New Funding from OJJDP: Juvenile Sex Offenders, Exposure to Violence, Indigent Defense

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Of course, the one time we get the Weekly Notes done early, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention adds really noteworthy funding notices on Thursday night. Here they are:

Youth With Sexual Behavior Problems Program: Fascinating solicitation. The grants will support programs that seek to assist youth who have been charged with a sexual offense and the victim of that offense. Not surprisingly, emphasis in the solicitation is placed on working with offenders whose victim is a relative or co-resident.

The approach for each child must come from a “multi-disciplinary” team that includes (at a minimum) “social services staff, juvenile court staff, mental health personnel, victim advocate personnel, law enforcement and community-support providers.”

Part B of this will fund one organization to provide assistance and resources to winners of Part A, so this is really two solicitations in one.

The funding amount should give potential applicants pause. Winners will get about $333,000 for two years, and it is on winners to track and evaluate the work. So the likelihood is that you would need to bring in a significant amount more money from somewhere to do this work, or at least have a really good plan in place to tap existing local resources.

With this solicitation and the acceptance of Ohio’s Walsh Act compliance, there are certainly indicators that this Justice Department understands the major difference between juvenile sex offenders and adult sex offenders.

Deadline to apply: June 28.

Juvenile Indigent Defense National Clearinghouse: The administration is using what resources it can this year to make indigent defense a priority at the Justice Department. This venture is to set up a national entity that can provide technical assistance and training to lawyers of juvenile offenders, and produce publications and resources in that field.

Big note of caution for any interested party: it’s a one-year grant, probably for $500,000. The notice says future funding will be “contingent on the performance of the awardee and available funding.” The first part of that is good, because you want someone to feel pressure to get the thing up and running. But the reality is, there’s no telling if OJJDP will have enough free money to play with to fund a clearinghouse past the first year, in which case the winner will either have to chase some private funds or an earmark to keep it going.

Deadline to apply: June 24.

Safe Start Promising Approaches Project and grant to evaluate those approaches: Another pet project of Attorney General Eric Holder, this is one of the funding streams through which the department will seed efforts to reduce children’s exposure to violence. Funds from this previous solicitation will go to community-based efforts to do so, this pot will support “practice enhancements and innovations to prevent and reduce the impact of children’s exposure to violence in their homes and communities.” So winners will have to prove that the money will build on a proven approach, or that it will serve as a laboratory for a currently undervalued approach to the work.

OJJDP is looking to fund about 10 projects at $250,000 for a 18 months. The evaluation grant will go to one organization for about $760,000. Same deal with both of these funding streams by the way: no guarantee of this work getting funded long-term by Justice, so there is always the chance that this year could be seed money for a venture you will have to fund some other way going forward.

Deadline to apply for either grant: June 25.