The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) is accepting applications for its Grants program to Improve the Criminal Justice Response Program (ICJR Program) encourages state, local, and tribal governments, and courts to improve the criminal justice response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking as serious violations of criminal law, and to seek safety and autonomy for victims, by requiring the coordinated involvement of the entire criminal justice system.
The foundation of the ICJR Program is a Coordinated Community Response (CCR). A CCR brings together a diverse group of community partners to work together to address the widespread impact of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and to provide multiple pathways to support, healing, and accountability for families.
What’s New About this OVW Program
As a result of the passage of the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 (VAWA 2022), the following changes have been made to the ICJR Program:
- Applicants may now apply to support comprehensive civil legal services, outside of assistance seeking orders of protection. Applications that include civil legal services must limit direct civil legal services to no more than 30% of project activities.
- Applicants may apply to two new purpose areas: (25) developing statewide databases on sexual assault nurse examiners; and (26) supporting alternative methods of reducing crime in communities that supplant “punitive” programs or policies (i.e., ones that penalize victims for requesting law enforcement or emergency assistance or because of criminal activity at a victim’s residence); and
- Applicant jurisdictions (other than courts) must certify that:
- No later than three years after receiving their first award post VAWA 2022, their laws, policies, and practices ensure that prosecutors’ offices implement training on victim-centered approaches in domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking cases; and also have in place victim-centered polices, and protocols disfavoring the use of material witness petitions and bench warrants to obtain victim-witness testimony; and
- Their laws, policies, and practices prohibit prosecution of a minor for prostitution.
Pursuant to 34 U.S.C. § 10461(b), funds under this program must be used for one or more of the following purposes:
- To implement offender accountability and homicide reduction programs and policies in police departments, including policies for protection order violations and enforcement of protection orders across State and tribal lines.
- To develop policies, educational programs, protection order registries, data collection systems, and training in police departments to improve tracking of cases and classification of complaints involving domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Policies, educational programs, protection order registries, and training described in this paragraph shall incorporate confidentiality, and privacy protections for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
- To centralize and coordinate police enforcement, prosecution, or judicial responsibility for domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking cases in teams or units of police officers, prosecutors, parole and probation officers, or judges.
- To coordinate computer tracking systems and provide the appropriate training and education about domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking to ensure communication between police, prosecutors, parole and probation officers, and both criminal and family courts.
- To strengthen legal advocacy and legal assistance programs and other victim services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, including strengthening assistance to such victims in immigration matters.
Note: Applications that include civil legal services must limit direct civil legal services to no more than 30% of project activities.
OVW Priority Areas
In FY 2023, OVW has five programmatic priorities, of which the priority area(s) are applicable to this program. Applicants are strongly encouraged, but not required, to address a priority area. Applications proposing activities in the following areas will be given special consideration during programmatic review.
- Advance racial equity as an essential component of ending sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
- Increase access to justice for all survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, including through exploration of survivor-centered criminal justice system reform.
- Strengthen efforts to prevent and end sexual assault, including victim services and civil and criminal justice responses.
- Improve outreach, services, civil and criminal justice responses, prevention, and support for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking from underserved communities, particularly LGBTQ and immigrant communities.
- Anticipated Number of Awards: 40
- Anticipated Maximum Dollar Amount of Awards: $1,000,000
- Period of Performance Duration (Months): 48
- Anticipated Total Amount to be Awarded Under Solicitation: $25,000,000
- Pursuant to 34 U.S.C. § 10461(c), the following entities are eligible to apply for this program:
- “State” means each of the several states and the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a)(37).
- Indian tribal governments
- “Tribal government” means any tribe, band, pueblo, nation, or other organized group or community of Indians, including any Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation (as defined in, or established pursuant to, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)), that is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians. 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a)(43).
- State and local courts (including juvenile courts)
- “Courts” means any civil or criminal, tribal, and Alaska Native Village, federal, state, local or territorial court having jurisdiction to address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, including immigration, family, juvenile, and dependency courts, and the judicial officers serving in those courts, including judges, magistrate judges, commissioners, justices of the peace, or any other person with decision making authority. 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a)(7).
- Units of local governments
- “Unit of local government” means any city, county, township, town, borough, parish, village, or other general purpose political subdivision of a state. 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a)(47). (Note: Pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 90.61(b), the following are not considered units of local government and are not eligible to apply as the lead applicant – police departments, pre-trial service agencies, district or city attorneys’ offices, sheriffs’ departments, probation and parole departments, and universities. These entities may assume responsibility for the development and implementation of the project but must have their state, tribal government, or unit of local government apply as the lead applicant.
- State, tribal, or territorial domestic violence or sexual assault coalitions that partner with a state, Indian tribal government, or unit of local government. A “state, tribal, or territorial domestic violence or sexual assault coalition” is a coalition recognized by OVW pursuant to 34 U.S.C. § 10441(d)(2)(A), determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under 42 U.S.C. § 10411, or determined by the Center for Injury Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 280b et seq.)
- Victim service providers that partner with a state, Indian tribal government, or unit of local government. A victim service provider is a nonprofit, nongovernmental or tribal organization or rape crisis center, including a state or tribal domestic violence and/or sexual assault coalition, that assists or advocates for domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking victims, including a domestic violence shelter, faith-based organization or other organization, with a documented history of effective work concerning domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a)(50). Victim service providers must provide direct services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking as one of their primary purposes and have a demonstrated history of effective work in this field. Culturally specific organizations, Tribal organizations, and population specific organizations serving underserved communities that meet the definition of “victim service provider” are eligible to apply.
- Faith-Based and Community Organizations
- Faith Based and community organizations, including culturally specific organizations, tribal organizations, and population specific organizations, that meet the eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards under this solicitation.
- 501(c)(3) Status
- Any entity that is eligible for this program based on its status as a nonprofit organization must be an organization that is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of that Code.
For more information, visit Grants.gov.