Crime Victim Assistance/Discretionary Grants

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Purpose of this program:

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) administers a discretionary grant program and other assistance programs for crime victims with amounts set-aside from deposits into the Crime Victims Fund for (a) demonstration projects and training and technical assistance services to eligible crime victims assistance programs; (b) for the financial support of services to victims of Federal crime by eligible crime victim assistance programs; and (c) to provide funding and other support following cases of terrorism or mass violence 42 U.S.C. Section 10601. The purpose of the demonstration and training and technical assistance grants is to improve the overall quality of services delivered to crime victims through the provision of training and technical assistance to providers. Funds are also available to improve the Federal and State response to victims of Federal crime, including terrorism occurring within and outside the United States. Of the amount available for training and technical assistance and services to victims of Federal crimes, no less than 50 percent shall be used for demonstration programs and training and technical assistance, and not more than 50 percent for services to victims of Federal crimes. Amounts set-aside for the response to terrorism or mass violence come from a reserve fund authorized by Congress under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, Public Law 104-132, the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, Public Law 106-386, and the USA Patriot Act of 2001, Public Law 107-56.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Funds are available specifically for (a) demonstration projects and training and technical assistance service to eligible crime victim assistance programs; (b) for the financial support of services to victims of Federal crime by eligible crime victim assistance programs; and (c) for services to victims of terrorism or mass violence, and compensation benefits for victims of international terrorism. For the purpose of the grants authorized in 42 U.S.C. 10603, an eligible crime victim assistance program is defined as: (a) operated by a public agency or a nonprofit organization, or a combination of such agencies or organizations or both such agencies and organizations, and providing service to victims of crime; (b) demonstrating (i) a record of providing effective services to victims of crime and financial support from sources other than the Fund; or (ii) substantial financial support from sources other than the Fund; (c) utilizing volunteers in providing such services, unless to the extent the chief executive determines that compelling reasons exist to waive this requirement; (d) promoting within the community served coordinated public and private efforts to the crime victims; and (e) assisting potential recipients in seeking crime victim compensation benefits. For terrorism or mass violence occurring outside the U.S., eligible applicants for funding under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act and the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, includes states, victim service organizations, and public agencies (including Federal, State or local governments) and non-governmental organizations that provide assistance to victims of crime. For the purpose of grants authorized for assistance to victims of federal crime, services includes (a) training of law enforcement personnel in the delivery of services to victims of Federal crime; (b) preparation, publication, and distribution of informational materials, setting forth services offered to victims of crime; and concerning services for victims of Federal crime for use by Federal law enforcement and other responsible Federal officials; and (c) salaries of personnel who provide services to victims of crime, to the extent that these personnel provide such services. Funded activities for victims of terrorism or mass violence may include emergency relief, including crisis response efforts, assistance, training and technical assistance, and ongoing assistance, including during any investigation or prosecution to victims of terrorist acts or mass violence occurring outside the United States.

Who is eligible to apply...

Criteria will vary depending on the grant or grant program. Generally, eligible applicants may include American Indian/Alaska Native Tribes and tribal organizations, States, United States Attorneys' offices, university sites and colleges, eligible public agencies that provide victim services and private nonprofit agencies. Applicants for Tribal Victim Assistance grants must be an Indian Tribe, Tribal organization, partnership or nonprofit organization that provides direct services to victims of crime in Indian Country.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

