OJJDP welcomed new fiscal year 2022 Tribal grantees during orientation and listening sessions held in conjunction with the 17th National Indian Nations Conference, December 6–9, 2022, in Palm Springs, CA. The sessions included grantees from each of the Justice Department offices that participate in the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS).
CTAS is the Department’s grantmaking process for Tribal-specific awards. It allows American Indian and Alaska Native applicants to submit a single application for the Justice Department’s seven Tribal grant programs. This comprehensive approach saves time and resources and gives the Department a better understanding of the overall public safety needs of Native communities. In fiscal year 2022, OJJDP awarded nearly $9.6 million to 25 Tribal entities under two CTAS purpose areas—Purpose Area 8: Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts and Purpose Area 9: Tribal Youth Program.
OJJDP’s new grantee orientation and listening sessions were held in person for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Grantees could also attend the orientation virtually.) Orientation sessions occurred December 5, led by officials from the Office of Justice Programs and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, who addressed financial management, fraud prevention, and the JustGrants system for managing grants and payments. At the conclusion, OJJDP Program Managers Kara McDonagh and Christine Ramirez met with new Tribal grantees to discuss individual projects and answer questions.
The listening session on December 6 was a time for new grantees and other Tribal entities to meet with OJJDP and other Justice Department officials to discuss the CTAS grantmaking process. Participants discussed the challenges they experience when applying for, implementing, and sustaining grants; suggested steps the Department can take to increase Tribal applications and help funds reach more Tribal communities; and offered recommendations for new Tribal programs. Specific recommendations included:
- Staggering application deadlines by program office, to give Tribes more time when applying for multiple program areas.
- Providing feedback to Tribes that did not receive funding, with guidance to improve future applications.
- Ensuring greater consistency in the peer review process for evaluating applications, so that feedback can be applied to future solicitations.
- Alerting grantees about the availability of training and technical assistance providers.
- Allowing funding to be used for construction costs to build new facilities or expand existing ones, and for the training of staff hired to replace retirees.
- Offering noncompetitive grants to Tribes.
OJJDP will hold a youth-focused consultation with American Indian and Alaska Native communities in spring 2023. That consultation will emphasize OJJDP’s implementation of the 2018 Juvenile Justice Reform Act and the provisions that directly impact Tribal youth. The Office for Victims of Crime sponsors the annual National Indian Nations Conference, which focuses on the unique needs of crime victims in Indian country.
Find more information about OJJDP’s programs supporting American Indian and Alaska Native communities in the Tribal Youth Initiatives In Focus fact sheet. The Department of Justice is now accepting applications for the fiscal year 2023 CTAS; applications must be initiated in Grants.gov by March 21, 2023, and finalized in JustGrants by March 28, 2023.