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Grant Applications

The Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs (OCJP) announces grant opportunities on this webpage. 

 How to Write an Application: Project Narrative Overview *NOTE: This Power Point  was used during a live WebEx training. Some slides may lack specific context without the addition of the webinar live recording. OCJP is working to publish the training in its entirety as soon as possible. Once published that training will be available under the Grants Management Resources section of our website.

FAQs NOTE: All questions must be sent to the email address. Questions will be answered on this page under either the FAQ section or under the solicitation itself – so it is very important to include this information in your email. 

Turn around for posting responses to questions is 2-3 business days. OCJP can elect not to respond to questions which are too specific to an agency’s application. All solicitations posted on this page are open and competitive, and as such, agencies should reference the available solicitations materials, General FAQs, and the OCJP Subrecipient grants manual available online prior to submitting a question.


Upcoming Funding Opportunities


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 Office (USAO) 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.

The purpose of this project  is to  seek projects which meet up to three of the listed goals: 1) Reducing gun crime in the jurisdiction; 2) creating and executing an outreach and prevention campaign centered around youth, parents, and teachers; and/or 3) implementing gang activity reduction strategies and supporting gang taskforce work.

Preference will be given to applicants whose projects encompass all three of the goals noted above.

Preference will be given to those applications that can: 1) identify locations within the district that have the most significant issues with violence; 2) show the ability to identify the offenders who are driving the violence in those areas; and 3) demonstrate strong relationships allow for prosecution of those offenders to provide the most certain and appropriate sanctions.

Preference will be given to projects that develop Significant Offender Lists (SOLs) throughout the district as continued collaboration and intelligence sharing is key to attaching the violent crime problems in East Tennessee.

Preference will be given to projects that develop a public awareness campaign through media including billboards, internet advertising, etc. and through conversations and cooperation with local business, religious, and community leaders. The goal will be to explain why we target significant offenders and the crime they drive. Focusing on young children, their parents, and teachers should be the priority for projects of this type.

Preference will be given to projects that can address criminal street gang activities and gang task force activities.

Preference for applicants from non-urban areas which are defined as an area with a population of 50,000 people or less in a county.

Intent to Apply due:  7/16/2021

Applications due: 8/4/2021


Q: Our agency has a current Project Safe Neighborhood grant. We are interested in additional PSN funding. Do we have to apply for this new PSN solicitation or can we simply have our current grant amended?

A: Every fiscal year, Project Safe Neighborhood issues new funding. Each funding year is separate and unique. Grant contract funding cannot be mixed. The funding can be used for the same type of project or the continuation of an existing project if those project activities are allowable under the new award.  Grant contracts out of this solicitation will be paid for out of PSN Federal Fiscal Year 2020 funds. Agencies that currently have a PSN contract were paid out of Federal Fiscal Year 2018 or Federal Fiscal Year 2019 funds. If your agency is interested in additional PSN funding, you will need to submit a new application.

The purpose of the Evidence-Based Programming project is to provide funding to county jails to implement evidence-based* programming for convicted felon inmates in an effort to:

•  Improve access to knowledge and skills required for successful re-entry into local communities following release from incarceration;

•  Reduce recidivism rates among formerly incarcerated individuals; and

•  Increase meaningful collaboration between county jails and local community partners.

* Agencies are required to use recognized programs that are rated as “effective” or “promising.”  See the State of Tennessee corrections, substance use and mental health program Inventory:; the TDOC education programs;  and National Institute of Justice Crime Solutions Clearing House of Programs & Practices

Eligible agencies are limited to County Governments that operate an adult correctional facility that houses convicted felons pursuant to a contract with the state or while they are awaiting transfer to a state facility; and meet criteria to create or enhance inmate programming.  These entities may sub-contract with community-based programs for service provision.

If you have questions about this application, please submit those NO LATER THAN June 8th to

Intent to Apply due 6/15/2021

Application due 6/15/2021


Q: Who are the eligible agencies for this grant?

A: Pursuant to solicitation Section 1.1. Eligibility: Eligible agencies are limited to county governments that operate an adult correctional facility that houses convicted felons pursuant to a contract with the state or while they are awaiting transfer to a state facility; and meet criteria to create or enhance inmate programming. These entities may sub-contract with community-based programs for service provision. 

Q: Can funding be used to provide programming for misdemeanor offenders or pre-trial detainees?