Applications for this program must be submitted electronically via the Office of Justice Programs Grants Management System (GMS). OVC develops solicitations and application guidelines that includes funding strategy, eligibility requirements, required certifications that must be submitted at a time specified by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs and must contain the following certification and assurances: (1) assure that the applicant will provide such accounting, auditing, monitoring and evaluation procedures as may be necessary, and keep such records as the Office of Justice Programs may prescribe, to assure fiscal control, proper management and efficient disbursement of Federal funds; (2) assure that the applicant will adhere to the audit and financial management requirements set forth in the effective edition of the OJP Financial Guide; (3) assure that the applicant will comply with all applicable nondiscrimination requirements; (4) certify that the applicant will comply with certifications regarding Lobbying, Debarment, Suspension, and Drug-Free Workplace Requirements (OJP Form 4061/6); and other responsibility matters; and, (5) certify that the information in the application is correct and that the applicant will comply with all applicable provisions of the Victims of Crime Act and other Federal laws, (including subtitle A, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 1990) regulations, and circulars. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 or OMB Circular No. A-133. Applicants from other types of agencies will use forms to be provided by OVC. See OVC guidelines published in the Federal Register for application requirements for Antiterrorism and Reserve Fund funding.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

In accordance with the Common Rule, Standard Form 424 must be submitted electronically on the GMS by nonfederal agencies in applying for funding under this program. Forms for funds other than grants or for use by Federal agencies will be supplied by OVC. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. (See OVC guidelines for application procedures for Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program for Terrorism and Mass Violence Crimes, funding in Federal Register January 31, 2002).

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Generally awards will be made on a competitive basis with applications reviewed by a panel of subject matter experts who will assess application submissions based on established criteria and forward a recommendation to the Director. The Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs has final approval authority. (See OVC guidelines for award procedures for Antiterrorism and Emergency Reserve funding.)

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


Deadlines are announced by OVC in as it releases solicittions throughout the fiscal year. Information is available only on-line at the OVC homepage at

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 4 to 6 months. (See OVC guidelines for approval/disapproval time for Antiterrorism and Reserve Fund funding.)

Preapplication Coordination

The standard application form furnished by the Federal agency in accordance with 28 CFR, Part 66 (Common Rule) must be used for all grants made by OVC. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


Hearing by the Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


Awards range from 6 to 24 months, unless otherwise noted. Supplements are considered on a case by case basis. (See OVC guidelines for Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program for Terrorism and Mass Violence Crimes.)

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Eligible victim assistance agencies. Eligibility depends on the nature of the grant but may include a wide variety of public and private nonprofit agencies.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Project Grants

The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.

Direct Payments for Specified Use

Financial assistance from the Federal government provided directly to individuals, private firms, and other private institutions to encourage or subsidize a particular activity by conditioning the receipt of the assistance on a particular performance by the recipient. This does not include solicited contracts for the procurement of goods and services for the Federal government.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

For the Federal Crime Victims Division, approximately $40,000 to $275,000. For the Special Projects Division, from $25,000 to $500,000 with an average of $100,000.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Grants) FY 03 $28,141,357; FY 04 est $12,550,960; and FY 05 est $25,000,000.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Potential projects include, but are not limited to: demonstrations programs that assist victims in rural communities or those programs meeting the needs of special populations such immigrant victims; training and technical assistance for States and local communities to help when responding to terrorism and mass violence; training to improve or expand victim services provided by particular groups of professionals such as judges, prosecutors, law enforcement professionals, and medical personnel.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

