Division of Criminal Justice Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Edward Byrne Program

How do I get a Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG)?

Byrne JAG funds are allocated in the annual State Budget, by the Governor and State Legislators.

Can a private sector agency receive a Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG)?

The State of New York is obligated by Title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 3711 to pass-through a specified percentage of the federal Byrne JAG Formula Grant Program funds to local units of government. Program guidelines define a "unit of local government" as any city, county, town, township, borough, parish, village, or other general purpose political subdivision of a State.

Some programs and functions that benefit local jurisdictions are best implemented by not-for-profit agencies. While not-for-profit agencies are eligible recipients of Byrne JAG funds, a local unit of government must agree to assume responsibility for the grant contract or waive the funds in order to permit the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to contract directly with the not-for-profit organization. In such cases, the pass-through requirement can be met by obtaining a waiver(s) from the local jurisdiction(s) that will benefit from the program or service.

Such waivers must be made voluntarily by eligible local government recipients and must be documented. The waiver process is appropriate only if the services provided benefit the same local population that otherwise would have received the funds to provide the same or similar services. No specific form is required for the waiver (although DCJS has a form letter), but it should be in writing from an official authorized to sign on behalf of the local unit of government. A waiver is allowed for the administrative convenience of a local government only. This waiver also alleviates any responsibility by the locality for providing matching funds or from executing any administrative responsibilities associated with these federal funds.

How do I calculate the match required for my Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG)?

The match for a Byrne JAG award must equal 1/9 of the award, that is, 10% of the total project cost.

Are in-kind contributions acceptable as match?

No. Only hard cash match is acceptable.

Can I use Byrne JAG funds to support existing programs or services?

No. Byrne JAG funds cannot be used to supplant state and local expenditures.

What can I use Byrne JAG funds for?

Use your Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) to support new or innovative program initiatives which target one or more of the 6 federal purpose areas.

Juvenile Justice

I hear that you have juvenile justice grant money available. How do I find out if my program might be eligible and where do I go for an application?

Refer to the State of New York Three-Year Comprehensive State Plan for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention which can be mailed out from our office or accessed on-line. (This document is in PDF format. Please contact us for a text copy.)

What is a "concept paper" and what should it contain?

If you have identified needs of youth in your community and have a solid idea of how to address them programmatically, you are encouraged to create a 2 -4 page concept paper that outlines a specific project geared towards those needs. Wwe would be happy to send you a copy of the specifications in the mail.

What should I expect when I appear before the Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (JJAG) to seek approval for my project?

The Juvenile Justice Advisory Group members will have reviewed your application beforehand and you should be prepared for a ten minute question/answer session. No formal presentation is required, although occasionally prospective grantees have been asked to provide a brief overview of a proposed project and its history.

How long after being approved can I expect to get my executed contract?

Generally it takes 6-10 weeks to receive a formally executed contract.

When can I begin to spend grant money for setting up an approved program?

It is not advisable to begin spending grant monies prior to receiving the executed contract.

What happens (what should I do) if my program takes a turn in direction due to unforeseen difficulties?

Contact your program representative for technical assistance as soon as possible.

If my program gets a late start, how flexible are the start and end dates on an executed contract?

While grants can be extended due to a late start up, it is important that project implementation, vouchering and fiscal cost reporting begin as soon as possible to avoid the lapse of funds.

How do I prepare for a site visit from my program representative? What do I need to have available?

You can expect that your project will be visited at least once a year. During a site visit, it is optimal if program and fiscal staff are present, and where practicable youth who participate in the project. A copy of your executed contract and a log of vouchered project expenses should also be available.

What is the significance of the Quarterly Progress Report?

This is one of the most important measures by which DCJS can assess the success of your program. It is also a way for your program representative to detect issues that can be addressed early on, before they become significant problems. Failure to submit Quarterly Progress Reports in a timely manner can jeopardize the draw down of funds or the prospect of refunding.

What happens once the seed monies provided by DCJS have been exhausted?

One of the most important exercises for a grantee is to envision how a successful program can be institutionalized. This process should begin as soon as the program demonstrates its effectiveness and before the program applies for refunding.

When do I submit my second year application for funding?

Approximately halfway through the first year of project implementation you should contact your program representative about the next year's funding opportunities.

Violence Against Women Act

Where and how do I apply for grant money for domestic violence and sexual assault programs?

Bookmark and periodically check the New RFPs page of this Website for VAWA and other funding opportunities.

How can I find out if the project that I am proposing is compatible with the federal purpose area for funding?

The general federal purpose areas are training, specialized law enforcement and prosecution units, police and prosecution policies and protocols, data collection and communication systems, victim service programs, programs that address stalking, programs that address the needs of underserved populations, multi-disciplinary efforts, and training of sexual assault forensic examiners. Refer to the State Plan and RFP for further details about authorized program purpose areas.

What types of agencies are eligible to apply for funding through the STOP VAWA Program?

Governmental and not-for-profit agencies across New York State are generally eligible to apply for STOP VAWA grant funds. Awards have been approved for District Attorney's Offices, Probation Departments, Law Enforcement Departments and non-profit agencies. Victim services agencies, legal advocacy providers, and agencies who provide domestic violence or sexual assault services for underserved populations are examples of not-for-profit agencies funded by VAWA. Many of these agencies provide services to underserved populations such as immigrants, Native Americans, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered, the disabled, the elderly, women of color, and the geographically isolated .

What is the average length of time it takes to process my application for grant funding?

It generally takes approximately 60 to 90 days to process your application.

If I have no experience writing grants, can I receive any help completing the grant application?

Because the RFP is a competitive process, we can not give you advice about the content of the application. We can give you information about the application process. Our best advice is to follow the directions and give clear and specific answers to all the questions. In addition, you may find additional information under Grantsmanship Tips on this website.

What are my chances of receiving funding?

Your chances vary from year to year depending upon the availability of funds and other programs funded in your area. You have a better chance of receiving an award if your grant is well-written and demonstrates you are addressing a clearly defined need for domestic violence or sexual assault services in your community. When reviewing your grant application, we evaluate whether your organization can implement the plan you propose.

What is the match requirement under this grant?

The match requirement (or the recipients share of the project costs) for grants funded through VAWA is 25% of the total project cost. The match may be cash or in-kind.

If my grant application is approved, how often would I be required to report on program activities?

You are required to file reports four times a year (January-March, April-June, July-September, and October-December.) In these quarterly reports, you indicate the progress you are making towards meeting the objectives in your contract.

If my grant application is approved, how do I access funds for reimbursement for expenses incurred?

Once your grant application has been approved, you can submit vouchers backed up by Fiscal Cost Reports and then you will be reimbursed for your expenses.

If I wanted to contact the federal VAWO office directly, how would I go about this?

Although there is no one designated person, you can check their web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/ovw/ or call (202) 307-6026.