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Notice inviting proposals for Youth Offender demonstration

Billing Code 4510-30

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employment and Training Administration

ACTION: Notice inviting proposals for Youth Offender demonstration projects.

SUMMARY: This notice contains all of the necessary information and forms to apply for grant funding. The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration is authorized to award grants to provide services aimed at youth who are or have been under criminal justice supervision or involved in gangs. In setting aside these funds, Congress noted "the severe problems facing out-of-school youth in communities with high-poverty and unemployment and the inter-relatedness of poverty, juvenile crime, child abuse and neglect, school failure, and teen pregnancy." The Department of Labor (DOL) has worked with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) in the Department of Justice (DOJ) in deciding to use these funds for three categories of projects to serve youth offenders. They are, I. Model Community Projects; II. Education and Training for Youth Offenders Initiatives; and III. Community-Wide Coordination Projects.

All proposals must by submitted by the Service Delivery Area (SDA). Applicants can only apply under one of these categories which must be clearly identified on the face sheet of the application.

DATES: Applications will be accepted commencing September 2, 1998. The closing date for receipt of applications is December 1, 1998, at 4 P.M. (Eastern Time) at the address below.

ADDRESS: Applications must be mailed to Ms. Denise Roach, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Division of Acquisition and Assistance, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room S-4203, Washington, D.C. 20210, Reference: SGA/DAA 98-015.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Questions should be faxed to Ms. Denise Roach, Division of Acquisition and Assistance, Fax (202) 219-8739. This is not a toll-free number. All inquiries should include the SGA number (DAA 98-015) and a contact name and phone number. This solicitation will also be published on the Internet, on the Employment and Training Administration's Home page at http://www.doleta.gov. Award notifications will also be published on the Home Page.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Funding for these awards is authorized under the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), Title IV, Pilot and Demonstration. Applicants must clearly identify which category they are applying for. This information must appear on the face sheet of the application. IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOUR APPLICATION BE SUBMITTED USING THE FACE SHEET INCLUDED IN APPENDIX "A", AS THIS WILL GREATLY ENHANCE OUR REVIEW PROCESS. As a condition for award, applicants must agree to participate in the DOJ evaluation of these demonstration efforts. Funding for this evaluation will be provided to an independent contractor

by DOJ. Therefore, no funds awarded under this grant should be set aside for that purpose.

Demonstration sites will be required to collect and maintain participant records through administrative data so that this can be a learning experience for DOL and DOJ. In order to keep participant records, the Standardized Program Information Report (SPIR) required for JTPA Title II programs must be used. The DOJ evaluator will evaluate the process experiences in implementing this youth offender program. However if additional resources become available, the evaluator may also examine intermediate outcomes for the youth. Each applicant must provide an assurance that they will cooperate with the evaluator and provide access to the data necessary to the evaluation.

CATEGORY I - Model Community Projects.

These demonstrations will be set in high-poverty neighborhoods where comprehensive, community-wide approaches to dealing with youth have already been established. Grant awards will be provided to set up a combination of gang prevention and gang suppression projects; alternative sentencing and community service projects for youth offenders; to support existing case management and job placement services for youth on probation or returning to the community from corrections facilities. These neighborhood-wide projects will then serve as models for other high-poverty, high-crime communities in the country.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS. This award category will be limited to those SDAs that have received grants under DOL's Youth Opportunity Unlimited (YOU), Youth Fair Chance (YFC), or Opportunity Areas for Out-of-School Youth (OASY) demonstrations. Organizations that operate DOJ's Safe Futures or Comprehensive Community-Wide Approach to Gang Prevention, Intervention, and Suppression demonstrations, can also apply through their SDAs. These organizations should contact their Mayor's Office for a listing of the SDAs in their area. Applicants should outline how they will involve residents, youth and others of the community in planning and involvement in the effort.

