The Improving Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Grant Program (Improving Criminal Justice Responses Program) is designed to encourage partnerships between state, local, and tribal governments, courts, victim service providers, coalitions and rape crisis centers, to ensure that sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are treated as serious violations of criminal law requiring the coordinated involvement of the entire criminal justice system and community-based victim service organizations. The Improving Criminal Justice Responses Program challenges the community to work collaboratively to identify problems and share ideas that will result in new responses to ensure victim safety and offender accountability.
In FY 2023, funds may be used for the following statutory purpose areas:
- To implement offender accountability and homicide reduction programs and policies in police departments, including policies for protection order violations and enforcement of protection orders across State and tribal lines.
- To develop policies, educational programs, protection order registries, data collection systems, and training in police departments to improve tracking of cases and classification of complaints involving domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
- To centralize and coordinate police enforcement, prosecution, or judicial responsibility for domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking cases in teams or units of police officers, prosecutors, parole and probation officers, or judges.
- To coordinate computer tracking systems and provide the appropriate training and education about domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking to ensure communication between police, prosecutors, parole and probation officers, and both criminal and family courts.
- To strengthen legal advocacy and legal assistance programs and other victim services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, including strengthening assistance to such victims in immigration matters.
- To educate federal, state, tribal, territorial, and local judges, courts, and court-based and court-related personnel in criminal and civil courts (including juvenile courts) about domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and to improve judicial handling of such cases.
- To provide technical assistance and computer and other equipment to police departments, prosecutors, courts, and tribal jurisdictions to facilitate the widespread enforcement of protection orders, including interstate enforcement, enforcement between states and tribal jurisdictions, and enforcement between tribal jurisdictions.
- To develop or strengthen policies and training for police, prosecutors, and the judiciary in recognizing, investigating, and prosecuting instances of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking against individuals 50 years of age or older, Deaf individuals, and individuals with disabilities (as defined in section 12102(2) of Title 42).
- To develop state, tribal, territorial, or local policies, procedures, and protocols for preventing dual arrests and prosecution in cases of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and to develop effective methods for identifying the pattern and history of abuse that indicates which party is the actual perpetrator of abuse.
- To plan, develop and establish comprehensive victim service and support centers, such as family justice centers, designed to bring together victim advocates from victim service providers, staff from population-specific organizations, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, probation officers, governmental victim assistants, forensic medical professionals, civil legal attorneys, chaplains, legal advocates, representatives from community-based organizations and other relevant public or private agencies or organizations into one centralized location, in order to improve safety, access to services, and confidentiality for victims and families.
- To develop and implement policies and training for police, prosecutors, probation and parole officers, and the judiciary in recognizing, investigating, and prosecuting instances of sexual assault, with an emphasis on recognizing the threat to the community for repeat crime perpetration by such individuals.
- To develop, enhance, and maintain protection order registries.
- To develop human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing programs for sexual assault perpetrators and notification and counseling protocols.
- To develop and implement training programs for prosecutors and other prosecution related personnel regarding best practices to ensure offender accountability, victim safety, and victim consultation in cases involving domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
- To develop or strengthen policies, protocols, and training for law enforcement, prosecutors, and the judiciary in recognizing, investigating, and prosecuting instances of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking against immigrant victims, including the appropriate use of applications for nonimmigrant status under subparagraphs (T) and (U) of section 1101(a)(15) of Title 8.
- To develop and promote state, local, or tribal legislation and policies that enhance best practices for responding to the crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, including the appropriate treatment of victims.
- To develop, implement, or enhance sexual assault nurse examiner programs or sexual assault forensic examiner programs, including the hiring and training of such examiners
- To develop, implement, or enhance Sexual Assault Response Teams or similar coordinated community responses to sexual assault.
- To develop and strengthen policies, protocols, and training for law enforcement officers and prosecutors regarding the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases and the appropriate treatment of victims, including victims among underserved populations (as defined in section 40002(a) of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (34 U.S.C. 12291(a)).
- To provide human immunodeficiency virus testing programs, counseling, and prophylaxis for victims of sexual assault.
- To identify and inventory backlogs of sexual assault evidence collection kits and to develop protocols for responding to and addressing such backlogs, including policies and protocols for notifying and involving victims.
- To develop multidisciplinary high-risk teams focusing on reducing domestic violence and dating violence homicides by:
- using evidence-based indicators to assess the risk of homicide and link high-risk victims to immediate crisis intervention services;
- identifying and managing high-risk offenders; and
- providing ongoing victim advocacy and referrals to comprehensive services including legal, housing, health
- To develop, strengthen, and implement policies, protocols, and training for law enforcement regarding cases of missing or murdered Indians.
- To compile and annually report data to the Attorney General related to missing or murdered Indians.
- To develop statewide databases with information on where sexual assault nurse examiners are located.
- To develop and implement alternative methods of reducing crime in communities, to supplant punitive programs or policies.
Because the majority of the statutory purpose areas listed above include functions and/or activities that are inherently governmental, state/tribal coalitions and victim service providers applying as the lead applicant may seek funding to address only purpose areas 5, 10, and 17 above.
In FY 2023, OVW is interested in supporting the priority areas identified below. Applications proposing activities in the following areas will be given special consideration during the review process.
- Advance racial equity as an essential component of ending sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
- Increase access to justice for all survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, including through exploration of survivor-centered criminal justice system reform.
- Strengthen efforts to prevent and end sexual assault, including victim services and civil and criminal justice responses.
- Improve outreach, services, civil and criminal justice responses, prevention, and support for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking from underserved communities, particularly LGBTQ and immigrant communities.
In FY21, 41 awards were granted for a total of $30,751,380.00. Awardees can be viewed at: https://www.justice.gov/ovw/awards/fy-2021-ovw-grant-awards-program#ICJR