This is a bilingual message. The Spanish translation could be found at the end.

Este mensaje es bilingüe, la traducción en español se encuentra al final.


Welcome to the Reaching Victims of Crime Mini-Grant application! We are thrilled at your interest in our mini-grant program, and would like to take the time to thank you for your dedication to improving services and supports for victims of crime. Below you will find more information about the purpose of this program, an overview of the National Resource Center for Reaching Victims, and helpful information about Submittable. Please do not hesitate to reach out to reachingvictims@vera.org with questions or concerns. Thank you again, and we look forward to reviewing your application. 


Each year, millions of people in the United States become victims of crime. Yet, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 9 out of 10 people who experience a violent victimization don’t receive victim services. The Reaching Victims of Crime Mini-Grant Program seeks to close some of these gaps by addressing the unmet needs of survivors from underserved communities, allowing them to access and benefit from healing services and avenues to justice. We invite applications from projects that seek to better identify, engage, and/or serve survivors from underserved communities or who face particular barriers to accessing the help they need. Through a competitive selection process, we will make up to 10 sub-awards for up to $50,000 for a 9-month period, starting in December 2018 and ending in August 2019. 


Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), the National Resource Center for Reaching Victims (NRC), is a one-stop shop for victim service providers, culturally specific organizations, criminal justice professionals, and policymakers to get information and expert guidance to enhance their capacity to identify, reach, and serve all victims, especially those from communities that are underrepresented in healing services and avenues to justice. 

The NRC is working to increase the number of victims who receive healing supports by understanding who is underrepresented and why some people access services while others don’t; designing and implementing best practices for connecting people to the services they need; and empowering and equipping organizations to provide the most useful and effective services to crime victims. 

The NRC is a collaboration among Caminar Latino, Casa de Esperanza, Common Justice, FORGE, the National Children’s Advocacy Center, the National Center for Victims of Crime, the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later in Life, Women of Color Network, Inc., and the Vera Institute of Justice.


To complete this application, you are using an online management platform called Submittable. Here are some important points to note about this system to help you successfully complete and submit your application:

  • Creating an Account: Creating an account is simple with Submittable. To create an account simply click the "Create Account" button at the bottom of this page. You will be prompted to enter your email and a password, as well as your first and last name. 
  • Logging In and Out: At any point during your application process you may log in and out of the system. Once logged out, you will be asked to enter your email and password to return to your homepage. 
  • Auto-Save Feature: The application has an auto-save feature, meaning as you work to complete the application, your progress will be saved automatically.

If you have any further questions about Submittable, please contact Leni Dworkis at ldworkis@vera.org. 


Please remember that to complete your application, you will need to submit the following components:

  • Applicant Profile
  • Project Summary 
  • Project Narrative (including sections on need, project design, and capacity) 
  • Budget Detail and Narrative
  • Work Plan 
  • Letter(s) of Commitment


Once you have created an account, you will be able to view an overview of the application process and further detail about the Reaching Victims of Crime Mini-Grant program. Thank you again for your interest, and best of luck in completing your application!

***

¡Bienvenidas/os a la solicitud para la Mini Beca: El Alcance a Víctimas del Crimen! Nos motiva mucho su interés en el programa de mini becas y agradecemos su dedicación para mejorar los servicios y el apoyo para las víctimas del crimen. A continuación, encontrará más información sobre el propósito de este programa, una descripción general acerca del Centro Nacional de Recursos para el Alcance a Víctimas e información útil sobre el uso de Submittable. Por favor, si tiene preguntas o inquietudes no dude en comunicarse con reachingvictimsvictims@vera.org. Nuevamente gracias, y esperamos con interés revisar su solicitud.   


