The United States Attorney's Office, through the LECC program, plays an important role in helping state and local law enforcement agencies gain access to federal resources. With today’s economy, these agencies frequently need information on available grants. With the exception of funding for community policing, all Department of Justice grants are administered by the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). The primary component of OJP for funding of law enforcement programs is the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). There also is grant funding for community police officers and related initiatives, and those grant opportunities can be found at the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).
Grants also may be available for NGOs, social service agencies, victim assistance providers, and other non-profit organizations who are working in areas such as crime prevention or reduction, reentry, and juvenile criminal justice issues.
Tips for Writing Grant Applications:
When writing grant applications, it is important to partner with other organizations or agencies, as community support for many proposals is essential. Look for individuals or groups representing academic, political, professional, and faith- and community-based organizations that may be willing to support the proposal in writing. Numerous letters of support can influence the administering agency. OJP and its peer reviewers consider the type and caliber of community support as critical when they review applications.
Elicit support from local government agencies and public officials. Letters of endorsement from local government and public officials detailing the exact areas of the project that they are sanctioning and any financial or in-kind commitment are often requested as part of a proposal to a federal agency. Keep in mind that it may take several months to develop these relationships and acquire letters of endorsement if something of value (e.g., buildings, staff, services) is negotiated between the parties.
Give thought to the kinds of nonmonetary contributions that may be available to you. In many instances, academic institutions, corporations, and other nonprofit groups in the community are willing to contribute technical and professional assistance, equipment, or space. Such contributions will reduce the amount of money you request for your project, and most reviewers will view evidence of such local support favorably.
Many grant-making agencies require agreements in writing before they will approve a grant or award funds. These could include affiliation agreements (a mutual agreement to share services between agencies) and commitments to provide building or office space (i.e., Memoranda of Understanding).
To find more tips for writing grants, see the Office of Justice Programs’ Grants 101 materials at http://www.ojp.gov/grants101/.
The Department offers funding opportunities to conduct research, to support law enforcement activities in state and local jurisdictions, to provide training and technical assistance, and to implement programs that improve the criminal justice system.
- Office of Justice Programs offers federal financial assistance to scholars, practitioners, experts, and state and local governments and agencies. Many of the program bureaus and offices award formula grants to state agencies which sub-grant funds to units of state and local government. Discretionary grant funds are announced in the Federal Register or through program solicitations that can also be found through bureau and OJP Websites. Funding Opportunities at OJP provides links to application kits, current funding opportunities listed by source, and the Grants Management System (GMS). Of particular use to new applicants, the OJP Grants 101 portal presents a step-by-step guide through the grant application process.
- The Office on Violence Against Women administers 19 grant programs to help provide victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking with the protection and services they need to pursue safe and healthy lives and enable communities to hold offenders accountable for their violence.
- The Community Oriented Policing Services Office (COPS) offers grants to help law enforcement agencies to hire more community policing officers, to acquire new technologies and equipment, to hire civilians for administrative tasks, and to promote innovative approaches to solving crime.
DOJ Agency Grant Sites
The DOJ agencies listed below also have sites that provide grant information specific to that agency. Examples of what can be found on these sites are programs, funding opportunities, application assistance, and other useful information.
Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)
Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS)
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART)