Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2014 Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program Funding Announced

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has announced funding for the 2014 Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program (BCJI).

BCJI is focused on transforming neighborhoods of distress into neighborhoods of opportunity. Specifically, BCJI recognizes that public safety is a vital component of healthy, vibrant communities that provide residents with opportunities to thrive. As a grant program, BCJI targets neighborhoods that have significant crime challenges and strives to help these neighborhoods use data to identify the local drivers of crime and develop evidence-informed strategies that address the needs of the local community.

As part of Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which includes initiatives such as the Building Neighborhood Capacity Program, BCJI recognizes that comprehensively addressing community safety is the role of the entire community. With strong support and guidance from criminal justice agencies, this work must be completed with all relevant stakeholders, including education, housing, health and human services, community-based organizations, faith organizations and residents. Together, a diverse group of stakeholders from various sectors can share resources and expertise and develop holistic, interconnected solutions to the complex issue of crime and safety.

As a key NRI program, BCJI is part of a network of place-based initiatives. Due to similarities in geographic targets and the inextricable link between housing, education, health, economic development, and public safety, applicants should develop a plan to coordinate BCJI with other existing neighborhood revitalization efforts—such as Promise Neighborhoods, Choice Neighborhoods, Community Health Center grants, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) funds, or a Promise Zone’s designation—where possible.

Two categories of BCJI grants are available:
  • Category 1: Funding will support communities in the design of a strategic, collaborative, and community-oriented plan to reduce crime in a target neighborhood. BJA anticipates making 15 awards up to $100,000 in this category.
  • Category 2: Funding will support communities in the completion of a new or existing strategic, collaborative, and community-oriented plan to reduce crime and begin implementation of the plan during the project period. BJA anticipates making up to 5 awards up to $1,000,000 in this category.
Grant applications are due May 6, 2014. Eligible applicants include states, unit of local governments, non-profit organizations (including tribal non-profit organizations), and federally recognized Indian tribal governments.

UPDATE - Monday, March 31, 2014
Want to learn more about the 2014 BCJI grants? The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) at the U.S. Department of Justice is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, April 2 from 3pm-4:30pm ET highlighting the core elements of BCJI, as well as an overview of the 2014 solicitation. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions. Click here to register.

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