, and tribal law enforcement, are the cornerstone of the law enforcement response to crime in their jurisdictions, and are best positioned to take the leadership role in developing and implementing a crime-reduction program to help local law enforcement address violent crime problems with available resources. This includes serving as a convener to ensure coordination among federal, state, local, and tribal agencies, and among existing initiatives and task forces that can help reduce violent crime.
The USA must work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and prosecutors, as well as the community. All of these stakeholders are necessary partners in this work and must collaborate to achieve success. Under the leadership of the USAO, the PSN task force typically includes both federal and local prosecutors, federal law enforcement agencies (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Marshals Service), local and state law enforcement agencies, probation and parole agencies, and the certified fiscal agent. The involvement of local government leaders, social service providers, neighborhood leaders, members of the faith community, and business leaders is also essential.
Because of the importance and effectiveness of implementing evidence-based practices, PSN strongly encourages a partnership with a research entity—either from within the local law enforcement community or through academic institutions—to help identify crime trends, develop targeted enforcement strategies, and measure the effectiveness of the program. Should the district collaborate with a research entity, the applicant should provide a letter of intent, memorandum of understanding (MOU), or other documentation of a formalized partnership. Recognizing that crime problems, including felonious possession and use of a firearm and/or criminal gang violence, illegal drug sales and distribution and other related violent crime, vary from community to community, PSN includes a commitment to tailor the program to the local crime issue, and to be data-informed.
Note: The Office of Justice Programs does not endorse any one particular process for identification of a potential research partner. However, we note that multiple sources are available to provide such assistance. For example, George Mason University's Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy developed an e-consortium that serves as a resource for local, state, federal, and other groups that seek to collaborate with university researchers and centers in partnerships and projects that are mutually beneficial.
3. Targeted and Prioritized Enforcement
PSN requires each district to develop data-driven strategies to target enforcement efforts in locations with significant violent crime problems and against offenders who are driving the violence. District-based enforcement efforts must focus on three areas. First, they must identify locations within the district in greatest need of comprehensive violent crime reduction efforts. Second, they must identify the offenders who are driving the violence in those areas. Third, they must ensure that those offenders are prosecuted in the jurisdiction that can provide the most certain and appropriate sanction.
While enforcement is a cornerstone of violence reduction, the PSN Program requires a comprehensive approach that also focuses on prevention and deterrence efforts. At the outset, establishing public awareness and support for the local violent crime reduction effort is key. This entails developing effective relationships with both community leaders and residents, understanding the needs and priorities of the community, and effectively communicating how law enforcement efforts are helping to reduce crime and increase public safety. Additionally, PSN encourages partnerships with local prevention and reentry programs that can help reduce violent crime by keeping at-risk populations (especially at-risk youth) from offending in the first place.
PSN maintains accountability by measuring results based on outcomes (reduction of violent crime) and numbers of investigations and prosecutions. This requires PSN task forces to collect and analyze relevant data that focus on outcomes—i.e., reduced violent crime. This accountability component is linked to the strategic planning whereby PSN task forces monitor crime data over time as related to the targeted problems and/or targeted areas.
Leveraging Other Resources in FY 2018 and Beyond:
PSN should be a part of an overall comprehensive violent crime reduction, public safety, and community engagement strategy. Districts are encouraged to leverage other federal funding and existing resources already in the community, and to partner with a research entity to conduct an assessment of the PSN Program. This may help in strengthening and sustaining the PSN Program.
Assistance of BJA’s Training and Technical Assistance Providers:
Award recipients will work closely with BJA’s national PSN training and technical assistance (TTA) partners to assist them with incorporating intelligence-led, research-based policing as a fundamental element in their response to violent crime.
Deconfliction and Officer Safety:
Given DOJ’s commitment to officer safety, PSN task forces should note that PSN funding can be used to address critical law enforcement officer safety concerns related to PSN target areas and activities. This includes identifying specific officer safety threats through improved local analytical capabilities or through the relevant state and local fusion center; improving situational awareness and information sharing; providing needed training; and providing protective equipment for state, local, and tribal officers not otherwise available. Applicants must demonstrate a direct nexus to PSN in order for these costs to be considered.