Cada año, millones de personas en los Estados Unidos se convierten en víctimas del crimen. Sin embargo, según la Encuesta Nacional de Victimización del Crimen, 9 de cada 10 personas que experimentan una victimización violenta no reciben servicios para víctimas. El programa de Mini Becas: El Alcance a Víctimas del Crimen, tiene por objetivo atender las necesidades y eliminar las barreras que impiden que las/os sobrevivientes de las comunidades desatendidas se beneficien con los servicios de sanacion y las vías hacia la justicia. Extendemos esta invitación a solicitudes con proyectos que buscan identificar, involucrar y/o atender mejor a las/os sobrevivientes de comunidades desatendidas o a quienes enfrentan obstáculos particulares para acceder a la ayuda que necesitan. Mediante un proceso individual de selección, entregaremos un máximo de 10 becas hasta por $50,000 por un período de 9 meses, comenzando en diciembre de 2018 y finalizando en agosto de 2019.  


Financiado por el Departamento de Justicia de los EEUU, la Oficina para Víctimas del Crimen (OVC), el Centro Nacional de Recursos para el Alcance a Víctimas (NRC),  es un recurso integral para los proveedores de servicios dirigido a las víctimas, las organizaciones culturalmente específicas, las/os profesionales de la justicia penal y las/os legisladores para obtener información y orientación experta para mejorar su capacidad de identificar, llegar y atender a todas las víctimas, especialmente aquellas provenientes de comunidades que están subrepresentadas en servicios de sanación y vías hacia la justicia.  


Entendiendo quienes son subrepresentadas y por que algunas personas acceden al servicio y otras no, el NRC aumentará el apoyo de sanación a mayor numero de victimas; El NRC está trabajando para aumentar los niveles de apoyo que reciben las victimas para su sanación. Para realizar esto, buscamos comprender quiénes están subrepresentados/as y por qué algunas pesonas acceden a los servicios mientras que otras no lo hacen); diseñando e implementando las mejores maneras para conectar a las personas con los servicios que necesitan;  empoderando y equipando a las organizaciones para que proporcionen los servicios más útiles y eficaces a las víctimas del crimen.  


El NRC es una colaboración entre Caminar Latino, Casa de Esperanza, Justicia Común (Common Justice), FORGE, el Centro Nacional de Defensa de Menores (National Children’s Advocacy Center), el Centro Nacional para Víctimas del Crimen, el Centro Nacional de Información sobre Abuso de Adultos Mayores (The National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life), Red de Mujeres de Color Inc. (Women of Color Network, Inc) y el Instituto de Justicia Vera (Vera).  


Para completar esta solicitud, usted utilizará Submittable. A continuación, encontrará algunos puntos importantes sobre este sistema que le ayudarán a completar y enviar su solicitud con éxito:

  • Crear una cuenta: crear una cuenta es simple con Submittable. Para crear una cuenta simplemente haga clic en el botón "Crear cuenta" en la parte inferior de esta página. Se le pedirá que ingrese su correo electrónico y una contraseña, así como su nombre y apellido.
  • Inicio y cierre de sesión: en cualquier momento durante el proceso de su solicitud, puede usted iniciar y cerrar la sesión en el sistema. Una vez que haya cerrado la sesión, se le pedirá que ingrese su correo electrónico y contraseña para regresar a su página de inicio. 
  • Función de Autoguardado: esta aplicación tiene una función de autoguardado, lo que significa que mientras usted trabaja completando la solicitud, sus avances serán guardados automáticamente.


Si tiene preguntas adicionales sobre Submittable, favor de ponerse en contacto con Leni Dworkis en ldworkis@vera.org. 

 

Recuerde que para completar su solicitud, deberá presentar los siguientes componentes:

  • Perfil del solicitante
  • Resumen del proyecto
  • Narrativa del proyecto
  • Detalle y narrativa del presupuesto
  • Plan de trabajo
  • Carta(s) de Compromiso


Una vez que haya creado una cuenta, podrá ver una descripción general del proceso de solicitud e información detallada sobre el programa Mini Becas para el Alcance a Víctimas del Crimen. ¡Gracias nuevamente por su interés y la mejor de las suertes formulando su solicitud!

