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WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 1998202/307-0703


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- For the second consecutive year, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) will make funds available to units and agencies of state, local or tribal governments to test innovative approaches to criminal justice challenges. The funding is being made available under BJA's FY 1998 Open Solicitation.

"I'm proud to announce that we will once again call on local problem-solvers to demonstrate their excellence to the nation," said BJA Director Nancy Gist. "I have spoken to countless local practitioners who have asked us to demystify the grant-making process and open it up to new ideas from state, local and tribal communities."

Last year, under the first-ever Open Solicitation, BJA made 37 grants totaling $3.7 million. These programs were chosen from over 1,700 applications.

The FY 1998 Open Solicitation invites prospective grantees to submit concept papers no longer than 6 pages explaining the scope of the problem they wish to address and their proposed solutions. The solicitation includes 10 broad subject areas, including "Local Priorities," which opens the process to local problem areas not addressed in other topic areas.

The field of prospective applicants is limited to units and agencies of state, local or tribal government. However, local non-profits and other service providers are welcomed to enter into partnerships with units of local government to apply. In these instances, the application must be submitted by the governmental unit.

Applications may be submitted under the following purpose areas:

1) Community Justice

2) Law Enforcement Partnerships to Address Hate Crimes

3) Criminal Justice Challenges for Rural or Rural Tribal Communities

4) Criminal Justice System Responses to Senior Citizens

5) The Role of Alcohol and Crime

6) Indigent Defense

7) Cultural Barriers to Justice

8) Nontraditional Uses of Prosecution Resources to Enhance Public Safety

9) Public Health and Criminal Justice Collaborations

10) Local Priorities

BJA will make at least one award of up to $150,000 under each category. The programs may last up to 18 months. Applications are due by July 2, 1998.

To obtain a copy of the FY 1998 Open Solicitation, contact the Department of Justice Response Center at 1-800/421-6770. For additional information about BJA and its programs, or an electronic copy of the FY 1998 Open Solicitation, visit BJA's web site at:

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For additional information contact: Doug Johnson at 202/616-3559

BJA 98-126