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Youth Offender Initiative Questions and Answers

Q1. May counties with a population of less than 100,000 apply for the Demonstration Grant Program?

A1. Yes, areas with a population less than 100,000 may apply as a subset in partnership with other areas.

Q2. For Category A, does the crime community itself need to have a population greater than 400,000, or is it the community, as an entirety, that must have a population greater than 400,000? This same question also applies to Category B.

A2. For Category A, it is the entire community that must have a population greater than 400,000. For Category B, it is the entire community that must have a population of at least 100,000 and not greater than 400,000.

Q3. Are all urban, suburban, and rural applicants eligible for the same size grants or are there any distinctions based on urbanicity for the Demonstration Grant Program projects?

A3. With regard to the Demonstration Grant, applicants must apply for either Category A - high crime communities with a population greater than 400,000, or Category B - small to medium-sized areas with a population of at least 100,000 and not greater than 400,000. Also, as indicated in question 1, above, areas with a population less than 100,000 may apply as a subset in partnership with other areas.

Q4. Are there standards for how "high crime" and "significant gang problem" are defined for the Demonstration Grant Program?

A4. No. The applicant's proposal must define its particular standards and identify its benchmarks for "high crime" and "significant gang problem" since the terms are relative to the area represented by the applicant.

Q5. Is it possible for some or all of the target population to be ex-offenders already in the community? Similarly, is it possible for offenders who have been out in the community for 12 months prior to the start of the grant to be eligible for services under the grant?

A5. For the Demonstration Grant Program, it is possible to target a subgroup within a group, e.g., target ex-offenders already in the community. The Demonstration Grant Program does not place any time frame on the length of confinement.

Q6. Are county and city jails eligible to apply for Demonstration Grant Program funding?

A6. Yes. County and city jails are eligible to apply for Demonstration Grant Program funding. Part III, A of the solicitation states that the only entities that are not eligible for funds are private for-profit organizations, 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations, and individuals.

Q7. How can county jails get involved with the Demonstration Grant Program?

A7. County jails can participate in the project through the application, and selection, of their county juvenile department.

Q8. Are local jurisdictions, e.g., county juvenile departments, eligible to apply for the Demonstration Grant Program?

A8. Yes.

Q9. Are there any considerations for private, for-profit organizations that have a proven track record with DOL to receive Demonstration Grant Program funding?

A9. No. Part III, A of the solicitation states, "Private entities not eligible for funds under this Notice are for-profit organizations, 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations, and individuals."

Q10. Are current recipients of a DOL Youth Offender Demonstration grant, plus an extension grant, eligible to apply?

A10. No. As indicated within the solicitation summary, only first round Youth Offender Demonstration grantees who were not awarded additional funds to continue their current programs through DOL's Letter of Competition, dated December 7, 2000, are eligible to apply for the Demonstration Grant Program. These first round grantees who may apply are: Pensacola, FL; Clifton, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; and Houston, TX.

Q11. Does the Demonstration Grant Program affect the Youth Opportunities Grants?

A11. Youth Opportunity grant recipients are not precluded from applying for the Demonstration Grant Program.

Q12. If youth between the ages of 14-24 are served by the adult justice system or probation agency, are those agencies eligible to apply for funding under the Demonstration Grant Program?

A12. Yes. If the adult justice system or probation agency, whether state or local, also serves youth in the targeted age range of 14-24, they may apply for funding under the Demonstration Grant Program.

Q13. Do we need to set up a whole new structure for the Demonstration Grant Program if we are already a One-Stop center?

A13. No. The intent of the Demonstration Grant Program is to expand upon existing state and local One-Stop delivery systems organized under WIA. Section III, 2, One-Stop Youth Services Demonstration Model of the solicitation states, "Grantees will be required to expand services in each of 3 areas: 1) gang prevention and suppression activities; 2) alternative sentencing for offenders; and 3) aftercare and case management for incarcerated youth." That same section also states, "The grantees must place particular emphasis on enhancing existing case management, treatment, youth development, family involvement and support, and job placement services for youth on probation or for those who are reentering the community from corrections facilities."

Q14. Is the $79 million funding for the Reentry Grant Program separate and apart from the $11.5 million funding for the Demonstration Grant Program?