Background: Vera’s In Our Backyards Initiative 

A little-known fact threatens our nation’s collective efforts to end mass incarceration: as major cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and New Orleans reduce their incarceration rates, many smaller communities across the country are moving in the opposite direction. In fact, thousands of smaller cities and rural counties are now grappling with the nation’s highest rates of jail incarceration and prison admissions—and, increasingly, some of the most outsize jails. The Vera Institute’s In Our Backyards Initiative is driven by the realization that if we do not respond to the shifting geography of incarceration, national gains made toward unwinding mass incarceration could be totally eroded by deepening problems in overlooked communities across the country. In the short-term, we are committed to stopping the rise of small and rural incarceration, then reversing decades of growth in communities of all sizes. 

This work is made particularly urgent by the quiet jail boom that is rapidly expanding carceral capacity across the country—at the same time that efforts to close facilities like New York City’s Rikers Island Jail, Philadelphia’s House of Corrections, and the St. Louis “Workhouse” gain ground, many smaller communities are building or adding capacity to jails. Because new jail beds are usually filled quickly, reversing mass incarceration depends on holding firm against on unnecessary jail expansion. 

This work was born out of Vera’s Incarceration Trends Project, which pieced together 45 years’ worth of county-level incarceration data. This has been further supplemented by Vera’s qualitative research in small and rural communities across the country, which explores the human and social impact of jails and prisons and the structural and social forces driving high incarceration rates. 

Funding Opportunity: In Our Backyards Community Grants 

The inaugural round of partnership grants awarded by Vera’s In Our Backyards initiative is driven by a recognition of two key dynamics: First, in many of the thousands of high-incarceration counties across the country, there is not enough existing appetite for meaningful reform from within local government. This may be rooted in a lack of awareness about the severity of local incarceration, a belief that the system is functioning as it should, or a misconception that growing prison admissions and crowded jails can’t be addressed by policy change. Second, the most ambitious efforts to reduce incarceration in America’s biggest cities have been driven and sustained by locally-rooted organizing and advocacy that creates momentum for reform and holds local government accountable for progress. Organizing and advocacy groups in small cities and rural counties benefit from opportunities to share strategies and be connected to this larger movement.  

 To spark and sustain reform beyond the biggest cities, Vera is awarding an inaugural round of grants to community-based and/or statewide organizations committed to reducing incarceration rates and resisting unnecessary jail expansion in small and rural communities. These grants are designed to support work to: 

1. Make data and knowledge about incarceration in their communities more widely available, including: how both prisons and jails are being used, rising rates of women’s incarceration, the racially and ethnically disparate impact of local justice systems, how community supervision interacts with jail and prison admissions, and specific local drivers of incarceration; 

2. Change the public narrative about incarceration in local and national media by elevating the particular experiences of small and rural communities, and the human toll of jails and prisons; and

3. Build public and governmental will to reverse mass incarceration locally and statewide, through policy and practice change. 

Community grants must be used for these educational activities and may not be used to support lobbying of any kind, nor to support or oppose candidates for office. However, funds may be used to educate or brief elected officials about key issues, convening impartial candidate forums to address criminal justice, or other forms of public and policymaker engagement. Grant money might also be used for a broad range of additional activities that support the above goals, including the creation and dissemination of materials, events, public art initiatives, salaries of personnel who manage or direct activities meant to achieve the goals of the grant, production of audiovisual content and storytelling initiatives, trainings, and canvassing.

Applicants are eligible to apply for up to $10,000 to support work over an eight-month period (May 2019 – January 2020). Through a competitive selection process, Vera will fund up to 10 organizations in the first round. The funding is intended to sustain existing rural/small-city focused organizing, or expand work that is rooted in large cities or their suburbs to expand into smaller counties.[1] 

The grant will also entail a close partnership with Vera’s In Our Backyards team, and grantees should plan to make use of Vera’s existing local incarceration data, and help identify opportunities to fill data and knowledge gaps. We will convene grantees once midway through the grant period to share strategies, tactics, and challenges and receive additional training. 

