National Institute of Corrections
You are not signed in! To post comments and participate in discussions you need to sign in or create a free account.
Updated: Cooperative Agreement - Vicarious Trauma Affecting Staff in Correctional Settings
NIC News & Updates


Updated 8/5, 7/25, 7/23: (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 extend the research and promising practices regarding the identification of and strategies for addressing vicarious trauma with staff who work with justice-involved populations. Please note vicarious trauma may also be referred to as secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, or secondary traumatic stress. When this topic is considered, it is often thought of as being confined to staff who work within institutional settings (jails, prisons and community residential settings); however, staff who work in community settings, particularly probation and parole, also experience vicarious trauma, albeit, with some variations on the type of exposure. This project will be a collaborative venture with the NIC Community Services Division.

DEADLINE: Applications must be received before midnight (ET) on Wednesday, August 7, 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  Please note that the registration process can take up to 1-3 weeks, so please plan accordingly.

Questions and Answers:

Question: Will travel expenses (mileage, per diem, lodging) of agency staff invited to training be paid through the agreement (be part of the budget) or will their agencies be expected to pay for their staff’s travel expenses?

Answer: Sites would be submitting request for Technical Assistance for training and would be required to support  their staff’s travel expenses.

Question: Is the item referring to demonstrating in the proposal how research and promising practice with regard to VT will be incorporated into the deliverables during the course of the project/agreement?  Or how outcomes of strategies implemented through the agreement will be incorporated in the final report for future directions? Or both? (Another way of asking this: Is the "research and promising practice" mention supposed to mean that new research comes out of the deliverables or only that current research is used to support the deliverables? And additionally, are we supposed to be using the project to research currently "promising practice" in order to determine if it has utility?)

Answer: This is not a research project.  The deliverables (enhanced annotated bibliography and NIC website, TA's/training) should reflect current and emerging research, information and promising practice.  The awardee will determine what material is relevant to the project and should be included. The final report and report-out to executive staff will summarize the project and briefly discuss inclusion of research, information and promising practice. 

Question: Is the presentation on the overall project to NIC executive staff expected to be in Washington, DC, or at the NIC Training Academy, Aurora, CO, or elsewhere?

Answer: The presentation can be done in any of the locations listed above as well as ‘remotely’ using a virtual capacity.

Question: Is a state correctional agency considered an eligible applicant?

Answer: Yes

Question: Deliverable #3 requires providing 6-10 Technical Assistance events; are they funded through the grant award?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Must a proposal include work in correctional institutions and community-based environments or can proposals target one or the other as well?

Answer: The proposal must reflect both correctional institutions and community corrections in order to be able to deliver training and technical assistance in both settings.  As noted in Deliverables, there must be a focus on community corrections as most of the work on this topic has been more applicable to institutional settings.

Question: Would parole be considered institutional?

Answer: Parole would not be considered institutional.  Although we know there is in-reach with parole, the focus would be on community supervision.  

Question: Are the 30 pages for program narrative separate from and in addition to budget & budget narrative, & project team qualifications, or is all included? (I think the budget & team info are additional pages, over and above the 30 narrative pages, but I wanted to make sure about that.)

Answer: Yes. That is correct.  ...budget & team info are additional pages, over and above the 30 narrative pages..,

Question: RE Requirement for cover letter that identifies the audit agency responsible for the applicant’s financial accounts.  A small agency may not have had audits by an external agency so far.  Our financials are prepared by a CPA monthly and have been from the inception of the organization.  A) Would a statement by our CPA suffice at this time or do we need to have an audit at the start of the agreement and again a fiscal year later at the end of our fiscal year (which is Dec 31)? B) Either way, can we write the audit expenses in as part of the budget?

Answer: As long as they do not receive a total of federal funds of  over $500,000 during their fiscal year, the audit is not required. Basically, they just need to provide their CPA firm name/address and their fiscal year/calendar year in their application.

Question: RE Attachments to the proposal describing your organization or examples of other past work beyond those specifically requested above are discouraged. These attachments should not exceed 5MB. (This is on pg 6).  Does the size of 5MB refer to ADDITIONAL info, or does it include the whole proposal?  It is discouraged that we send the additional information, so technically we do not need to send any additional info about our organization or prior projects. Is that correct?

Answer: R5MB refers to attachments that would be descriptive of your organization and projects that are relevant to those in the solicitation.

Question: Question regarding NIC Opportunity Number 13CS23. The scope doesn't specify minimum client base or area serviced. Please clarify

Answer: The audience for the deliverables from the solicitation- the full continuum of corrections entities; that is, all levels of staff who work in jails, prisons and community corrections organizations.  The enhancements to the bibliography and web site would be in the public domain and the audiences for the training and technical assistance would be corrections entities that submit a formal request to the National Institute of Corrections.

Question: How appropriate/acceptable would it be to budget for a product (e.g., brief online course to be taken as needed) through the NIC cooperative agreement, so the product can then be offered at no charge to the selected agencies?

Answer:  It if is a product that you or your agency has produced and among the materials you would use for delivery of technical assistance or training for the field and incorporated into the budget you develop for your application, that would be acceptable.

Question:  I have identified a number of organizations that would like to be involved should I receive the grant.  Can I just list the names of these organizations in my narrative as potential agencies or do I need formal letters of support?

Answer: Letters or something that shows support and interest does give the reviewers more info to work with but it's not required.

Posted Tue, Jul 23 2013 8:07 AM by Susan Powell


Be the first to comment on this article!
You must sign in or create an account to comment.
Brought to you by:
National Institute of Corrections
U.S. Dept. of Justice | 320 First Street | Washington, DC 20534 | 800.995.6423

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.