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Upholding the Rule of Law and Preventing Wrongful Convictions Program

Grants to USA Nonprofits, IHEs, and State and Local Agencies
for Programs Related to the Criminal Justice System

Agency Type:

Federal

Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)

Deadline Date:

04/13/20 11:59 PM Eastern Time

Description:

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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, IHEs, and state and local agencies for programs related to the criminal justice system. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended for programs to enhance public safety by investigating reasonable claims of wrongful conviction and to identify the actual perpetrators of crimes, and to bring justice to victims.

By advancing methodologies and policies that address the underlying causes of wrongful convictions, URLPWC funding is intended to help prosecutors, law enforcement, defense counsel, and courts identify actual perpetrators and develop training tools, policies, and procedures that can prevent wrongful convictions. The reviews may also result in the identification of systemic issues related to prior practices and errors and/or new forensic practices that can contribute to preventing wrongful convictions. Public safety is adversely impacted by delays in the identification and apprehension of actual perpetrators. Exonerations based on false testimony, for example, primarily occur in murder cases, meaning that violent perpetrators remain on the street, potentially committing further crimes. URLPWC funding will support both the review of post-conviction claims of innocence and prosecutorial efforts to address violent crime and improve criminal prosecution, resulting in safer neighborhoods.

The Upholding the Rule of Law and Preventing Wrongful Convictions (ROL/WCR) Program is committed to protecting the integrity of the criminal justice system and the consistent application of due process for all. The ROL/WCR Program supports efforts by wrongful conviction review entities that represent individuals with post-conviction claims of innocence to review individual cases.

The objectives of the ROL/WCR Program are to:

  • Strategically review cases of post-conviction and appeals claims of innocence with a focus on those at greatest risk for error.
  • Establish or enhance partnerships, where appropriate, to apply a strategic review of individual post-conviction claims of innocence and appeals, and where relevant to use this information to inform efforts to prevent wrongful convictions.
  • Identify and apprehend, whenever possible, the actual perpetrator of a crime.
  • Evaluate whether or not any systemic issues exist that may compromise the rule of law and recommend practices for mitigating them and preventing wrongful convictions.

The expected deliverables are to:

  • Identify and report the number of post-conviction and appeals claims of innocence cases reviewed and the stage of review conducted for each case.
  • Document a systematic review of areas of risk for wrongful conviction, and recommend any strategies to mitigate these risks.

Jurisdictions with new or established WCR entities are encouraged to apply. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 183742

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$3,600,000

Number of Grants:

Expected Number of Awards: 12

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Award Ceiling: $300,000
- Award Floor: $0

Term of Contract:

- Period of performance start date: October 1, 2020
- Period of performance duration: 24 months

Eligibility:

  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Special district governments
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following entities are eligible to apply:
- Nonprofit organizations (including tribal nonprofit organizations)
- Institutions of higher education
- State or local public defender offices that have in-house post-conviction representation programs that show demonstrable experience and competence in litigating post-conviction claims of innocence.

All recipients and subrecipients (including any for-profit organization) must forgo any profit or management fee.

Pre-Application Information:

Timeline:
- Solicitation Release Date: February 11, 2020
- Application Deadline: 11:59 p.m. eastern time on April 13, 2020

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No

To be considered timely, an application must be submitted by the application deadline using Grants.gov, and the applicant must have received a validation message from Grants.gov that indicates successful and timely submission. OJP urges applicants to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the application due date, to allow time for the applicant to receive validation messages or rejection notifications from Grants.gov, and to correct in a timely fashion any problems that may have caused a rejection notification.

Prior to Registering in Grants.gov:
- Acquire a DUNS Number
- Acquire or renew registration with SAM: If the applicant already has an Employer Identification Number (EIN), the SAM registration will take up to 2 weeks to become active. If the applicant does not have an EIN, then the applicant should allow 2 to 5 weeks for obtaining an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If the entity does not have an EIN, then the applicant should allow two to five weeks for obtaining the information from the Internal Revenue Service when requesting the EIN via phone, fax, mail or Internet.

Registering with Grants.gov is a one-time process; however, processing delays may occur, and it can take several weeks for first-time registrants to receive confirmation of registration and a user password. OJP encourages applicants to register several weeks before the application submission deadline. In addition, OJP urges applicants to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the application due date, in order to allow time for the applicant to receive validation messages or rejection notifications from Grants.gov, and to correct in a timely fashion any problems that may have caused a rejection notification.

The NCJRS Response Center hours of operation are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. eastern time, Monday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. eastern time on the solicitation close date.

Application Resource Guide:
https://www.ojp.gov/microsite-subpage/ojp-grant-application-resource-guide#completeApplication

View this opportunity on Grants.gov:
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=324379

For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the Grants.gov page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For assistance with any unforeseen Grants.gov technical issues beyond an applicant’s control that prevent it from submitting its application by the deadline, or any other requirement of this solicitation, contact the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Response Center: toll-free at 800–851–3420; via TTY at 301–240–6310 (hearing impaired only); email grants@ncjrs.gov; fax to 301–240–5830; or web chat at https://webcontact.ncjrs.gov/ncjchat/chat.jsp.

CFDA Number:

16.746

Funding or Pin Number:

BJA-2020-17139

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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