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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1999202/307-0703



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- For the third 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 1999 Open Solicitation.

The 1999 Open Solicitation invites concept papers of 6 pages or less, which explain the scope of the problem and a proposed solution. The solicitation includes nine broad subject areas, which will allow practitioners to design innovative approaches to problems their communities are encountering.

Applications may be submitted under the following purpose areas:

1) Alcohol and Crime

2) Crime Prevention Among the Elderly

3) Improving Access to Services in Rural and Tribal Settings

4) Mental Health

5) Police Partnerships

6) Local Criminal Justice Planning

7) Improving Front-End Decisionmaking

8) Strategies to Strengthen the Adjudication Process

9) Innovations in Offender Supervision and Reentry

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

BJA has received more than 3,000 proposals the first two years. In FY 1997, the first year, BJA made 37 grants totaling $3.7 million, chosen from over 1,700 applications. In FY 1998, BJA received over 1,300 proposals, and funded 32 projects totaling over $3 million. Nearly 30 percent of FY 1998's applicants had never before sought assistance from the Justice Department, and 20 percent had not sought federal grants of any kind. Applications have been submitted by units of local governments in every state and by jurisdictions of all sizes, including more than 200 from tribal governments.

BJA will make at least one award of up to $150,000 under each category, and the programs may last up to 18 months. Applications are due by December 13, 1999.

To obtain a copy of the 1999 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 1999 Open Solicitation, visit BJA's Website at:

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

BJA 99-194