SMART Grant Programs
The SMART Office 2013 Program Plan includes continued provision for the Support for Adam Walsh Act Implementation Grant Program. In addition, the SMART Office released funding opportunities and collaborated with other bureaus and program offices in the Office of Justice Programs to support jurisdictions’ Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) implementation activities and to identify and support evidence-based sex offender management programs.
Support for Adam Walsh Act Implementation Grant Program
Since FY 2007, the SMART Office has awarded more than $65 million through the Support for Adam Walsh Act Implementation Grant Program to assist States, territories, and tribes that are implementing SORNA’s requirements. To date, 315 awards have been awarded to SORNA jurisdictions through this program, of which 142 were tribal awards. Funds have been used on various projects, such as improving jurisdictions’ IT infrastructure, purchasing equipment necessary to transfer registry information, digitizing criminal history records, training registry officials, and hiring personnel and consultants to help develop SORNA-compliant registration and notification programs.
In FY 2013, the SMART Office awarded $13.28 million in direct funding to 47 jurisdictions under the program. Grantees included 28 States, the District of Columbia, 3 territories, and 15 tribes. Funds granted to tribal jurisdictions in FY 2013 represented 28 percent of all funds granted and 32 percent of all awardees.
A solicitation for FY 2014 has already been issued and is now closed; 65 applications were eligible for review, representing 25 States, 3 territories, and 37 tribal jurisdictions. It is anticipated that FY 2014 SMART Office grants will be awarded by September 30, 2014.
Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website
Since 2008, the SMART Office has supported the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW), which the Adam Walsh Act directed be maintained by the Attorney General to allow the public to obtain information about registered sex offenders from a single website. In FY 2013, the SMART Office competitively bid a discretionary award of $825,563 to the Institute for Intergovernmental Research for maintenance, enhancements, and operation of NSOPW. In FY 2014, the SMART Office issued an invitation to apply to the Institute of Intergovernmental Research in the amount of $899,478, which closed on April 3, 2014. It is anticipated that this opportunity will be awarded in fall 2014.
Programs To Support Treatment for Juveniles With Sexual Behavior Problems
In 2008, the SMART Office awarded more than $4.36 million to support juvenile treatment programs targeting different age groups in residential and nonresidential settings. Since FY 2010, in collaboration with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the SMART Office has supported the Youth With Sexual Behavior Problems program, an innovative model for delivering evidence-based, comprehensive management and intervention strategies to address the sexual behavior problems of youth. In FY 2013, the SMART Office awarded $1 million to provide (1) technical assistance to up to two new sites implementing this model, (2) support and funding for a training and technical assistance provider, (3) support for a technical assistance website, and (4) a process/implementation evaluation of the program. In FY 2014, the SMART Office will award up to $900,000 to provide additional technical assistance to project sites, including one tribal jurisdiction, for prevention and treatment efforts in this area.
Other Grant Awards
In FY 2013, the SMART Office awarded $1 million through its SORNA Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Grant to provide critical training and technical assistance to tribal jurisdictions working to implement SORNA. The SMART Office will continue to provide this assistance through the FY 2014 award to Fox Valley Technical College in the amount of $500,000. These additional funds will be used to document SORNA implementation in Indian Country. This project will assist in furthering the goals of SORNA and the SMART Office by building a foundation for future implementation and outcome studies in Indian Country.
In FY 2013, the SMART Office highlighted the need to continue to support evidence-based practices in sex offender management by providing additional funding to existing Sex Offender Treatment Intervention and Progress Scale (SOTIPS) project sites and to its training and technical assistance provider. The SMART Office awarded $99,980 to two SOTIPS project sites to support data collection and training activities and $110,000 to its SOTIPS training and technical assistance provider to ensure correct application of SOTIPS and support for the project.
In FY 2014, in a continued partnership with the National Institute of Justice, the SMART Office provided $1 million to assess intrajurisdictional information sharing about registered sex offenders. Though empirical research on sex offenders has grown over the past decade, no study has examined the multifaceted elements of registration laws generally, or SORNA specifically—in particular, SORNA’s primary goal of inter- and intra-information sharing about sex offenders. This partnership will establish research that not only describes SORNA’s functionality but also answers the question of whether information-sharing systems within and among registration jurisdictions have improved.
Also in FY 2014, the SMART Office issued a discretionary competitive solicitation entitled “SMART FY 14 Campus Sexual Assault Perpetrator Treatment Pilot Project” in the amount of $1.5 million to create a treatment curriculum for campus perpetrators of sexual assault and pilot test the curriculum on one or more college campuses. It is anticipated that this opportunity will be awarded in fall 2014.
In addition, in an effort to further promote innovation and best practices in sex offender management, the SMART Office awarded up to $150,000 through its FY 2013 Fellowship Development Program. See SMART Fellowships in this issue for more information.