OVW has published the new final rule about the STOP (Services*Training*Officers*Prosecutors) Formula Grant Program. “Conforming STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program Regulations to Statutory Change; Definitions and Confidentiality Requirements Applicable to All OVW Grant Programs” was published in the Federal Register on Nov. 29, 2016.
The new rule updates regulations and general provisions governing OVW grant programs, including definitions and requirements for nondisclosure of confidential information about victims as outlined in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
One part of the rule applies to all OVW grantees, and one part specifically governs grantees who receive funding through OVW’s STOP Formula Grant Program.
Specifically, the new rule:
- Provides definitions for “prevention,” “public agency,” “community-based program” and “victim services division or component of an organization, agency, or government;”
- Adds detail on the requirements of the VAWA confidentiality provision;
- Provides information on the requirements for the STOP Program implementation planning process, including changing the time period for the plans from three years to four;
- Provides information on meaningful inclusion of underserved and culturally specific populations in the STOP Program;
- Discusses the STOP Program sexual assault set aside; and
- Provides detail on the match requirement for the STOP Program and the process for obtaining match waivers.
The new rule reflects what we heard from the field during the rule’s open comment period. The comments generally fell into six categories: (1) reducing administrative burdens on state administering agencies, (2) encouraging victim-centered best practices, (3) clarifying requirements about the states’ STOP implementation planning processes, (4) clarifying other STOP Program requirements, particularly those related to underserved and culturally specific populations, (5) clarifying the statutory confidentiality provisions that restrict the release of victim identifying information and (6) enhancing language access.
We are hosting a webinar to explain the rule and answer your questions. We invite you to join us January 5, 2017, 4:00–5:30 pm Eastern time. Visit www.Justice.gov/OVW/Announcements for details on how to participate.