A14. Yes. The funding for the Reentry Grant Program and the Demonstration Grant Program are separate and apart from each other. Supplementary Information, page two of the solicitation (SGA/DFA number 01-109), states, "DOL is proposing to fund additional Young Offender Initiative: Demonstration Grant Program projects." Also, Part I, D, Funding Availability, of the solicitation states, "The Department expects to award 6 grants . . . under category A . . . and 5 grants . . . under category B . . . for a total of approximately $11.5 million."

Q15. Cash flow is a critical issue for many non-profits. For the Demonstration Grant Program, will operating or start-up funds be provided?

A15. Yes, but upon execution of the grant all funds will be accessed according to an approved budget. Grantees are required to establish an account to "draw down" funds from an electronic fund transfer system on an as-needed basis.

Q16. On the indirect cost for the Demonstration Grant Program, if we include a number of different agencies and organizations, we will have different cognizant agencies with different indirect costs or different approved indirect costs rates. Whose rules do we follow?

A16. Indirect cost is based on the grantee's (i.e., prime agency's) negotiated indirect cost rate agreement.

Q17. Does the Demonstration Grant Program have a limitation or cap on administrative costs?

A17. No. There is no separate line item for administrative costs. Therefore, there is no limitation or cap for administrative costs. However, under section 171 of the Workforce Investment Act, Demonstration Grant Program funds shall be used to address employment and training needs. Additionally, projects shall include the provision of direct services to individuals to enhance employment opportunities. Part III, Section I, Project Financial Plan of the solicitation states the cost breakout of each line item, "must provide sufficient information to support the reasonableness of the costs included in the budget . . ."

Q18. Will the Federal government consider increasing the $450/day consultant fees for the Demonstration Grant Program?

A18. No. The consultant fee is for services only and is $450 per day.

Q19. For the Demonstration Grant Program, how does an applicant know how to limit the amounts budgeted in different categories to comply with the Departmental restrictions? Are there ANY limits on the amount of funds for ANY line items?

A19. There are no restrictions and no limitations for any budget line item categories, except that grant funds may not be used for construction. However, costs must be reasonable in accordance with the terms of the grant.

Q20. Is the Demonstration Grant Program contract based on reimbursement for expenses?

A20. Yes. The proposals are for grants, not contracts, and grants are cost-reimbursement instruments. The prime grantee will use its procurement policies for sub-relationships.

Q21. For the Demonstration Grant Program, can participants receive a weekly stipend if he or she does everything they need to do?

A21. Yes, participants may receive weekly stipends if they meet whatever stipend eligibility requirements the grantee specifies. Stipends are typically paid to participants to cover costs associated with case management/support services.

Q22. Where on the budget page are leveraged or in-kind resources documented for the Demonstration Grant Program?

A22. In the solicitation, see Appendix B, Budget Information Form, Section B, Cost Sharing/Match Summary. In-Kind Contributions are documented in # 2.

Q23. Who is the federal single point of contact for the Demonstration Grant Program?

A23. Until grants are awarded and government technical representatives are selected, B. Jai Johnson is the DOL single point of contact on any matter pertaining to the Demonstration Grant Program, fax (202) 693-2879 (not a toll-free number). All inquiries should include the solicitation (SGA/DFA number 01-109), a contact name, and fax and telephone numbers. After the grants have been awarded, an assigned DOL Grant Officer Technical Representative (GOTR) will be your single point of contact.

Q24. For the Demonstration Grant Program, was there any language, or have you given any language, in reference to follow-up services after a participant has left the program? Is there any mandated length of time participants should receive follow-up services?

A24. The solicitation's Part III, Section III .3, case management/support services, states the model must provide for "long-term follow-up services." It is up to the applicant to decide the appropriate length of time follow-up services will be provided to participants.

Q25. For the Demonstration Grant Program, are service providers that provide training to youth offenders required to be eligible training providers under WIA? What kinds of qualifications does the DOL require?

A25. No. The solicitation does not stipulate specific qualifications for service providers. However, in selecting service providers, grantees must comply with applicable state and/or local procurement requirements.