PROGRAM COMPONENTS. Grant funds must be used to build upon an existing system currently serving out-of-school youth, youth offenders or at-risk youth in gangs or prone to joining gangs. Youth employment and developmental activities funded under this grant shall be used for a structured set of activities focused sharply on getting youth offenders and gang members ages 14-24 either into long-term employment at wage levels that will prevent future dependancy and/or break the cycle of crime and juvenile delinquency that contributes to recidivism and non-productive activities. This overall strategy needs to be responsive to the particular problems of youth offenders and gang members in high-poverty areas. Efforts should be made to integrate youth into educational and alterative school programs when appropriate.

Any new service must also be developed and implemented focusing primarily on the needs of youth involved in the juvenile justice system and gangs. Employment, education, criminal justice and community-based youth programs should become an interrelated component of the project. In developing this interrelated system, grant funds shall be used to create a youth offender and gang prevention advisory board that participates in the coordination of all activities and provides input and community support to the project's leadership.

INVESTMENT OF APPLICANT AND PARTNERS. Applicants should use partnerships both (1) to enhance the youth offender programs funded under this grant and (2) to provide complementary programs so as to link services within the target community and provide a diversity of options for all youth offenders within the target area. These partnerships must agree to:

  • Implement a training and employment program for youth offenders and gang members in the target area.
  • Coordinate with the private sector to develop a specified number of career-track jobs for target area youth offenders.
  • Establish alternative sentencing and community service options for youth offenders and gang members in the target area.
  • Expand gang suppression activities in the target area.
  • Establish a gang prevention advisory board for the target area.

FUNDING AVAILABILITY: The Department expects to award (5) grants approximately $1.5 million each under this category

CATEGORY #1 RATING CRITERIA: Each application under this category will be evaluated against the following rating criteria:

  • Need in target neighborhood, as demonstrated by severity of gang problem, the number of youth offenders residing in target community and the inability for existing services to include youth offenders and gang members (35 points)
  • Plan and capacity for conducting project including plan for preventing recidivism (40 points)
  • Level of investments of schools and other public sector partners (10 points)
  • Level of investments of private sector partners, including commitments for private-sector jobs (5 points)
  • Linkages and coordination of services (10 points)

CATEGORY II - Education and Training for Youth Offenders Initiative. These projects would provide comprehensive school-to-work education and training within juvenile corrections facilities, and would also provide follow-up services and job placements as youth leave these facilities and returned to the community. Again, the comprehensive services developed under

this project will serve as a model for other juvenile corrections facilities across the country.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS. The State Juvenile Corrections Agency is the eligible applicants and should identify a juvenile corrections facility within their State where the project will operate. DOJ is considering a formal random assignment evaluation of the effectiveness of the enhanced services being provided under this category. Therefore, juvenile corrections facilities proposed as demonstration sites must have a minimum of 100 youth in residence.

Your application must show the involvement/commitment of the following partners: the SDA which is the administrative entity for Job Training Partnership Act program; the state School-to-Work partnership; the local School-to-Work Partnership to which a majority of the youth offenders will return if clearly defined; and representatives of major employer networks connected to the school-to work effort.

PROGRAM COMPONENTS. Grant funds shall be used to build upon an existing system currently serving youth offenders. Youth employment and developmental activities funded under this grant shall be used for a structured set of activities focused sharply on getting youth offenders and gang members ages 14-24 either into long-term employment at wage levels that will prevent future dependancy and/or break the cycle of crime and juvenile delinquency that contributes to recidivism and non-productive activities. This overall strategy needs to be responsive to the particular problems of youth offenders and gang members in juvenile corrections facilities.

Programs must be designed to raise the quality of work and learning for incarcerated juvenile offenders, and strengthen follow-up services and aftercare, including mentoring for youth returning to their communities by building connections to local workforce development and School-to-Work systems. This includes the development of a reformed and intensive corrections education program, vocational training with ties to vocational development and youth employment services. The jointly developed curriculum should include input from corrections education, the state School-to-Work partnership, local school districts and employer networks connected to the school-to-work effort. Projects are also encouraged to work with Job Corps centers, in the development of a school-to-work based education curriculum. This curriculum should be linked to the curriculum developed for the communities to which youth offenders will return once leaving juvenile corrections and structured in such a way as to enable the youth to transition from the institution to the community and continue in a sequential manner with their educational and vocational development.

