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 Criminaljustice.Program@tn.gov 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

 

This solicitation seeks units of local government interested in planning, developing, and establishing a Family Justice Center in their community. A Family Justice Center is a co-location of a multi-disciplinary team of professionals who work together, under one roof, to provide coordinated services to victims of family violence which must at a minimum address victims of domestic violence, but can also include sexual assault, child abuse, human trafficking, and elder abuse. Co-location of services is defined as having adequate space for the provision of services by public and private entities, insuring victim safety and confidentiality.

Contracts for this project will begin on January 1, 2023 and will end on December 31, 2025. The maximum liability is $240,000.

Funds for this project will be used for the following

·  Establishing a position to be funded for the purpose of ensuring the activities of the grant are implemented as indicated

·  Promoting and educating the community on the concept and benefits of establishing a Family Justice Center

·  Coordinating the activities involved to assess the community readiness for creating a Family Justice Center

·  Assist with creating a strategic plan and the implementation process for that plan

·  Building partnerships between public and private entities to aid in supporting the FJC

·  Must provide services from a location by February 1, 2025.

Intent to Apply and Commitment Questionnaires: Due August 1, 2022.
Application: Due October 16, 2022.

The purpose of the Mental Health Transport (MHT) program/ Humane Transport of Patients Grant is to provide funding to offset the costs for Sheriff’s Offices that:

1.3.1     Conduct mental health transports pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-6-406; or

1.3.2     Designate a secondary transport agent pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-6-901.

1.3.3     This grant may not be used to pay for the transportation of inmates to or from a jail or workhouse even if the inmate is being transported under §33-6-404.

This grant is for non-custodial individuals only. Any individual transported under this grant from a jail or workhouse must be on cash bond or Release on Recognizance Bond.

Eligible subrecipients are limited to:  Sheriff’s Offices in the State of Tennessee who conduct secondary transports as described under TCA § 33-6-406.

Sheriff’s may designate other entities, to include municipal law enforcement agencies or other third-party providers that meet the requirements for secondary transportation agents under TCA § 33-6-901 to provide the transportation on their behalf. Sheriff’s Offices must apply for this funding and then subcontract with other municipal law enforcement agencies or third party providers.

If an entity other than the Sheriff is designated as the provider of transportation as described under TCA § 33-6-406, the ordinance or charter that designates the secondary transport agent must be submitted with the application.

Funding shall be provided under this program in the following manner:

1)    Non-Variable Amount: All qualifying local governments shall receive an amount equal to $25,000.00 for the purpose of providing humane transports under this program.*

2)    Variable Amount: All qualifying local governments shall receive an additional amount that shall be determined as follows:

Data received from qualifying applicants shall be aggregated in order to determine the total volume of secondary transports performed by the applicant pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §33-6-406 that occurred in FY21. This aggregate number of transports shall be divided against allocated state funding for transportation as a first step in determining a “transport rate”. These rates shall then be multiplied by the number of transports reported by each qualifying applicant in order to determine the variable amount which shall be added to the non-variable amount to determine the amount that each applicant shall receive.

Funding shall be made available to qualifying local government entities no later than September 30, 2022. When received this funding can be used towards allowable expenditures for the period of July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023. The funding can be used retroactively towards costs the county incurred for transports beginning July 1, 2022.

* The non-variable amount is not guaranteed for future solicitations / funding years.

Intents to Apply and Applications are due June 30, 2022.

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 etc.to 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

Application

FAQs

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: Can the Safe Court application be used to update/pave an agency parking lot?

A: No. The Safe Court grant is specifically for the creation/maintenance/updating of a safe waiting space for victims while in court

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 CriminalJustice.Program@tn.gov 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 (https://www.tn.gov/finance/office-of-criminal-justice-programs/ocjp/ocjp-grants-manual/financial-requirements.html ) 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:  https://www.tn.gov/finance/office-of-criminal-justice-programs/ocjp/ocjp-grants-manual.html

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 https://www.tn.gov/finance/office-of-criminal-justice-programs/ocjp/ocjp-grants-manual/financial-requirements.html ) 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 https://www.tn.gov/generalservices/procurement/central-procurement-office--cpo-/supplier-information.html

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

Q: I am a government agency. Do I need to turn in a Cost Allocation Plan, Indirect Cost Rate, or De Minimis?

A: No, those items are for non-profits that might apply for a grant.

This Page Last Updated: May 23, 2022 at 9:33 AM