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DOJ/BJA: Transforming Prison Cultures, Climates, and Spaces

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) seeks applications for funding to support prisons and state correctional agencies’ efforts to transform their cultures, climates, and physical spaces to create and sustain safe, humane, and effective environments for people who work, visit, and are incarcerated in them.

Donor Name: Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)

State: All States

County: All Counties

Type of Grant: Grant

Deadline: 07/18/2023

Size of the Grant: $3,000,000

Grant Duration: 36 months

Details:

With this solicitation, BJA seeks to support prisons and state correctional agencies that are working to transform their cultures, climates, and spaces to create safe, humane, and effective environments for people who work, visit, and are incarcerated in them; to recruit and retain qualified staff; and to make and sustain needed changes to better promote the successful reintegration of individuals returning from incarceration to their communities.

In Category 1, BJA seeks to fund a training and technical assistance (TTA) provider to help prisons and state correctional agencies assess and transform their culture, climate, and spaces to improve outcomes including staff recruitment, training, retention, and wellness; the design of spaces and the structure of people’s time to prepare them for reintegration into their communities; and strategies that will promote and sustain these changes.

In Category 2, BJA seeks to fund a provider who will develop, manage, and promote a website with curated resources that will advance knowledge around prison operations. This website will be a landing space for resources developed under Category 1 as well as other BJA-supported work including Officer Safety and Wellness, Corrections Data Analysis, and Restrictive Housing Reform Implementation Assistance

Objectives 

The objectives of Category 1 are to:

  • Define a spectrum of strategies and practices that can assist sites working to transform their culture, climate, and spaces.
  • Support sites in assessing where they are on the spectrum and determine their incremental or comprehensive targets for change and implement plans to achieve them.
  • Incremental changes can include a focus on assessing the current culture and developing action plans in response.
  • Comprehensive change may consist of transforming the policies, procedures, programming, scheduling, staffing considerations (such as hiring, posts, and training), and design of a housing unit or facility.
  • Engage with and assist sites to make deliberate and measurable changes that improve conditions of confinement and post-release outcomes for people who are incarcerated and working in prisons through a focus on culture, climate, and spaces. This can include, but is not limited to, support around transformational changes that will impact staff recruitment, training, retention, and wellness; structured and nonstructured interactions between staff and people incarcerated; the use of spaces for programming or other rehabilitative purposes; and structuring days in a manner to engage and prepare people for release.
    • Engagement may, but is not required to, include setting aside a portion of the funding available under this solicitation for pass-through awards to competitively selected subrecipients (subgrantees).
  • Identify model sites that have begun implementing changes to their culture, climate, and spaces (e.g., implementing a staff climate survey and taking responsive actions; redesigning units to maximize rehabilitative potential) as a resource for the selected sites and the field.
  • Establish multiple learning communities to be inclusive of facilities/departments based on where they are on the spectrum and where they want to go. Increase staff capacity to support and implement reforms.
  • Develop and make publicly available tools and resources such as checklists, surveys, curricula, cultural assessment tools, and technology to advance the field’s understanding of key topics/issues and to advance practices around or in response to them.
  • Promote correctional agencies’ collection and analysis of data to measure the impact of reforms.

The objectives of Category 2 are to:

  • Develop, maintain, and expand a website that advances knowledge about prison operations and curates and disseminates actionable information on transforming prison cultures, climates, and spaces and other BJA-funded corrections initiatives.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with experts in relevant topics and in positions to influence and engage prison practitioners, including professional associations, to promote the use and development of the website.

Funding Information

Category 1: TTA Provider

  • Dollar Amount for Award: $3,000,000
  • Performance Duration (Months): 36

Category 2: Website Development

  • Dollar Amount for Award: $500,000
  • Performance Duration (Months): 36

Eligibility Criteria

  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education

For more inforamtion, visit Grants.gov.

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