Q26. Training for youth and adults in the Demonstration Grant Programs are supposed to include, among other things, career readiness, job readiness, and job skills. There is no mention that these trainers be Individual Training Accounts (ITAs). There are many good trainers that are not an ITA. Will you limit these training programs to ITAs?

A26. Individual Training Accounts are only applicable to individuals receiving funds under the adult and dislocated worker programs. However, we assume that your question really pertains to a state agency service provider list. While the Demonstration Grant Program does not stipulate specific service providers, training providers that are serving individuals beyond 21 years of age may be on a service provider list. Moreover, such training providers who are serving individuals under this grant must be selected through the awardees' procurement process.

Q27. May Demonstration Grant Program funds be used to place participants in supportive housing programs that provide on-site case management and employment programs?

A27. Yes. However, applicants are encouraged to leverage resources by linking with community organizations to provide a wide range of services, including housing.

Q28. Can you suggest some risk assessment instruments for establishing eligibility of the targeted population for the Demonstration Grant Program? The Demonstration Grant Program's solicitation calls for reliable and validated risk assessment and classification instruments.

A28. A discussion of risk assessment instruments may be found in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's publication Guide for Implementing the Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders. This publication may also be downloaded at http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/pubs/jjpubs.html. In addition, PEPNet recognizes several organizations whose programs serve youth offenders and other at-risk youth, and who may be able to suggest other risk assessment tools. These include Fresh Start, Gulf Coast Trades Center, RIO-Y, and Career Exploration Project. Contact information for these programs may be found at http://www.nyec.org/pepnet/.

Q29. On the Internet, where can we find a list of previously awarded Demonstration Grants?

A29. Information regarding the first round awards for the Youth Offender Demonstration Grants may be found at http://www.doleta.gov/grants/awards/98-015award.htm. Information regarding the refunding of the first round Youth Offender Demonstration Grants may be found at http://www.doleta.gov/grants/awards/01-100award.cfm. Information regarding the second round awards for the Youth Offender Demonstration Grants may be found at http://www.doleta.gov/grants/awards/01-101award.cfm.

Q30. For the Demonstration Grant Program, is the Executive Summary included in the 30 pages?

A30. No. The 30-page limit is for the Project Narrative.

Q31. Will additional points be given for the Demonstration Grant Program applicants that develop technology-based training and decision support systems for staff?

A31. No. Additional points will not be given for applications that develop technology-based training and decision support system for staff. The only additional points that may be given is discussed in Section III, Part IV, Model Rating Criteria of the solicitation which states, "We will give up to five (5) additional rating points to proposals which include non-Federal resources that expand the dollar amount, size, and scope of the proposal."

Q32. Does information on prior related Demonstration programs (e.g., partners, results, etc.) exist on the DOL or DOJ web sites?

A32. Information regarding prior Youth Offender Demonstration Grants may be obtained at Research and Evaluation Associates' web site at www.rea-inc.com. In addition, DOL has published the Interim Report for the Department of Labor Youth Offender Demonstration Project Process Evaluation (2001) on its web site at http://wdr.doleta.gov/opr/reports.asp. Information regarding prior awards may be found at http://www.doleta.gov/grants/awards/98-015award.cfm and http://www.doleta.gov/grants/awards/01-100award.cfm.

Q33. How many Demonstration Grant Program grants will be awarded to each state? Is it possible for a state to receive more than one grant?

A33. There are no restrictions on the number of local areas within a state that may receive a Demonstration Grant. As indicated in Part IV of the solicitation, Review Process and Rating Criteria, "final funding decisions will be based on the rating of applications as a result of the review process, and other factors such as geographic balance, availability of funds, and what is most advantageous to the Government."

Q34. Under the Demonstration Grant Program, Part II Requirements, under C., Reporting Requirements, a reference is made to data elements listed in Part II C. 2. Is this reference correct?

A34. No. The reference relating to required data elements should have stated Part II C. 1.

Q35. In the list of data elements in Part II C. 1., what does "Number who entered training" refer to?

A35. It refers to the number of young offenders or individuals between the ages of 14-24 who (1) are at-risk, (2) who participated in the demonstration program, and (3) entered federally funded skill or occupational training.