Grant funds should be coordinated with existing programs to provide case management and aftercare for youth returning to communities from juvenile corrections to facilitate community reintegration, healthy lifestyle choices and educational success and skills development. In addition, grant funds may be used for staff and teacher training in order to facilitate an effective system of connected classroom-based and work based activities. The Federal Bonding Program and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) should be considered as necessary tools to assist with youth offender employment placements. Information regarding these programs will be made available upon award of this grant. Additional funding sources may include Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act formula grants funds and Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grant (JAIBG) funds. JAIBG funds should be used to compliment those available through this grant to upgrade training facilities within permanent juvenile corrections facilities.

INVESTMENT OF APPLICANTS AND PARTNERS. Applicants should use partnerships both (1) to enhance the youth offender program funded under this grant and (2) to provide complementary programs which make residence communities better able to provide after-care services for all returning youth offenders. The State recipients of a JAIBG award are strongly encouraged to contribute, in the form of a cash match, 10% of the total program cost, except when the JAIBG funds are used for construction of permanent corrections facilities. Partners under this category shall agree to:

  • Implement a school-to-work program in the target juvenile corrections facility.
  • Provide case management and after-care services to youth offenders returning to their communities.
  • Develop linkages to local school-to-work efforts with assistance from the State School-to-Work Partnership.

FUNDING AVAILABILITY: The Department expects to award (2) grants approximately $1.125 million each for Education and Training for Youth Offenders Initiatives under this competition.

CATEGORY RATING CRITERIA: Each application for funding under this category will be reviewed and rated against the following criteria:

  • Need in target juvenile corrections facility and state juvenile corrections system, as demonstrated by the effectiveness of current curriculum, the number of youth offenders who stand to benefit, and rate of recidivism (25 points)
  • Plan and capacity for conducting project including aftercare services and plan for preventing recidivism (40 points)
  • Level of investments of schools and other public sector partners including School-to-Work partnerships (15 points)
  • Level of investments of private sector partners, including commitments for private-sector jobs (10 points)
  • Recidivism prevention plan (10 points)

CATEGORY III - Community-Wide Coordination Projects.

This program component will fund smaller grants for communities within small to medium-sized cities with high-poverty and high-crime. These projects will work with local youth service providers to develop linkages that will strengthen the coordination of prevention and recovery services for youth offenders. Linkages to existing community programs such as the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) year-round youth training and summer jobs for at-risk youth, School-to-Work Programs, and other federal programs could contribute to juvenile crime prevention.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS. Service Delivery Areas (SDAs) within high-crime communities with a population of at least 100,000 and not greater than 400,000 and a significant youth gang and youth crime problem are eligible to apply. Applicants should provide documentation from their local law enforcement agency showing support the existence of an existing or emerging gang problem and other serious youth crime problems. The SDA is the administrative entity for Job Training Partnership Act programs.

PROGRAM COMPONENTS. Grant funds shall be used to build upon an existing systems currently serving in-school and out-of-school youth, youth offenders or youth in gangs or prone to joining gangs. Youth employment and developmental activities funded under this grant shall be used for a structured set of activities focused sharply on getting youth offenders and gang members ages 14-24 either into long-term employment at wage levels that will prevent future dependancy and/or break the cycle of crime and juvenile delinquency that contributes to recidivism and non-productive activities. This overall strategy needs to be responsive to the particular problems of youth offenders and gang members in high-poverty, high-crime areas. Efforts should be made to integrate youth into educational and alterative school programs when appropriate. The Federal Bonding Program and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) should be considered as necessary tools to assist with youth offender employment placements. Information regarding these programs will be made available upon award of this grant.

INVESTMENT OF APPLICANTS AND PARTNERS. Applicants should use partnerships both (1) to enhance the youth offender programs funded under this grant and (2) to provide complementary programs so as to make the target community an available service area for all youth offenders. Applicants also should agree to a good faith effort to continue projects started under this grant beyond the 24-month grant period. Partners should also agree to:

  • Build upon existing employment and training, recreation, conflict resolution and other youth crime and gang prevention programs to include youth offenders and gang members.
  • Establish alternative sentencing and community service options for target area youth and gang members.
  • Establish or continue gang suppression activities within the target area.

