Grant Details

Increasing Legal Access to Victims: Innovations in Access to Justice Programs

 
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    CFDA#

    16.582
     

    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award

    Authority

    Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)

    Summary

    The mission of the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is to enhance the Nations capacity to assist crime victims and to provide leadership in changing attitudes, policies, and practices to promote justice and healing for crime victims. OVC fulfills its mission, in part, through improving the skills, knowledge, and abilities of crime victim service providers and allied professionals who serve them, and by helping to ensure that victims are aware of their rights and are able to exercise those rights. The entity awarded funding under this program will undertake activities related to expanding access to legal assistance for victims of crime. 

    Building on The Department of Justice's (DOJ) efforts to support legal services for crime victims and the Vision 21 Report initiative to increase legal access to crime victims, OVC is launching this three-part, expansive legal services program with the objective to enforce victims rights. The Increasing Access to Legal Assistance for Victims of Crime: Innovations in Access to Justice (Increasing Access) program will provide funding for legal services for 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).
    • Purpose Area 2 Using Technology/Other Innovations to Increase Legal Access in Rural Areas. 
    • Purpose Area 3 Training and Technical Assistance Legal Partnerships Increasing Medical Care Advocacy to Crime Victims.
    Goals, Objectives, and Deliverables The overarching goal of each Purpose Area is to further OVCs efforts to facilitate the understanding, development, or enhancement of innovative programs, models, practices, and protocols that serve crime victims, and to increase legal assistance to crime victims. An additional goal is to bridge the existing gaps in accessing key services that individuals, as victims of crime, are entitled to and eligible for. These initiatives will ultimately extend legal assistance to individuals too often overlooked, and who may face many access to justice barriers, including financial, cultural, language or otherwise, that stand in the way of the healing and support that they need.

    Purpose Area 1 Increase Capacity and Access to Civil Legal Help for Crime Victims through Legal Fellows Program The civil legal issue topic areas that the fellows participating in this program will address through a combination of outreach, education, and direct representation to the victims of those crimes:
    • Advocating for human trafficking victims. Legal fellows will provide comprehensive legal services addressing the range of legal issues that arise from the victimization of human trafficking, including, but not limited to, assistance with civil legal remedies such as family aw (e.g., divorce, custody, and child support; emancipation, dependency, or guardianship; family reunification), protective orders, employment law (including wage and hour claims), public benefits access, and assistance pursuing efforts to vacate a victims criminal conviction and/or expunge a victims criminal record (where the law allows a record to be vacated/expunged based on being a human trafficking victim); crime victims rights enforcement; and advocacy support in criminal matters. NOTE: Funding may not be used for criminal defense services.
    • Advocating for victims of fraud and/or identity theft. Legal fellows will assist victims of fraud and/or identify theft with the legal ramifications of identity theft or credit reporting errors. When appropriate, they may also assist with reporting consumer complaints to the appropriate government agencies. They will also conduct outreach and educational activities to increase awareness about abusive tactics.
    • Advocating for victims of sexual assault in campus proceedings. Legal fellows will assist victims of sexual assault enrolled in schools or universities (including community colleges) by providing legal advice on victims rights and/or campus administrative proceedings, including filing formal complaints to appropriately address the consequences of victimization and the disruption to a victims education and life.
    • Advocating for victims of hate crime. Legal fellows will assist victims of hate crimes with civil legal services, such as housing, medical assistance, education, and employment; and crime victims rights enforcement. Additionally, legal fellows will educate victims and key stakeholders about the rights of victims of hate crimes, and available legal and social services.
    • Providing comprehensive legal services for meritorious immigration relief cases. In an effort to incentivize immigrant crime victims to report crimes, cooperate with law enforcement investigations, and participate in the prosecution of criminal cases, legal fellows will provide comprehensive legal services to survivors of crime seeking meritorious immigration relief. Legal fellows will initially determine whether a meritorious claim for immigration relief is available; and, if the legal fellow determines there is a meritorious claim, the legal fellow will provide comprehensive legal services to the victim. Comprehensive services may include working with the victim during law enforcement proceedings, sharing information about available resources, connecting victims with social services and other assistance, legal representation in civil and administrative proceedings, and crime victims rights enforcement.
    • Advocating for victims of crime committed by illegal immigrants: Legal fellows will provide comprehensive legal services to crime victims who have been impacted by crimes committed by removable criminal aliens.
    Deliverables:
    • Competitively select host organizations and approximately 25 legal fellows.
    • Work closely with OVC to oversee the Legal Fellows Program.
    • Select and oversee an evaluator for the Legal Fellows Program.
    • Develop training materials and resources such as articles and other materials that provide TTA or capacity building to help civil legal service providers.
    • Select and oversee a TTA provider that will”
      • convene in-person fellow meetings to support this initiative, with at least one annual in-person all-fellows meeting; and
      • assist with compiling policies, resources, training materials, and other resources developed under this initiative.
    • Produce reports on fellowship activities (including crime victims services, case types, and outcomes), including, but not limited to”
      • quarterly financial and semiannual progress reports; and
      • a comprehensive, qualitative and quantitative Final Report to OJP/OVC on the activities and evaluation of the legal fellows program, promising practices identified through this initiative, and challenges and accomplishments.
    • Report performance measures set out in the questionnaire in Section D. Application and Submission Information, under "Program Narrative."
    • Produce other deliverables as may be determined by OVC, the lead organization, and other partners.
    Purpose Area 2 Using Technology/Other Innovations to Increase Legal Access in Rural Areas Purpose Area 2 is intended to encourage innovative ideas and methods to increase legal services to crime victims in rural areas. The selected applicant will provide management and oversight of the three rural legal assistance sites, and will provide training and technical assistance on innovation and technology and legal assistance to the three sites. The selected applicant may partner with other victim service providers or other entities that have subject matter expertise. The lead applicant must demonstrate collaboration with agencies critical to the success of delivering legal services to crime victims in the target area(s), including the court system, and other entities or government agencies. Applicants must incorporate a program evaluation component to the proposed program by partnering with local evaluators or researchers, who may be independent consultants or researchers, and/or institutions of higher education with expertise in program evaluation in legal services.

