FY 2017 Increasing Legal Access to Victims of Crime: Innovations in Access to Justice Programs
Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, Tribes, and
IHEs to Meet the Legal Needs of Crime Victims
IHEs to Meet the Legal Needs of Crime Victims
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)
07/18/17 11:59 PM ET
Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, government agencies, Indian tribal governments, and IHEs to meet the legal assistance needs of crime victims. Recipients will work to expand legal services with the goal of promoting victims’ rights. This program will provide support for legal services under three distinct projects that will enhance legal access for crime victims, foster technological innovation, and provide training and technical assistance (TTA) to those involved in the initiatives.
OVC anticipates that it will make awards under three distinct purpose areas, as follows:
Purpose Area 1 – Increase Capacity and Access to Civil Legal Help for Crime Victims Through Legal Fellows Program (Legal Fellows Program)
OVC will make one award to a lead organization that will provide overall project management and oversight and, in turn, (a) issue a solicitation for, and select, approximately 25 legal fellows to provide legal services in selected host organizations throughout the country; (b) select an organization to conduct an evaluation of the legal fellows program; and (c) competitively select a TTA provider that will collaborate with the lead organization, the host organizations, the legal fellows, and other entities, as applicable, to provide TTA to the legal fellows.
All legal fellows are expected to advocate for crime victims’ rights enforcement. Each fellow may dedicate their efforts to one or more of the above civil legal issue areas, detailed below (see Goals, Objectives, and Deliverables), and across relevant types of legal services.
The selected lead organization under this project will ensure that all six topic areas are collectively addressed by the cohort of fellows and that each fellow is advocating for crime victims’ rights enforcement. All six topic areas must be covered through the legal fellows program; however, an individual legal fellow is not expected to cover all six topic areas. All legal fellows will receive training on crime victims’ rights enforcement and incorporate crime victims’ rights enforcement into their legal practice. When reviewing host organizations for the legal fellows, the lead organization will give preference to applicants that can ensure coverage of a maximum number of legal issue areas at each host organization, and all six legal issue areas by the full cohort of legal fellows.
Approximately $2,850,000 will be funded through VOCA, and approximately $1,150,000 will be funded through TVPA for anti-trafficking legal services. Pursuant to TVPA, trafficking money may only be used to support anti-trafficking services.
Specifically, for the purposes of this solicitation, TVPA funding must be used to support legal services for victims of human trafficking. The lead organization must ensure that host organizations that employ legal fellows, who are partially or fully funded with TVPA funds, have a demonstrated history of providing human trafficking services to human trafficking victims. TVPA funding will be used strictly to support legal fellows providing legal assistance to victims of trafficking at host organizations. It will not be used to provide TTA or evaluation efforts as outlined under Purpose Area 1. Applicants applying under Purpose Area 1 must separately track their use of TVPA funding and VOCA funding.
Pursuant to TVPA, the selected entity must provide a 25-percent match for TVPA-funded services. The TVPA-awarded funding may not cover more than 75 percent of the requested total costs of the TVPA-funded portion of this grant. An applicant must identify the source of the 25-percent non-federal portion of the total TVPA-funded costs and how it will use match funds. Second, the lead organization will be responsible for establishing appropriate partnerships to conduct an evaluation of the legal fellows program. Evaluators may be independent consultants or researchers, and/or evalutations may be conducted through institutions of higher education with expertise in program evaluation in legal services.
Third, the lead organization will be responsible for competitively selecting a TTA provider. The TTA provider must establish appropriate partnerships in order to deliver TTA to all legal fellows throughout the duration of the program. Legal fellow TTA will include, but is not limited to, conducting annual in-person trainings, coordinating monthly calls for the legal fellows, and partnering with other organizations to provide training in each of the legal issue areas covered by the legal fellows, so that the trainings are delivered by individuals with subject matter expertise. The TTA provided under this Purpose Area will be consistent with the TTA provided under the 2012 and 2014 Victim Legal Networks.
Applicants are encouraged to coordinate with other federally funded programs that serve the populations identified in the six issue areas, such as state VOCA Victim Assistance agencies and grantees, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families’ agencies and grantees, the 2012 and 2014 OVC-funded Wraparound Victim Legal Assistance Networks, and the AmeriCorps Elder Justice program.
Applicants may devote some of the funds under this program component to support a Program Manager or a Program Coordinator, or other activities necessary to administer the program. The lead organization should budget for the evaluation and TTA provider.
Purpose Area 2 – Using Technology/Other Innovations to Increase Legal Access in Rural Areas
OVC will make one award to a lead organization with demonstrated experience in providing legal services to rural areas and using technology to advance legal services. The lead organization will competitively solicit and select a minimum of three rural agencies (defined below, see Section C) to provide TTA with the development of innovative methods to increase legal services to crime victims at each site. The award amount includes $2,250,000 to subaward to the selected sites.