A: Yes; However, programming should be developed based upon the needs of convicted felons and those offenders should receive first priority for any available programming slots. Any remaining slots can be filled by other offenders so long as the programming is appropriate for their needs.

Pursuant to the solicitation’s Section I. Introduction: Counties are encouraged to provide evidence-based programming to misdemeanor offenders that match the risks and needs of the offender, as determined through the approved risk assessment. Misdemeanor offenders may utilize evidence-based programming as well, as long as the programming is fully accessible to appropriate felony offenders first and foremost.

Q: Under the list of approved e-based programs and interventions is Medication Assisted Treatment, so my question is can the grant support the purchase of FDA approved medication for opioid use disorder, treatment as well as the purchase of Naloxone (overdose reversing medication)?

A: The purchase of FDA-approved medication for opioid use disorder treatment, as well as the purchase of Naloxone (overdose reversing medication), as part of an approved Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program is an allowable expense as part of this grant.”

Q: Could you define "employ" in the Inputs and Collaboration section?  Does it mean "employ" as in paying someone or using services that are not paid?

A:This can be paid or unpaid services. “Describe any formal partnerships with local community partners (mental health, substance abuse, housing, jobs training, etc.) that your agency plans to employ (i.e. – leverage or make use of) for the purposes of this project, please attach copies of any current formal agreements (MOUs).”

Q: Does the facility have to have a certain amount of space for these programs or anything special settings wise?

A: The only specification is that the money is to be spent to create or enhance evidence-based programming targeted to felony inmates. The solicitation asks - What do you need in order to be able to provide appropriate evidence-based programming to felony inmates?

Q: Can the County have more than 1 grant contract through OCJP?

A: Yes. There is not a limit to the number of awarded contracts an agency can have through OCJP.

Q: Who is the eligible applicant for this project? Is it the agency over the jail?

A: Eligible agencies are limited to County Governments that operate an adult correctional facility that houses convicted felons pursuant to a contract with the state or while they are awaiting transfer to a state facility; and meet criteria to create or enhance inmate programming.  These entities may sub-contract with community-based programs for service provision.

Q: Is it possible for the collaborating agency (Service Provider) to submit on behalf of the project, so long as all application standards are met?

A: No; Please refer to the Q&A regarding eligible applicants. An eligible applicant (e.g.- qualifying government entity) may subcontract with services a community- based service agency as part of the Project Narrative and Budget provisions.

Non-Government providers may not apply directly.

Q: How will reporting work?

A: We are still finalizing the reporting process. At this time we are targeting subrecipient data collection to begin on October 1 and that agencies will need to report our every quarter with reports for the previous quarters being due in: January, April, July, and October.


The purpose of this project is to provide non-personnel resources to agencies in order to meet the needs of victims of crime. Due to the limited period of time in which funding under this solicitation is available the Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs anticipates that most applications will be for equipment, supplies, capital purchases, and other items which do not have costs that recur beyond the project period.

 All items must be appropriately pro-rated. Upgrades or modifications to facilities that do not exclusively serve victims of crime must be pro-rated to reflect the proportion of the facility which exclusively serves victims.

For the purposes of this solicitation OCJP would anticipate that projects would be easily achievable within 3 months and primarily cosmetic in nature.

Equipment or items to be utilized to facilitate the delivery of direct services (computers or technology used by staff) must be pro-rated to reflect the portion of the item that is used exclusively for victim services.All budgets / Narratives should contain information about whether items have been pro-rated and the percentage of pro-ration that was used.

See section 4.2 for a complete list of allowable categories under this fund source. Personnel may not be funded under this solicitation.

All Agencies:Computers, Hardware, Software, Vehicles (solely used for the transport ofvictims only), Security Equipment (residential cameras must be exterior only),Relocation expenses (if relocation is due to victimization), Defibrilators,Translation/Development of service materials or victim service sections of agencywebsite, wi-fi extenders / wi-fi for clients, Therapy supplies (therapy dolls,art supplies, sand trays, therapeutic games) [if agency provides therapeutic services]

Emergency Shelters: Food/Perishable items that are canned or can be frozen, Kitchen Appliances, Washers/Dryers, Televisions/Entertainment for client rooms and/or common areas, Pre-Paid Cell Phones for client use while in shelter, Repairs/Upgrades to habitable space that are achievable in 3 months (could include painting), Durable Medical Equipment (Crutches, Wheelchairs, Walkers, Blood Pressure Monitors, Diabetic Testing Supplies, Defibrilators, etc), Transitional housing costs (could include furniture), Playground Equipment, New/Replacement Privacy Fencing

Intent to apply and Applications due: 5/21/2021


Q: Under this grant, would our agency be able to purchase food for our clients? Our agency is not a shelter, but we provide emergency housing through hotels. Thank you for your clarification on this matter. 

