Updated 7/24, 7/17, 7/15, 7/12, 7/10: (See questions and answers below)
The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is soliciting proposals from organizations, groups, or individuals to enter into a cooperative agreement for an 18-month period to begin no later than September 15, 2013. Work under this cooperative agreement will involve the development of a guiding framework document of promising practices regarding children of incarcerated parents. This project will examine the points of the criminal justice continuum from arrest and jail incarceration through the pre-adjudication phase; including: pretrial, release, diversion, guilty adjudication, and reentry from local jails and how each of the decisions made throughout the pre-adjudication phase in the criminal justice system impacts this population. The project will further identify and highlight innovations and promising practices that have shown to positively impact children of incarcerated parents. This project will be a collaborative venture with the NIC Community Services Division.
DEADLINE: Applications must be received before midnight (ET) on Wednesday, July 31, 2013.
Please note effective July 1, 2013 the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) has been merged to the System for Award Management (SAM). The SAM registry and Frequently Asked Questions can be reached at http://www.sam.gov. Please note that the registration process can take up to 1-3 weeks, so please plan accordingly.
Questions and Answers:
Question: We are developing a program that will serve children of incarcerated parents and incarcerated parents in [our state]. Does this cooperative agreement allow for the provision of services, as part of the required research on promising and innovative practices?
Answer: No. This cooperative agreement is asking for a guiding framework document to be developed from arrest through pre-adjudication which highlights promising practices and is to examine how each of the decision points impacts this population. This solicitation does not have a provision for services.
Question: We have some folks here in [our state] working on research and developing some resources for the children of incarcerated parents (in cooperation with [our state]), and they are wondering if they should put together a proposal and who should submit the proposal. They’re curious to know:
Answer: This is an open competitive announcement. Please review the announcement to determine whether or not you or your organization should apply, and that you or your organization meets the eligibility requirements listed in the solicitation.
Question: Does NIC have some examples of previously funded agreements available to share so we can see what the scope of work and particulars look like?
Answer: NIC is looking for a submission that is responsive to the scope of work described in the solicitation. We are unable to provide applicants with previously funded applications.
Question: What kind of applicant is NIC seeking for this opportunity?
Answer: The solicitation includes “ELEGIBILITY OF APPLICANTS: An eligible applicant is any public or private agency, educational institution, organization, individual or team with expertise in the described areas.” Please refer to the solicitation for further details.
Question: Are certain types preferred?
Answer: This is an open competitive solicitation and as long as the requirements for eligibility are met, the applicant will be given impartial consideration by a review panel for this solicitation.
Question: The solicitation states "The awardee is responsible for making and funding travel arrangements for onsite travel." Does that mean travel costs cannot be covered by funds available under the solicitation?
Answer: No; travel costs should be included in the proposed budget and covered within the solicitation itself.
Question: The solicitation focuses on the part of the criminal justice continuum from arrest to pre-adjudication. But it also states on p. 1 that "This project will examine the points of the criminal justice continuum from arrest and jail incarceration through the pre-adjudication phase; including: pretrial, release, diversion, guilty adjudication, and reentry from local jails..." The phrase beginning with "including:" appears to cover the entire continuum rather than only the arrest-to-pre-adjudication part. Can you clarify what parts of the continuum should be the focus of the project?
Answer: We want to examine the continuum from point of arrest and initial incarceration (if incarcerated), through pretrial, diversion or guilty adjudication, and subsequent release from local jails (if incarcerated), and not if sent to prison. We are focusing on the front end of the criminal justice continuum.
Question: The solicitation states that "the awardee will meet with the project manager to discuss the expectations . . . ", should I budget for an additional trip to Washington, DC for this meeting?
Answer: No, if the awardee is not local to Washington, D.C., the initial meeting may take place via conference call.
Question: In regard to compliance with 508 accessibility - what exactly is my obligation for providing access? After reading the law, I was unclear if I was obligated to provide a large print version or audio version of all of the documents required in this solicitation? In the past accessibility was handled by the information center contract.
Answer: Awardees are responsible for developing and delivering 508-compliant materials to the government. Providing audio versions and large print versions of materials are ways to meet compliance, but they are not the only way. You should expect to work in consultation with NIC to determine the best method for meeting Section 508. Ensuring compliance with Section 508 law is everyone's responsibility and has never been limited solely to the Information Center.
Question: Should the identification of best practices be limited to or focused on-services/practices for children with parents in jails not prisons, As noted on page 1 “….continuum from arrest and jail incarceration …
Answer: Yes. This solicitation focuses on the front end of the continuum, from the point of arrest through the pre-adjudication phase and incarceration at local jails, and not prisons.
Question: This project requires identifying up to 4 sites that have demonstrated success with promising practices. What level of demonstration of success is required? Will they need to have been previously evaluated? Would some form of assessment or evaluation be required as part of this project and this budget?
Answer: Selecting sites would be a process involving the awardee and the project manager, based on some evidence (evaluation of outcomes from reliable data) that demonstrated success has taken place at that site/jurisdiction. Some form of evaluation or assessment would need to be done as part of this project at each site in order to highlight/document the promising practice.
Question: The awardee is responsible for making and funding travel to sites. Can the travel expenses be a part of the $150,000.00 award or would the awardee need to garner additional funds for this on site travel?
Answer: Yes. Travel will be part of the $150,000 award and should be factored into the budget proposal.
Question: It is clear that the sites that would be featured in the framework document need to be ones that can demonstrate some outcomes or impact on the well-being of children with parents in jail or in the front-end of the criminal justice system. Are you expecting that the sites may include programs by nonprofit providers as well as efforts led by criminal justice agencies? Or would you prefer to feature the criminal justice agencies?
Answer: Sites may include programs by nonprofit providers as well as criminal justice agencies. We are open to any program or site demonstrating measured success.
Question: Can project management and staffing plans be referenced
in the program narrative and attached (in table format) separately from the
narrative, or should these tables be included in and counted towards the
30-page limit of the program narrative?
Answer: All information submitted in the solicitation packet should be included and counted toward the 30-page limit of the program narrative.
Question: If our organization is located (and provides services) within a jurisdiction/site that exhibits promising practices, will that jurisdiction still be eligible as a potential site for this project?
Answer: Yes. However, all sites exhibiting promising practices will be given equal or impartial consideration as a potential site. If the successful applicant puts forward a site with an existing relationship, it will be considered equally with other sites who also demonstrate success or promising practices.
This blog is funded by a contract from the National Institute of Corrections, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view or opinions stated in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.