DOJ – Increasing Legal Access to Victims of Crime: Innovations in Access to Justice Programs (2017)

Applications Due: July 18, 2017, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time

OVC Technical Assistance Webinar:  June 29, 2017, 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time: More info here

OVC will provide, in total, approximately $8.15 million in funding for legal services for three distinct projects that will enhance legal access for crime victims, foster technological innovation, and provide training and technical assistance to those involved in the initiatives. OVC anticipates that it will make awards under three distinct purpose areas:

  • Purpose Area 1 – Increase Capacity and Access to Civil Legal Help for Crime Victims Through Legal Fellows Program (Legal Fellows Program) – one award, up to $4,000,000, for a 2-year performance period.
  • Purpose Area 2 – Using Technology/Other Innovations to Increase Legal Access in Rural Areas – one award, up to $3,150,000, for a 3-year performance period.
  • Purpose Area 3 – Training and Technical Assistance – Legal Partnerships Increasing Medical Care Advocacy to Crime Victims – one award, up to $1,000,000, for a 2-year performance period.

Funding Title: OVC FY 17 Increasing Legal Access to Victims of Crime: Innovations in Access to Justice Programs

Agency Name: Office for Victims of Crime

Funding Opportunity Number:   OVC-2017-12180 

Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement

Express Language for Legal Aid: While legal aid programs are not likely to be awarded funding as one of the three lead organizations, please note the following opportunities this grant presents for legal services:

  • Under Purpose Area 1: Legal aid can apply to the selected lead organization to host legal fellows
    • As outlined in pages 7-8 of the funding notice, legal fellows will be addressing the following issue areas: advocacy for victims of human trafficking, victims of fraud and/or identity theft, victims of sexual assault in campus proceedings, victims of hate crimes, providing comprehensive legal services for meritorious immigration relief cases
  • Under Purpose Area 2: Rural legal aid programs can apply to the selected lead organization to be one of the rural sites providing innovative comprehensive legal services to crime victims

Target Population: Underserved populations, rural populations

Expected Number of Awards: 3

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: Yes

Estimated Total Program Funding: $8,150,000

Award Ceiling: $4,000,000

Award Floor: $1,000,000

How to Apply: Applicants must register in, and submit applications through, a primary source to find federal funding opportunities and apply for funding. Find complete instructions on how to register and submit an application at Applicants that experience technical difficulties during this process should call the Customer Support Hotline at 800–518–4726 or 606–545–5035, which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except on federal holidays.

Current Closing Date for Applications: by July 18, 2017, 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Eligible Applicants:

This solicitation seeks eligible applicants under three distinct purpose areas. Applicants may apply for more than one purpose area under this solicitation, so long as they meet the eligibility requirements for each purpose area.

Under Purpose Area 1, by statute, eligible applicants are limited to states, units of local government, federally recognized Indian tribal governments (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior), and nonprofit (defined as an organization that is described in section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 and is exempt from taxation under 501(a) of such title), nongovernmental organizations (including tribal nonprofits). An applicant must demonstrate a history of providing services, (e.g., victim assistance, social services, legal services, shelter, or mental health services), to human trafficking survivors. Additionally, an applicant must demonstrate that “subaward” organizations that host legal fellows providing legal services for human trafficking survivors have a demonstrated history of providing services to human trafficking survivors. Nonprofit organizations that hold money in offshore accounts for the purpose of avoiding paying the tax described in 26 U.S.C. § 511(a) are not eligible to apply.

Under Purpose Areas 2 and 3, eligible applicants are limited to private nonprofit organizations (including tribal nonprofit organizations); faith and community-based organizations; colleges and universities (including tribal institutions of higher education); and public agencies, federally recognized Indian tribal governments (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior), or tribal organizations that can demonstrate knowledge and understanding of civil legal representation for crime victims and the range of services needed; knowledge, and ability to successfully execute the development of training, technical assistance, public awareness, and other informational resources to meet the needs of victim service providers and allied practitioners who serve them; and the capacity to partner with other organizations and key stakeholders to deliver comprehensive, seamless legal services to victims. For these purpose areas, a private nonprofit organization does not have to have 501(c)(3) status to apply for grant funding under this solicitation.

Purpose Area 2 applicants must have the staff, resources, and capability to develop or enhance a model for delivery of these services. An applicant must demonstrate that it proposes to serve a rural area or rural community, and that there is a demonstrated need for legal services in this area. The applicant must provide their definition of a “rural area” or “rural community,” and explain why the targeted area meets the applicant’s definition of “rural area” or “rural community.” OVC may elect to fund applications submitted under this FY 2017 solicitation in future fiscal years, dependent on, among other considerations, the merit of the applications and on the availability of appropriations.

 Link to Full Announcement: Here   

Contact Information: For assistance with any other requirements of this solicitation, contact Silvia P. Torres, Program Management Specialist, by telephone at 202–616–1796, or by email at

Categories: Department of Justice, Domestic Violence, Education Organizations, Express Language for Legal Aid, Government Organizations, Human Trafficking, Native American Tribes or Tribal Organizations, Non-profit Organizations, Rural, Subgrant Possibilities, Victims of Crime

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