BJA also strongly encourages that PSN team enforcement operations and events (e.g., surveillance, warrant service, undercover operations, etc.) be deconflicted through the DOJ- funded RISSafe Deconfliction System and other no-cost systems, where applicable.
Information about Selecting Potential Fiscal Agents:
Each federal judicial district must use a fiscal agent to receive the federal funds and then make competitively selected subawards to, or enter into competitively selected contracts with, each project or entity that will carry out each component of the strategy. The competition design will be established by the PSN task force in conjunction with its fiscal agent. Please see the eligibility requirements on the title page. Each fiscal agent will need to be certified by the USA in the relevant district.
The fiscal agent should be an agency or organization that is a participating member of the PSN task force it represents. This agent will be responsible for accepting the full funding allocation and overseeing the management of this funding, including all of the competitive subawards. These responsibilities include entering into and overseeing contracts on behalf of the PSN task force, monitoring the efforts of all agencies or organizations receiving funding, accounting for all funds awarded, preparing any necessary reports, drawing down federal funds as needed, and working with OJP grant managers and auditors.
Alternatively, a PSN task force may enter into an agreement with the State Administering Agency (SAA) responsible for managing its state’s Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program awards to serve as fiscal agent. Regardless which agency or organization serves as its fiscal agent, however, a PSN task force should consider collaborating with its SAA to align important projects within state borders and potentially leverage other funding.
GrantWatch ID#: 123715
BJA expects to make 939 awards.
BJA expects to make awards for project periods of up to 36 months, beginning on October 1, 2018.
Award recipients will have up to 6 months to develop the team’s PSN SAP.
Eligible applicants are Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) team fiscal agents for the federal judicial districts. All fiscal agents must be certified by the relevant United States Attorney’s Office (USAO). Eligible USAO-certified fiscal agents include states, units of local government, educational institutions, faith-based and other community organizations, private nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior).
BJA recommends that districts select their current PSN fiscal agent, or consider using the State Administering Agency (SAA) for DOJ funding because SAAs can better leverage state resources to assist in the implementation of the district’s PSN initiative. SAAs have experience in administering competitive funding processes and have established policies and procedures to manage and monitor grant subawards.
For a list of SAAs, visit https://ojp.gov/saa/.
NOTE: If an applicant is a fiscal agent that has not received the required certification by its local USAO, its application will not be considered for funding.
All recipients and subrecipients (including any for-profit organization) must forgo any profit or management fee.
The agency acting as the fiscal agent cannot also be a contract or subaward recipient of PSN award funding; i.e., they will not receive grant funding other than to pass through/distribute funds at the local level.
In addition, as discussed below, to the extent the fiscal agent is a state or local government entity, in order to validly accept this award, the chief legal officer of that entity must properly execute, and the fiscal agent must submit, the specific certification regarding compliance with 8 U.S.C. § 1373. (Note: this requirement does not apply to Indian tribal governments.)
Applicants must acquire a unique entity identifier (currently, a DUNS number). A DUNS number is usually received within 2 business days.
Applicants must acquire or maintain registration with SAM. Each applicant must update or renew its SAM registration at least annually to maintain an active status. SAM registration and renewal can take as long as 10 business days to complete (2 more weeks to acquire an EIN).
Applicants must register in the OJP Grants Management System (GMS) prior to submitting an application under this solicitation. All applicants must register, even those that previously registered in GMS.
All registrations and applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on July 19, 2018.
OJP urges each applicant to submit its application at least 72 hours prior to the application due date.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Register on the Grants Management System (GMS):
For technical assistance with submitting an application, contact the Grants Management System Support Hotline at 888-549-9901, option 3, or via email at GMS.HelpDesk@usdoj.gov.
For assistance with any other requirement of this solicitation, contact the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Response Center:
TTY: 301-240-6310 (hearing impaired only)
Web Chat: https://webcontact.ncjrs.gov/ncjchat/chat.jsp
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