A: Food costs are allowable in specific circumstances. 28 CFR §94.119(a)(5) allows for food costs in an emergency basis to meet the immediate emotional, psychological, and physical health and safety of victims. The application should provide enough information to justify the costs of purchasing food relating to emergency assistance for victims.

Q: The solicitation states that furniture must be pre-approved. Should pre-approval be obtained prior to writing the grant or is writing the grant considered the pre-approval?

A: The budget and narrative should outline specific furniture purchases and their function and, if grant is approved, this will be considered pre-approval. Please refer to the scope of services document for specific examples on how intended purchases should be outlined.

Q: Can our agency use donated space as match if we hold the deed to the space?

A: Rent cannot be paid if the building is owned by the grantee or if the grantee has a financial interest in the property. However, the cost of ownership is an allowable expense.

The costs for a publicly owned building are allowable where "rental rate" systems, or equivalent systems that adequately reflect actual costs, are employed. Such charges must be determined on the basis of actual cost (including depreciation-based on the useful life of the building, operation and maintenance, and other allowable costs).

Based upon your description it sounds like although the building was donated your agency effectively has ownership. In this case depreciation might be appropriate.

Q: Under this grant, would our agency be able to purchase food for our clients? Our agency is not a shelter, but we provide emergency housing through hotels. Thank you for your clarification on this matter. 

A: Food costs are allowable in specific circumstances. §94.119(a)(5) allows for food costs in an emergency basis. The application should provide enough information to justify the costs of purchasing food relating to emergency assistance for victims.

Q: If a program paid an annual fee for a subscription such as zoom, canva, etc. in April (before the May 5 start date), could the pro-rated amounts between May 5 and Sept. 1 be charged to this funding? 

A: No. Due to supplanting concerns we would not allow existing subscriptions or recent purchases that have already been made with non-grant funds to be pro-rated onto the grant.

Q: Could this funding pay for agency polo shirts for agency staff to wear to public events to recruit volunteers?

A: No. Clothing and furniture require pre-approval and is typically only granted when it can be tied directly to victim services. We would not grant approval for these purchases for the purpose of recruitment events.

Q: Can volunteer time utilized for social media, recruitment or an AmeriCorps volunteer time be used for match?  Or must match be made by volunteers doing the direct service of advocating for a child? 

A: This will depend on the activities the volunteer is conducting while using social media. For more information on unallowable activities please see our online manual here:

Q: How should match be portrayed on the budget?

A: Match should be captured on the line item in which is will be used. Examples of match can be found in the OCJP online grants manual located here: Chapter II Achievement of Operational Status.

Q: How do we document rent for invoicing purposes?

A: In-kind contributions must be verifiable from grantee records, necessary and reasonable, allowable, and not included as a contribution under any other federal award. Additional information regarding match can be found online here: Grants Manual.pdf in Chapter II Achievement of Operational Status.


OCJP will be accepting grants on a rolling basis for this solicitation until federal funding is no longer available. Application is limited to county governments and resources are to be used in court houses to assist victims.

The goal of the Tennessee Safe Court Grant Program is to provide funding for courts in Tennessee to create or update safe, trauma informed spaces or waiting rooms for victims of crime to wait for court processes or meet with the prosecutor, victim witness coordinator and other individuals assisting the victim of crime with his/her case. Allowable purchases include but are not limited to:

·         Repairs to the space to make it safe and trauma informed for victims. This could include fixing drywall, painting, repairing ceiling tiles, etc.

·         Installing security measures such as locks, cameras, intercoms ensure victim safety.

·         Supplies needed to provide victim services in the space while victims are waiting.

·         Supplies for storage of snacks and drinks for victims while they are waiting.

·         Toys and books for children to use while waiting.

·         Seating and lighting for victims.

·         Modular space to be dedicated as a waiting room is allowable.