FUNDING AVAILABILITY: The Department expects to award (6) grants approximately $300,000 each to Community-Wide Coordination Projects under this competition.

CATEGORY RATING CRITERIA. Applications received for funding under this category shall be rated against the following criteria:

  • Need in target neighborhood, as demonstrated by severity of gang problem, the number of youth offenders residing in target community (30 points)
  • Plan and capacity for conducting project including plan for preventing recidivism (30 points)
  • Level of investments of schools and other public sector partners (10 points)
  • Level of investments of private sector partners, including commitments for private-sector jobs (10 points)
  • Current youth offender programs and youth crime prevention strategies (10 points)
  • Linkages and coordination of services (10 points)

PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: The period of performance for all grants awarded under this competition will be for 24 months from the date the grant is awarded.

APPLICATION SUBMITTAL. All applicants must submit and original and three (3) copies of their proposal, with original signatures. The applications shall be divided into two distinct parts. Part I - which contains Standard Form (SF) 424, "Application for Federal Assistance, and Budget Information Sheet." (See appendix "A". All copies of the SF 424 MUST have original signatures of the legal entity applying for grant funds. Applicants shall indicate on the SF-424 the organization's IRS status, if applicable. According to the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, Section 18, an organization described in Section 501(c) 4 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 which engages in lobbying activities shall not be eligible for the receipt of federal funds constituting an award, grant or loan. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number is 17.249. In addition, the budget shall include--on a separate page(s)--a detailed cost break-out of each line item on the Budget Information Sheet. Part II shall contain the technical proposal that demonstrates the applicant's plan and capabilities in accordance with the evaluation criteria contained in this notice. Applicants must describe their plan in light of each of the Rating Criteria. Applicants MUST limit the program narrative section to no more than 10 double-spaced pages, on one side only. This includes any attachments. Applications that fail to meet the page limitation requirement may not be considered.

LATE APPLICATIONS. Any application received after the exact date and time specified for receipt at the office designated in this notice will not be considered, unless it is received before awards are made and it - (a) was sent by registered or certified mail not later than the fifth calendar day before the date specified for receipt of applications (e.g., an application submitted in response to a solicitation requiring receipt of applications by the 20th of the month must have been mailed/post marked by the 15th of that month); or (b) was sent by the U.S. Postal Service Express Mail next Day Service to address not later than 5:00 P.M. at the place of mailing two working days prior to the date specified for receipt of applications. The term "working days" excludes weekends and federal holidays. The term "post marked" means a printed, stamped or otherwise placed impression (exclusive of a postage meter machine impression) that is readily identifiable, without further action, as having been supplied or affixed on the date of mailing by an employee of the U.S. Postal Service.

HAND DELIVERED PROPOSALS. It is preferred that applications be mailed at least five days prior to the closing date. To be considered for funding, hand-delivered applications must be received by 4:00 P.M., (Eastern Time), on the closing date at the specified address. TELEGRAPHED AND/FAXED APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE HONORED. Failure to adhere to the above instructions will be a basis for a determination of nonresponsiveness. Overnight express mail from carriers other than the U.S. Postal Service will be considered hand-delivered applications and MUST BE RECEIVED by the above specified date and time.

REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS. A careful evaluation of applications will be made by a technical review panel who will evaluate the applications against the established criteria under each Category. The panel results are advisory in nature and not binding on the Grant Officer. The Government may elect to award the grant with or without discussions with the offeror. In situations without discussions, an award will be based on the offeror's signature on the SF-424. The final decision on awards will be based on what is most advantageous to the Federal Government, taking into account factors such as geographic diversity, mix of EZs and ECs, and demographic characteristics.

Signed this 28th day of August, 1998

JANICE E. PERRY, GRANT OFFICER

Department of Labor, ETA

ATTACHMENTS

Appendix "A"

Facesheet