Building upon OVC’s 2012 and 2014 Wraparound Victim Legal Assistance Network grants, the purpose of this project is to improve the delivery of holistic, comprehensive legal services to crime victims in rural areas, while also advocating for crime victims’ rights. The selected lead entity must have experience in establishing innovative technological legal services and serving rural crime victims, provide identified technical assistance needed by the selected rural sites and their collaborators, and have a demonstrated capacity to work with rural organizations providing legal services to crime victims in rural areas. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consider innovative uses of technology to enhance access to legal services for crime victims, and other innovative forms of legal assistance to underserved populations (e.g., individuals with disabilities, individuals with language and/or cultural barriers).
Purpose Area 3 – Training and Technical Assistance – Legal Partnerships Increasing Medical Care Advocacy to Crime Victims
OVC will make an award to an organization that will provide medical care training, legal advocacy training on medical care advocacy, and technical assistance to all of OVC’s legal service providers and to other OVC-funded grantees, including VOCA Victim Assistance agencies and subgrantees, on medical care advocacy for crime victims.
Too frequently there is a substantial disconnect between the medical needs of crime victims, and the knowledge and expertise of legal service providers in assisting their clients in accessing high-quality medical and mental health care, as well as enforcing medical care rights throughout that process. This new program is designed to provide training to OVC-funded legal service providers and other OVC-funded grantees throughout the country—including those funded under this solicitation, state VOCA Victim Assistance agencies and grantees, the 2012 and 2014 OVC-funded Wraparound Victim Legal Assistance Networks, and the AmeriCorps Elder Justice program—on crime victims’ access to medical services and enforcing victims’ medical care rights. The applicant must demonstrate expertise and experience in medical care rights and services topics, TTA, legal advocacy in enforcing the rights of vulnerable and disadvantaged populations, and working to overcome barriers that prevent crime victims from attaining needed medical services.
OVC expects to make three awards (one in each category): One Purpose Area 1 award; One Purpose Area 2 award; and One Purpose Areas 3 award.
-Purpose Area 1: Up to $4,000,000
-Purpose Area 2: Up to $3,150,000, including a $2,250,000 to be subawarded to a minimum of three rural legal assistance sites
-Purpose Area 3: Up to $1,000,000
This program supports a 24- to 36-month performance, beginning on October 1, 2017.
Purpose Area 1 supports a two-year performance period.
Purpose Area 2 supports a three-year performance period.
Purpose Area 3 supports a two-year performance period.
OVC may, in certain cases, provide additional funding in future years to awards made under this solicitation, through supplemental awards.
This solicitation seeks eligible applicants under three distinct purpose areas. Applicants may apply for more than one purpose area under this solicitation, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements for each purpose area.
Under Purpose Area 1, by statute, eligible applicants are limited to states, units of local government, federally recognized Indian tribal governments (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior), and nonprofit (defined as an organization that is described in section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 and is exempt from taxation under 501(a) of such title), nongovernmental organizations (including tribal nonprofits). Applicants must demonstrate a history of providing services (e.g., victim assistance, social services, legal services, shelter, mental health services) to human trafficking survivors. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate that “subaward” organizations that host legal fellows providing legal services for human trafficking survivors have a demonstrated history of providing services to human trafficking survivors. Nonprofit organizations that hold money in offshore accounts for the purpose of avoiding paying the tax described in 26 U.S.C. § 511(a) are not eligible to apply.
Under Purpose Areas 2 and 3, eligible applicants are limited to private nonprofit organizations (including tribal nonprofit organizations), faith- and community-based organizations, colleges and universities (including tribal institutions of higher education), and public agencies, federally recognized Indian tribal governments (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior), or tribal organizations that can demonstrate knowledge and understanding of civil legal representation for crime victims and the range of services needed; knowledge of, and the ability to successfully execute, the development of training, technical assistance, public awareness, and other informational resources to meet the needs of victim service providers and allied practitioners who serve them; and the capacity to partner with other organizations and key stakeholders to deliver comprehensive, seamless legal services to victims. For these purpose areas, a private nonprofit organization does not have to have 501(c)(3) status to apply for grant funding under this solicitation.
Purpose Area 2 applicants must have the staff, resources, and capability to develop or enhance a model for delivery of these services. Applicants must demonstrate that they propose to serve a rural area or rural community, and that there is a demonstrated need for legal services in this area. Applicants must provide their definition of a “rural area” or “rural community,” and explain why the targeted area meets the applicant’s definition of “rural area” or “rural community.”
Every applicant entity must comply with all applicable System for Award Management (SAM) and unique entity identifier (currently, a Data Universal Numbering System [DUNS] number) requirements.
Applicants must register with Grants.gov prior to submitting an application. All applications are due by 11:59 PM eastern time on July 18, 2017.
To be considered timely, an application must be submitted by the application deadline using Grants.gov, and the applicant must have received a validation message from Grants.gov that indicates successful and timely submission.
OJP urges applicants to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the application due date, in order to allow time for the applicant to receive validation messages or rejection notifications from Grants.gov, and to correct in a timely fashion any problems that may have caused a rejection notification.
View this opportunity on Grants.gov:
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
For technical assistance with submitting an application, contact the Grants.gov Customer Support Hotline at:
800-518-4726 / 606-545-5035
For assistance with any other requirements of this solicitation, contact:
Silvia P. Torres, Program Management Specialist
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