·         Other supplies identified to create a safe and trauma informed place for victims to wait for court proceedings

PERSONNEL IS NOT ALLOWABLE.  CONSTRUCTION IS NOT ALLOWABLE. All items must be purchased and in use by the contract end date.

Intent to Apply



Q: If there is no space in a courthouse available can we use the funds for a victim’s room within District Attorneys General office?

A: Space that is owned by the county, but not part of the courthouse, will be considered on an per-application basis. The space in question should be readily accessible by victims attending court proceedings and within a reasonable walking distance.

Q: Who is the eligible entity to apply for this grant?

A: Application is limited to agencies who have ownership/control over a space where victims wait during judicial proceedings. We anticipate that this may very across jurisdictions and because of the rolling-application period can follow up with any jurisdictions who have specific questions about their own circumstances.

Q: If we were to apply for the maximum dollar amount but have a project that is more than the dollar amount, is that allowable?

A: Yes. You can apply for the maximum amount even if the project is more than is allowable under the grant. You would not include the extra project costs in your grant budget.

Q: Can funds be used to create a trauma informed waiting room for victims in a space that will be used for other purposes when court is not in session?

A: Yes. You will need to prorate the supplies purchased for the room based on the percentage of time it will be used as a victim safe waiting space versus a non-victim space (do not count times when it is not in use).

Q: I submitted my application’s intent to apply under the wrong category. Do I need to submit a second intent to apply?

A: Please email with an official request to change this information on the Intent to Apply document.

Q. How is match calculated?

A: Match can be calculated two ways:

            (STOP /JAG) Federal $ / .75 x .25 = ____________   

            (VOCA) Federal $ / .80 x .20 = ___________

            (examples: $40,000 x .25 = $10,000)    or   ($40,000 / .80) x.20 = $10,000)

For match in cash, the match amount will go in the line item. For match that is in-kind, it will go in the in-kind line item. Any items purchased over $5000 will go under Capital Expense. For more information on match please see the Grants Manual Ch. 3 Section 1. Match Requirement.

Q: No one at our agency has been trained in uniform guidance and my agency does not have a policy for this. If I don't have this is this going to knock out my application, or can I do some sort of online training pretty quickly?

A: While this will not prevent any application from moving forward in the process, if the agency application is funded, training on Uniform  Guidance is required within the first 6 months.

Q: Regarding the “Other Grant Funds Table”.  We are requesting equipment for this VOCA request.  Are you asking for grants we have received that are not related to our enhancement application?

A: Yes. This table is meant to represent all grant funds that your agency receives or anticipates that is will receive in FY 2019 for all criminal justice or victim service projects.

Q: How do we notate salary, benefits, and taxes on the budget form? Do we separate out each item?

A: There are several ways this can be noted on the budget form. Examples are below:

            Salary estimated at $____________ approximately __________% of time dedicated to project.

            Salary and benefits estimated at $___________ approximately ________% of time dedicated to project.

            Salary estimated at $ _________ Benefits estimated at $ ___________ approximately _________% of time dedicated to project.

            EX.: Salary and benefits estimated at $10,000.00 approximately 25% of time dedicated to project.

Q: Do we need to purchase an accounting system if we do not have one?

A: OCJP Grants Manual, Chapter III, Accounting Criteria ( ) states the subrecipient is free to use any accounting system that the subrecipient has established if the  system meets the following minimum criteria [located below in the chapter].”

Q: We get a lot of questions about supplanting. Does everyone understand what that is?

A: “Supplant” means to “replace” or “take the place of.” Federal law prohibits recipients of federal funds from replacing state, local, or agency funds with federal funds. Existing funds for a project and its activities may not be displaced by federal funds and reallocated for other organizational expenses. This is illegal.

Ex: You are awarded this volunteer coordinator position and you promote Dorothy to this position, you must backfill the position so there is an  increase in FTEs.  In the event your agency is facing a loss of funding, make that clear in your application.

Q: How do we know what our intended outputs will be if we never received VOCA funding before?

A: Intended outputs should be a projection, what you plan to serve. For example, if you know you get 500-600 clients through your door every year you can safely assume that you will serve between 400-700 clients next year. Use this information to establish a baseline of services.

Q: Is it reasonable to base numbers off of what you know and where you think your program will go? 

A: Look at what your agency did this last fiscal year, and where you are today, then project what these grant monies will allow you to do in the next year i.e. – expanding services.

Q: The Authorized Official for non-profit agencies is the Board Chair, correct?

A: For federal purposes, your authorized official is your board chair. The project director and fiscal director should be someone who is willing to take on the responsibilities of the projects implementation.  These duties are listed in the OCJP Grants Manual located:

Q: We would like to use donated space as match. Is this allowable?

A: This is allowable under VOCA. You can find more information in the OCJP Grants Manual Chapter III. Financial Requirements (located at ) states “The value of space may be used as in kind match if space is 100% owned by the agency (either through donation or it has been paid for) and used 100% for victim services.  In this case, you may use the fair market value of the space as in-kind match.  The value may not exceed the fair market value of comparable space as established by an independent appraisal of comparable space and facilities in a privately owned building in the same locality.  Agencies must obtain at least 3 comps from an independent Realtor and the use the average as the fair market value.  The basis for determining the value of personal services, materials, equipment and space must be documented."

Q: What if we submit a budget which is not accurate?

A: OCJP can only encourage agencies to complete the budget using the knowledge and resources available.  OCJP cannot say at this time if budget modifications after applications are reviewed will be accepted or will impact funding determinations.

Q: What is a State (Edison) Vendor ID?

A:  Please visit the State of Tennessee's website regarding Procurement/Supplier Information at

Q: Regarding the “Other Grant Funds Table”.  We are requesting equipment for this VOCA request.  Are you asking for grants we have received that are not related to our enhancement application?

A: Yes. This table is meant to represent all grant funds that your agency receives or anticipates that is will receive in FY 2019 for all criminal justice or victim service projects.

For VOCA funded projects:

Q: The SAR report is required for each organization that receives VOCA funding. The information in the report is a projection of how funding will be allocated to victim services for the year. Do we wait until June 1st, 2020 to complete this form or do it prior to submission NOW, since we know the amount we are applying for?

A: SARS should be completed as part of the application process. This is a projection of how the funds will be allocated based on the project narrative.

For DV projects (VOCA funded)

Q: Since budget amounts were reduced, is the expectation that we continue to fund the same activities as the previous grant term?  Or restructure grant-funded activity to align to the reduction in funding?

A: Agencies should present programming that is victim centered and the level of services should take into account the reduction in funds and the amount of other funds the agency has available. OCJP anticipates that the majority of the reduction will come out of agency travel and supplies. The goal of targeting these areas is to minimize the service impact to victims but how an agency is impacted will vary depending upon their specific grant budget.

Q: Can we to use our shelter building as part of match for our two grants?

A: Please the OCJP Subrecipient Grants Manual Chapter XIV: Allowable Costs, Part 7 Space - The cost of space in privately - or publicly - owned buildings used for the benefit of the program is allowable subject to the conditions stated.

Q: Will VOCA Pay for Administrative Costs associated with the grant?

A: Please the OCJP Subrecipient Grants Manual Chapter XVI Cost Allocation regarding the definition of allowable costs. The grant cannot pay for any costs associated with preparing the application itself.

Q: We were wondering, is it okay to include salary positions in our budget for one fiscal year and not the next in response to the reduced federal allocation amount? 

A: Agencies should apply for what is needed to support the proposed project.

For Law Enforcement Victim Coordinator projects:

Q: Who qualifies as a Volunteer? How many hours are volunteers required to work?

A: The Fair Labor Standards Act defines volunteer as “an individual who performs hours of service for a public agency for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons without promise, expectation, or receipt of compensation for services rendered…” 29 CFR 553.101(a). “The1985 Amendments provide that employees may volunteer hours of service to their public employer or agency provided ‘such services are not the same type of services which the individual is employed to perform for such public agency.’ The phrase ‘same type of services’ means similar or identical services.” 29 CFR 553.103.

For more information please see the Subrecipient Grants Manual Section III> Financial Requirement.

There is no minimum threshold of hours provided. Only that an agency who is granted VOCA funding utilize volunteers.

Q:  What is the Department of Revenue registration or exemption process?

A:  See this presentation for guidance.

Q: Is there a page limit on applications?

A: There is no page limit; However, we encourage agencies to clearly and concisely explain the problems and needs of communities they propose serving and how their project will address those needs through the described activities, inputs, etc.

Information and statistics that are global, national, or in other ways is outside the scope of your particular project is not necessary


This Page Last Updated: June 11, 2021 at 3:08 PM