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Funding Opportunity


by SIOP Administrative Office

DOJ Announces Collaborative Funding of up to $700,000 for Innovative Policing Strategies

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) within the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs (OJP) recently announced it is seeking proposals for the Smart Policing Initiative (SPI). Read the full PDF here or continue reading for more information.

Applications are due January 26, 2017.

SPI is part of BJA’s Smart Suite of programs that examine ways to combine science with various entities of the criminal justice system to enhance effectiveness and efficiency. Through this particular program, local law enforcement agencies partner with research institutes to explore promising, data-driven policing tactics that have the potential to reduce crime, increase case efficiency and closure rates, and improve relationships with communities. Findings from BJA awardees typically result in empirically tested best practices that can be shared with law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

Although state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies must submit applications, SPI projects require end-to-end support from research partners that are expected to “play a critical role in the project’s data collection and analysis, problem assessment, strategy development, and evaluation processes.” Research institutes are encouraged to seek partnerships with qualified law enforcement agencies to discuss the various needs of the local community and opportunities for the adoption of innovative techniques. Applications must respond to the one of the following purpose areas:

1. Smart Policing Innovation: Applicants from this area focus on the development of innovative, data-driven strategies to challenges facing law enforcement agencies nationwide. Examples of issues to consider include, but are not limited to:

  • “Effective prevention and response approaches to prescription and/or illegal drug overdose and deaths.
  • The use of predictive analytics and approaches to address crime.
  • Innovative approaches to engaging youth in crime prevention and reduction efforts.
  • Innovative roles for law enforcement agencies in offender reentry initiatives.
  • Effective approaches to increasing analytical capacity and evidence-based programming within a law enforcement agency.
  • Innovative approaches to reducing chronic violent crime in a specific community.
  • Innovative approaches to using alternatives to arrest for low-risk offenders or offenders with substance use or mental health disorders.
  • Law enforcement-led initiatives to address quality-of-life issues in the community.
  • Institutionalization of evidence-based policies, procedures, tactics, and strategies throughout a law enforcement organization.”

2. Responding to Precipitous Increases in Crime: Agencies applying to this area must provide evidence for a precipitous hike in crime within their jurisdictions and test interventions that directly respond to these increases. BJA is particularly interested in programs that address increases in violent and/or property crimes.

Again, SPI is one of several programs within BJA’s Smart Suite focused on developing research-practitioner partnerships to address pressing needs across the criminal justice system. Other Smart Suite programs that may be of interest to criminal justice researchers include those focused on prosecution, supervision, indigent defense, and other programs to promote field-initiated innovations. The program focused on smart prosecution has already been announced, and additional solicitations are expected to be released early next year.

Eligibility: “Eligible applicants are limited to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, as well as governmental non-law enforcement agencies, or tribal consortia consisting of two or more federally recognized Indian tribes.” All applicants must have an active research partner. A research partner can be “an independent consultant, or located in an academic institution, a state Statistical Analysis Center, or a research organization. The research partner should have demonstrated expertise conducting the type of work proposed.” Additional information on the roles and desired qualifications of research partners are included in the full solicitation.

Application Deadline: Applications are due January 26, 2017.

Total Funding and Award Size: BJA estimates that it will distribute as many as seven awards of up to $700,000 for a total of $4.4 million. Performance periods for projects are expected to last 36 months. BJA may elect to provide additional funding in future years for awards made through this program in the form of supplemental grants. Please note that awards under this solicitation are contingent upon the passage of a full-year appropriations act for fiscal year (FY) 2017, which Congress has yet to pass.

Sources and Additional Information:

  • The complete solicitation for the 2017 BJA SPI can be found at: https://www.bja.gov/funding/SPI17.pdf.
  • Additional information on BJA Smart Suite programs can be found at: https://www.bja.gov/programs/crppe/smartsuite.html.
  • In addition, the recently-announced solicitation for the Smart Suite program on Smart Prosecution can be found at: https://www.bja.gov/funding/SmartProsecution17.pdf. Applications are also due January 26, 2017.