OVC supports the development of training, technical assistance, and demonstration projects to expand and improve the quality of services to crime victims. In recent years, OVC has directed substantial funding to developing resources for the field that will assist victim advocates and other allied practitioners in reaching and serving victims from populations that have been largely unserved, including victims with disabilities, immigrant victims, and victims from cultural, ethnic and racial minority groups. Serving child and adult victims of sexual assault remains problematic for many communities, and OVC continues to support several training and technical resources that foster the replication of enhancement of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and Sexual Assault Response Teams across the nation, including two pilot SANE programs in Indian Country. Various other solicitations provide funding for projects in Indian Country. These grants support victim assistance programs for Indian tribes under Federal criminal justice jurisdiction, including 28 victim assistance programs, one elder abuse demonstration program, a training and technical assistance grant for OVC's American Indian grantees, tribal CASA programs, and a project to provide training to tribal leaders on the critical role of their support of tribal victim assistance programs. OVC also has funded the planning and implementation of State Victim Assistance Academies tomeet the entry-level educational and training needs of a broad range of victim assistance providers and allied professionals who work directly with victims of crime. OVC also supports public awareness initiatives on crime victims' rights and issues, including the annual dissemination of a resource kit to the field to assist their activities during National Crime Victims Rights Week (NCVRW) and the sponsorship of an annual NCVRW awards ceremony for exemplary service providers and organizations. During FY 2004, OVC discretionary funding continues to be directed at several areas, including the faith-based response to crime victims, implementation of victims? rights, underserved crime victims in both urban and rural settings, a demonstration program to assist victims orf identify theft, victim assistance in Indian Country, working with grass roots organizations to identify and replicate promising practices in serving victims, as well as the development and dissemination of information and training for a wide variety of practitioners who work with crime victims. In addition, with the increased threat of terrorism against Americans worldwide, OVC created a new Terrorism and International Victims Unit (TIVU) which is responsible for developing programs and initiatives to help victims of terrorism, mass violence and crimes that have transnational dimensions. OVC has provided funding for assistance and services for victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the USA, Oklahoma City, the bombings of Pan Am 103, the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Khobar Towers, and the USS Cole. Assistance has included toll-free information lines, family web sites, informational briefings, travel to criminal justice proceedings, and mental health counseling. In addition, OVC works in liaison with other Federal agencies to coordinate services for victims of terrorism; has worked with the Center for Mental Health Services at HHS to develop training for mental health service providers on assisting victims of terrorism and mass violence; is working with the Office for Domestic Preparedness to provide training to enhance the capacity of first responders to deal effectively with victims of terrorism; provides funding for a community-based assessment and planning process to help states and local communities design and implement a strategic plan for responding to victims of criminal mass violence; and provides funding to track kidnapped children taken across international borders

Criteria for selecting proposals...

General criteria for selecting proposals are spelled out in the Victims of Crime Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 10601-10604 (Supp.1981). Additional criteria may be developed by the Office for Victims of Crime and will be published in the OJP grant packages.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Any amount awarded that remains unspent at the end of a fiscal year in which the award is made may be expended for the purpose for which the award is made at any time during the three succeeding fiscal years, at the end of which period, any remaining unobligated sums shall be available for deposit into the emergency reserve fund referred to in subsection (d)(5) of the VOCA at the discretion of the Drector. Any remaining unobligated sums shall be returned to the Fund. Funds are released via the Electronic Transfer System (formerly the Letter of Credit System) on an as needed basis to the Recipient.

Formula and Matching Requirements

There are no formula or matching requirements for discretionary funding, unless stated in the funding applications. The State Victim Assistance Academy grants require a 25% ?in-kind? match. The Tribal Victim Assistance Discretionary Grants requires a 10 percent "in-kind" match. Federal agencies are not expected to provide a financial contribution, but in general are asked to demonstrate a commitment to continuing the funded effort after OVC funding is terminated.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


Quarterly financial reports and semi-annual progress reports will be required as stipulated in the effective edition of the OJP Financial Guide. A final financial and program report also will be required.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


All organizations that expend financial assistance of $300,000 or more in any fiscal year must have a single audit for that year in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-133, as amended, unless the audit condition on the award says otherwise. These audits are due to the cognizant Federal agency not later than 9 months after the end of the grantee's fiscal year.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to a grant shall be retained for a period of three years.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Victims of Crime Act of 1984, as amended, Public Law 98-473, Children's Justice and Assistance Act of 1986, as amended, Public Law 99-401, Section 1404; Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Public Law 100-690, Title VII, Subtitle D; Departments of Commerce, Justice, State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 1995; Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Subtitle C, Public Law 104-132; Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996; Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, Public Law 104-298; Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, Public Law 106-386; Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Enforcement Act of 2000, and the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, (Public Law 107-56 referred to as the USA Patriot Act of 2001).

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

Current solicitations and application guidelines and the current edition of the OJP Financial Guide, are available on line at the OVC webpage at

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office


Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice, 810 Seventh Street, NW., Washington, DC 20531. Telephone: (202) 307-5983.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: