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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


The purpose of this project is to respond to any technology, training, public awareness, equipment needs/updates, or translators, hoteling needs and food and personal hygiene products for clients that will enhance the agency’s ability to provide trauma informed services to victims of crime.

Intent to Apply and Application are due no later than 4:00 pm CST on 11/16/2020.

Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF)

Multi-jurisdictional Drug/Violent Crime Task Force COVID Response Grant

Eligible subrecipients are limited to any OCJP-funded Tennessee Judicial Drug Task Force comprised of at least two local jurisdictions and the Office of the District Attorney General for the territory they occupy.

The Grant Solicitation will be issued on October 20, 2020. The Intent to Apply and Application Deadline must be completed by prior to 4:30pm CST on October 30, 2020. Contracts will be one (1) year in length beginning July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2021. Successful applicants will receive their contract by approximately December 1, 2020; however, COVID-19 expenses from July 1, 2020 may be applied to the grant. Contract budgets may not exceed $20,000 for the project period and will remain contingent, as always, on the availability of U.S. Department of Justice federal appropriations.

Allowable projects and purchases include, but are not limited to equipment (including but not limited to technology and personal protective equipment), supplies (such as gloves, masks, sanitizer), training, and travel expenses (particularly related to the distribution of resources to the most impacted areas).  Funding cannot be used to supplant local finds or to make-up for budget shortfalls.

Funds awarded under the CESF Program shall not include any items related to crowd control/riot response teams.

Intent to Apply due:  October 30, 2020

Applications due:  November 13, 2020

Eligibility is limited to units of local government in the State of Tennessee who are involved in the assessment, supervision, or release of defendants prior to the final adjudication of a criminal case. Non-profits are eligible to apply but must submit a signed MOU or letter of support with the unit of local government who are involved in the assessment, supervision, or release of defendants prior to the final adjudication of a criminal case describing the collaboration and access to defendants.

Grant contracts under this solicitation will be for up to six (6) months in length from January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021. This is one time funding. Projects should demonstrate a sustainability plan if services to pre-trial defendants are a part of the plan.

The purpose of this grant solicitation is to assist eligible applicants that are interested in strategic planning or the implementation of projects related to local pre-trial reform efforts as described in the introduction.


Pre-trial reform efforts are complex and complicated projects requiring community input, buy-in from local elected officials, feedback from law enforcement and judicial officials, as well as the community advocates working to impact positive change in the criminal justice system. No project is successful without data, but many areas lack the capacity to gather and analyze their data due to reasons ranging from a lack of available data (due to antiquated computer systems, records management systems or computer systems that cannot connect with other agency systems), lack of time and labor to analyze the data/resources, or lack of expertise to complete such an analysis. This grant seeks to help communities tackle these problems and more. Appropriate uses of this grant include, but are not limited to:

  • Engaging in planning and research for pre-trial program development including pre-trial risk assessment development and Sequential Intercept Mapping.
  • Purchasing equipment, records management systems, software, or “software as a service” (SAAS) to help collect the relevant data related to tracking jail inmates
  • Creating a “road map” for pre-trial work by identifying local pre-trial visions and values, conducting strategic planning to lock down key strategic objectives, and developing future action steps and a timetable for pre-trial improvement.
  • Identifying and capitalizing on existing resources and offering appropriate workforce development related to strategic implementation, relationship management, and information measurement/analysis.
  • Purchasing equipment related to 1.3.1 thru 1.3.4 above (e.g. computers).
  • Engaging a technical assistance provider to help with items A through D above.
  • Providing services (substance abuse, mental health, GED, workforce development) to justice involved individuals who are on pre-trial release. MOU/letter of support with relevant partners must be submitted with the application to demonstrate that the project is a collaborative pre-trial project.

Intent to Apply due:  10/22/2020

Applications due:  10/31/2020


Q: What is the amount allowed to request for this funding?

A: The maximum amount you can ask for is $50,000.

Q: Is there match on this grant application?

A: No, there is not a match requirement for this solicitation.

Q: Can the grant money be used to assist with bond or ankle monitoring costs?

A: Section 1.3.7 of the solicitation allows for providing services to justice involved individuals. The grantee could use the grant money to assist with bond or ankle monitoring costs. While the money could not be used to secure bond, ancillary costs related to the bond could be paid (drug testing, alcohol monitoring, ankle monitors, GPS).

Q: Can the grant money be used to assist with initial housing costs?

A: Section 1.3.7 of the solicitation allows for providing services to justice involved individuals. While construction costs are not allowed per the OCJP Grants Manual, assisting justice involved individuals with initial housing costs is allowable. Please note that this grant is for programs dealing with individuals pre-adjudication (pre-trial) and is not intended to cover post-conviction or re-entry services.

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: October 26, 2020 at 9:48 AM