Q36. The Demonstration Grant Program targets youth, ages 14-24. Must we focus on that entire age group or can we target a subgroup?

A36. Applicants may target a subgroup within the 14-24 age range.

Q37. Under the Demonstration Grant Program, are the requirements for the "partnership" the same as under the Reentry Grant Program, and is there a specific signature form that must be used?

A37. The Demonstration Grant Program solicitation (SGA/DFA 01-109) does not specify a requirement for "required partners." However, as specified in the solicitation, applicants should provide documentation from their local law enforcement agency showing support for the existence or an emerging gang problem and other serious youth crime problems. In addition, applicants other than local boards must submit their application in conjunction with the applicable local board(s), i.e. local boards within the grantees' targeted service community or communities. Please see the solicitation for further requirements. Unlike Reentry Grant Program applicants, there is no specific signature form, other than the SF 424, required in the Demonstration Grant Program application.

Q38. Can a state agency other than a correction/juvenile justice agency (e.g., Department of Education) apply under the Demonstration Grant?

A38. No, a state agency may not apply as the applicant. However, a state agency, as a partner of a local WIA board, may be part of the local boards' or other "eligible applicants'" application proposal.

Q39. Can a state governmental agency be the applicant for the Youth Offender Demonstration Grant as long as the application identifies as a target population offenders from a local community or county and collaborates/partners with the local WIB and other local agencies on its application?

A39. No, a state agency may not be a prime applicant for the Demonstration Grant Program. However, a state agency may be a member of a local WIA board that is applying and a partner in the grant proposal.

Q40. I found the Appendices A, B, & C in the Federal Register, but I still didn't find the assurance signature forms. Any suggestions?

A40. The subject assurance form is not required for proposal submission under the Demonstration Grant solicitation (SGA/DFA 01-109). Applicants that are awarded grants will receive all necessary assurances and will be required to certify such assurances in accordance with federal requirements.

Q41. We are a non-profit that deals with at-risk adolescents. One of our programs, Alternatives to Incarceration, deals with adolescents between the ages of 15 and 18. The judge must sentence the youth to our program instead of a correctional facility. It is a highly structured day program. Another component is after care. This piece of the program lends support to the youth after the sentence has been completed. With this tiny bit of information, could we possibly be able to receive funds under your guidelines?

A41. Yes, as long as your organization meets the requirements set forth in the solicitation.

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Q42. Are there any expectations as to the average length of service per enrollee? I'm assuming it's as long as it takes, but not to exceed grant award.

A42. For the Demonstration Grant Program, there are no established expectations as to the average length of service per enrollee. Under section III, 2, of the solicitation, One-Stop Youth Services Demonstration Model, grantees are required to expand services in three areas of which after-care and case management services is one. If an applicant's existing strategies are enhanced and expanded, the average length of service may correspondingly expand. Furthermore, the solicitation indicates that applicants should discuss their plans to leverage and align with other funds or resources in order to build permanent partnerships for the continuation of services. For this reason, services may exceed the grant award period of performance.

Q43. Several questions come from a mid-west treatment center for juveniles that releases offenders throughout the state, so that any part of the state could be the community receiving the juvenile: Do the proposals have to identify specific community agencies that will receive the money and provide the services in a specific community, or can the money follow the youth, with the proposal being to establish an organization that contracts for a variety of services from a variety of agencies across the state? In this proposal the community would be the state.

A43. As we understand, the applicant proposes to provide services for youth offenders leaving a treatment facility to re-enter their respective communities, which are spread throughout the state. If so, the following four points are provided:

(i) In regards to state participation, states are not eligible to apply for this grant, except in partnership with local WIA boards. As stated in the solicitation, eligible applicants include: Local Workforce Investment Boards, other political subdivisions of the state, and private entities see Question 40 above.

(ii) In regards to the targeted service community, it is permissible for the targeted community to include all local areas within the state as long as: (1) the applicant can demonstrate that each local area in which services are provided has a high crime rate, high youth crime rate, and a significant youth gang problem, and (2) the applicant has consulted with the local board in each area in which services are provided (SGA/DFA 01-109, Part III B.1). As stated in Question 1, local areas with a population less than 100,000 may apply as a subset in partnership with other areas.