Grantee Expectations  
This grant is designed to support multiple levels of involvement: 

  • Public and governmental education:      An In Our Backyards Community Grant will support work that includes a data-driven approach to framing the problem of incarceration as being in “all our backyards,” and identifying opportunities for reform. The funds can be used to sustain existing work or projects in small or rural communities, support the launch of new efforts or      initiatives, expand work in a particular region, or foster partnerships and collaboration across the urban-rural spectrum. Education efforts can be geared toward elected officials, the broader public, and in limited circumstances, candidates for office. Any candidate engagement must be      conducted in keeping with the requirements of Section 501(h) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Community of practice: Grantees will also become part of a community of practice, to include other leaders in this space. These connections are meant to build capacity and to foster      relationship among groups working toward similar goals in differentvregions of the country. The experience will include a limited number of meetings via phone or video and one (1) in-person convening. [1] 
  • Support from Vera: We envision a close partnership with Vera and the grantees. The In Our Backyards team will be available to answer questions, address obstacles, identify or support media opportunities, strategize around filling data or knowledge gaps, and facilitate connections with others in the field. We can provide presentation materials, factsheets, and other resources using our repository of incarceration data, and help identify and support strategies to collect fresher or more policy-relevant data, when possible. 

Eligibility
Organizations from all states and territories are encouraged to apply. Vera has identified ten (10) states where small cities and rural communities are driving high and/or growing rates of incarceration. Applications from the following ten (10) states will receive preference: 

· Colorado

· Florida 

· Indiana 

· Kentucky

· Mississippi 

· Missouri 

· North Carolina

· Pennsylvania 

· Tennessee 

· Wyoming 

We also encourage proposals focused on preventing unnecessary jail construction by emphasizing decarceration and proposals that include naming and reducing racial disparities in incarceration. 

We will consider applications that include partnerships between two to three organizations, including groups working across the urban-rural spectrum. In these instance, each organization can either serve as its own fiscal sponsor or designate one organization to serve as the fiscal agent. Each partner organization is eligible to receive a maximum grant of $10,000, regardless of whether the organizations serve as their own fiscal agent. A maximum of three (3) organizations can enter into partnership. If a group or organization working in a major urban or suburban area wishes to apply, they must identify a partner organization in a small or rural community they wish to work in. Partnership grants must be submitted as a single application. 

We also encourage prospective applicants to consider how these funds might be used to shape the conversation around local elections by educating voters and candidates, or to brief recently elected officials and identify opportunities for change. 

Who Can Apply
Eligible applicants are 501(c)(3) organizations or groups with a fiscal sponsor that have a demonstrable history of working to address mass incarceration at the state or local level. We will also consider organizations with a history of work that directly intersects with mass incarceration, including anti-poverty, housing, and other justice focused work, that propose projects meant to deepen their engagement in criminal justice. 

Organizations, or groups, with fiscal sponsors are also eligible to apply

Applicants must be located in States, Districts, or Territories of the U.S.A., and must commit to: 

  • Achieve clear and demonstrable progress toward increasing public awareness and      understanding of the role that local justice systems play in mass incarceration and/or catalyzing meaningful policy and practice change. This might be measured in press coverage, owned and earned media, public opinion change, public commitments or statements from civil servants,      growth or development of local coalitions or issue campaigns, people mobilized or trained, or concrete policy and practice change. Applicants should be prepared to indicate how they will measure this progress in their grant proposal.  
  • Participate in the community of practice, which will include one in-person convening (location TBD) with some travel funds available, based on need. 
  • Use data in service of public education, narrative shift, and building public and governmental will for reform. 
  • Complete one short interim report on the work that funds are supporting. 
  • Complete a final report that summarizes impact, challenges, and lessons-learned. 
  • Grant Vera permission to publish blog posts, fact sheets, and other resources related to the partnership grants. 

[1] Travel to this convening will be reimbursed by Vera outside of the partnership grant.    

[1] We define “large cities” as metropolitan areas with more than a million residents, and their suburbs as the counties in the surrounding metropolitan area. 

Vera Institute of Justice