    The successful applicant will competitively select a minimum of three rural legal sites no later than six months after OJP makes the award and provides conditional financial clearance. The objective is that the three rural legal sites will develop plans to increase comprehensive, holistic, legal services to crime victims in rural areas, which can include the use of innovation to increase access. The selected lead applicant will assist the three rural legal sites in developing and implementing a plan to provide comprehensive legal services to rural crime victims and work with the sites to identify uses of technology and innovation that will better facilitate the delivery of these legal services. OVC also envisions that the overall strategy for the rural legal assistance project will include a plan for building strong partnership across legal assistance providers, geographic areas, and other victim service providers. OVC expects that the three rural sites will have developed their strategic plans and begin executing their strategic plans within approximately 12 months of being selected by the lead organization.

    Deliverables:
    • Competitively select a minimum of three rural, legal assistance sites that will provide innovative comprehensive legal services to crime victims.
    • Assist each site with developing an implementation plan to respond to the legal needs of crime victims in the rural area. The plan should include details about using innovation to increase legal access to crime victims, and should detail methods of collaboration with other legal service agencies, local government agencies, and other federally funded programs. The plan should indicate how the site will provide comprehensive legal services to crime victims in the designated rural area.
    • Provide oversight and management of the three rural, legal assistance sites.
    • Establish baseline data for performance metrics and a data collection process to support an assessment of this initiative.
    • Use, to the greatest extent possible, training and technical resources available from OVC, OJP, OVW, and other federal agencies to support the implementation of this project.
    • Facilitate routine peer-to-peer consultation and networking opportunities among the sites to promote problem solving and innovation.
    • Convene a minimum of one in-person grantee meeting to support this initiative.
    • Assist each demonstration site with compiling all final drafts of policies, resources, training materials, and other resources developed under this initiative.
    • Compile a report of promising practices identified through the initiative.
    • Work with an external OVC-funded evaluator, if OVC decides to fund a formal evaluation of this project.
    • Produce a final report for OVC.
    • Produce other deliverables as determined by OVC, working closely with the selected applicant.
    Purpose Area 3 Training and Technical Assistance: Legal Partnerships Increasing Medical Care Advocacy to Crime Victims OVC intends to select one TTA provider that will provide training and technical assistance on increasing medical care access for crime victims, crime victims medical care rights, and legal training to advocate for crime victims medical care rights. The selected TTA provider will provide TTA to all OVC-funded legal assistance programs, other legal service partners working in partnership with OVC, and other OVC-funded programs.

    Deliverables:
    • Provide in-person trainings to OVC-funded legal assistance providers, other legal service providers working in partnership with OVC, and other OVC-funded grantees on medical care benefits available to crime victims, barriers that many crime victims face in accessing medical care, and how legal service providers can assist crime victims in removing barriers that may prevent crime victims from accessing needed medical care.
    • Develop products to be distributed to crime victims educating victims on their medical care rights.
    • Compile performance metrics.
    • Produce quarterly financial and semiannual progress reports.
    • Produce a final report for OVC.
    • Produce other deliverables as determined by OVC and the selected applicant.
     

    History of Funding

    None is available.

    Additional Information

    Limitation on Use of Award Funds for Employee Compensation; Waiver With respect to any award of more than $250,000 made under this solicitation, a recipient may not use federal funds to pay total cash compensation (salary plus cash bonuses) to any employee of the recipient at a rate that exceeds 110% of the maximum annual salary payable to a member of the federal governments Senior Executive Service (SES) at an agency with a Certified SES Performance Appraisal System for that year.

    Contacts

    Silvia P. Torres

    Silvia P. Torres
    810 Seventh Street NW
    Washington', DC 20531
    2026161796
     

  • Eligibility Details

    Under Purpose Area 1 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 to human trafficking survivors. 

    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.

    Applicants may apply for more than one purpose area under this solicitation, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements for each purpose area.

    Deadline Details

    Applicants must register with www.Grants.gov prior to submitting an application. All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on July 18, 2017

    Award Details

     Approximately $8,150,000 is available in total funding. Project period is 36 months beginning October 1, 2017. The breakdown for the awards under each Purpose Area is as follows:
    • Purpose Area 1: One award for an estimated total of up to $4 million for a 2-year performance period. It is estimated that $2,850,000 of this award is funded through VOCA, and $1,150,000 of this award is funded through TVPA. The selected applicant will devote approximately $3,100,000 to fund approximately 25 legal fellows in competitively selected host sites. The remaining funds will be allocated to project management, project evaluation, and technical assistance to the legal fellows. 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.
    • Purpose Area 2: One award of up to $3,150,000 for a 3-year performance period, which includes $2,250,000 to be subawarded to a minimum of three rural legal assistance sites.
    • Purpose Area 3: One award of up to $1,000,000 for a 2-year performance period.
    Trafficking funds awarded under Purpose Area 1 of this solicitation may not cover more than 75 percent of the total costs of the project. Purpose Areas 2 and 3 do not require a match.


     

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