(iii) Regarding the grant application process, applicants should submit a well-conceived plan that illustrates the proposed program's clear and focused vision and mission; highlights program goals and objectives that are realistic and measurable; and identifies stakeholders, including community partners, family member representatives, and front-line staff, that will be involved during program development and implementation (See: SGA/DFA 01-109, One-Stop Youth Services Demonstration Model, Structured Model Requirements: (1) Well Conceived Plan).

(iv) With respect to funding, applicants can administer funds in one of two ways: (1) the grantee itself may serve as the administrative organization that directly provides services for youth; or (2) the applicant may distribute funds in accordance with subcontract guidelines as specified in the solicitation.

Q44. Re: juvenile eligibility. For the Demonstration Grant Program, are juveniles that have multiple incarcerations which may not be consecutive, but do add up to 6 months, eligible?

A44. Incarceration is not a prerequisite for program eligibility under the Demonstration Grant Program. The demonstration serves a broad population including young offenders, gang members, and at-risk youth, ages 14 to 24. Thus, eligible participants include individuals who a) are returning to their communities from an institution, b) are participants of alternative sentencing programs, or c) are at risk of becoming involved with the justice system or gangs. In this sense, the demonstration thus involves both a preventive and remedial approach.

Q45. When can we expect the funding to be awarded once the applications have been reviewed?

A45. Since the deadline for submitting applications is October 1, 2001, DOL does not anticipate making awards until 2002. As stated in Question 15, upon culmination of the grant, grantees are required to establish an account to "draw down" funds from an electronic fund transfer system, and may "draw down" funds in accordance with the grant.

Q46. Can people receive weekly stipends for their participation?

A46. See question 20.

Q47. Do the same principles and elements for the Reentry solicitation apply to the Demonstration Grant Program?

A47. While the primary principle for both the Reentry and the Demonstration Grant Programs is public safety, the primary vehicle for achieving public safety under the Demonstration Grant is through helping youth secure employability services and employment.

Q48. Was there an estimated number of youth to be served in the Demonstration Grant Program?

A48. No, we have not indicated a specific number of youth that must be served. This factor will really depend on the needs of the young people in your community and the range and depth of resources that the applicant can leverage or that other partners bring to the table. After assessing community need and available resources, the applicant may decide either to serve more youth and meet their needs in a comprehensive way or serve fewer youth but serve them more intensively. This is a decision that must be made by the applicant.

Q49. Is there a definition, at the federal level, of what constitutes a gang for the Demonstration Grant Program?

A49. See Question 12. No, the applicant's proposal must define its particular standards and identify its benchmarks for "high crime" and "significant gang problem" since the terms are relative to the area represented by the applicant.

Q50. It's easy to define a target geographic high crime area in urban areas but what about rural areas?

A50. In accordance with Question 1, for the Demonstration Grant Program, areas with a population of less than 100,000 may apply as a subset in partnership with other areas. All applicants must identify within their proposals standards and benchmarks that define "high crime" areas.

Q51. Targeting the one-stop youth employment model for the impoverished area -- can we talk about general economic issues and trends rather than on focusing on specific neighborhoods for the Demonstration Grant Program?

A51. Applicants may discuss general economic issues and trends for the target communities (which must meet the population requirements and have high youth crime rates and significant youth gang problems). However, applicants are required to designate a specific area or neighborhood within the community to receive services, and will be evaluated according to the "need in target neighborhood, as demonstrated by the severity of a gang problem, the number of young offenders residing in the target community, and the barriers facing existing services to reach young offenders and gang members, such as gaps in the availability of mental health and substance abuse treatment" (Part IV- Review Process & Rating Criteria).

Q52. Within our county jurisdiction we want to pick a target area around a residential treatment center for use -- the kids who live there are adjudicated through the court system and the youth come from all over the county -- is this possible to do with the Demonstration Grant Program?

A52. Yes, as long as the target area meets the eligibility requirements.

Q53. For the Demonstration Grant Program, an implementation plan must be submitted at the time of the execution of the grant -- how is this different from the implementation plan that is submitted in the proposal?

A53. If you mean, in your question, what is the difference between the plan submitted in the grant proposal and the implementation plan required subsequent to the award of the grant, the two are linked. The grant proposal articulates the grantee's approach in addressing the requirements set forth in Part III, Application Process, SGA/DFA 01-109. The post-award implementation plan provides day-to-day operational blueprint to meet the goals set forth in the proposal in accordance with the overall federal demonstration effort.

Q54. You said that for the Demonstration Grant Program, we should expect the last six months of the 30-month period to be focused on data gathering activities--where files are organized and information is provided to the evaluators. Is there anything else that is required for the last six months?

A54. No.

Q55. The Reentry Grant solicitation references forms and further information located in the appendices -- where might those be found?

A55. Appendices for the Demonstration Grant Program may be found in the June 7, 2001 Federal Register, pages 10-14, at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?
dbname=2001_register&docid=01-14488-filed.pdf

Q56. Is there a correct format for the grant proposal for the Demonstration Grant Program?

A56. Applicants must follow the guidelines specified under Part III- Application Process.

Q57. Is there an application checklist for the Demonstration Grant Program that is similar to the checklist included for the reentry solicitation?

A57. No.

Q58. Is there an institutional review board requirement for the Demonstration Grant Program and, if so, what is it?

A58. There is no institutional review board requirement for the Demonstration Grant Program.

Q59. For the Demonstration Grant Program, is there a set of assurances and other requirements that need to be signed by an authorizing officer of the grant organization?

A59. See question 41 above.

Q60. What are "letters of commitment" for the Demonstration Grant? Do these letters of support count against the 30-page limitation B and, if they do count, are there other ways to demonstrate support?

A60. For the Demonstration Grant Program, the solicitation states in section III - Project Narrative, first paragraph, that letters of commitment are required from partner/consortia organizations and will not count against the 30-page limit. However, letters of general support or recommendation for a proposal must not be submitted and will count against the page limit. Letters of commitment provide examples of how the commitment will be made operational and describe the level of planned commitment and participation of all partners.

Q61. For the Demonstration Grant Program, do budgetary costs need to be allocated for the Washington, D.C. project manager's meetings or other training and/or meetings related to the competition?

A61. Yes. For the Demonstration Grant Program, costs may be allocated for no more than three technical assistance meetings that are expected to be held in the Washington, D.C. area.

Q62. For the Demonstration Grant Program, do budgetary costs need to be allocated to technical assistance that will be provided by the grantor?

A62. No, grantees do not need to set aside funds for technical assistance. Technical assistance costs will be borne by the federal agencies.

Q63. Will the data collection forms for the Management Information System that we want to use, and show as an example, and place in an Appendix count against the 30-page limit?

A63. Yes. The solicitation for the Demonstration Grant Program section III, states the 30-page limit includes any attachments provided by the applicant.

Q64. Can a state agency, as the applicant, propose a statewide demonstration project as a large area even if crime rates and number of offenders may vary diversely across the state?

A64. See Questions 38 and 39.

Q65. Is there any time allotted for program planning in the Demonstration Grant Program?

A65. The solicitation for the Demonstration Grant Program, Part II, C, - Reporting Requirements, states an implementation plan is to be submitted within 60 days of the grant execution. The solicitation further states in section III, D., Performance Period, the period of performance for all grants awarded under this competition will be for 30 months from the date the grant is awarded. The first 24 months must be devoted to providing program services to eligible youth and the final six months will be solely for organizing participant case files and providing the files to the demonstration's evaluator.

Q66. In which section of the proposal should staff capabilities be placed?

A66. The Demonstration Grant Program does not require applicants to submit staff capabilities. If that information is included, it will be counted against the project narrative 30-page limit.

Q67. Our analysis of at risk offenders includes additional predictors of failure, e.g., institutional rule violations, that appear on occasion to be more predictive than those mentioned in the Reentry Grant solicitation. It is OK to use those predictors?

A67. For the Reentry Grant Program, applicants are required to conduct their own analysis of offender risks and assets as part of the identification of the target population. The risk factors mentioned in the solicitation are not meant to be inclusive, but are merely examples. For the Demonstration Grant Program, page 7 of SGA/DFA 01-109 mentions several possible youth development indicators, however, they are not meant to be inclusive, therefore, other indicators may be identified.