AG announces application process for $60 million in victims’ services grants

TRENTON, NJ — N.J. Attorney Gen. Gurbir S. Grewal announced June 5 that $60 million is available to agencies to implement programs to serve victims of crime, particularly those who have been victims of gun violence. The new Notice of Availability of Funds allows agencies to apply for funding from the New Jersey Victim Assistance Grant Program. Applicants can now apply for up to $400,000 for a 24-month grant, which is an increase of $100,000 from the previous limit. The attorney general also announced that the application process has been simplified, and a streamlined application can now be submitted electronically.

“While New Jersey strives to reduce violent crime in our communities, we have also increased our efforts to provide services to those who are victims of crime, particularly those who suffer as a result of gun violence,” Grewal said. “Even in a state with some of the country’s strongest gun regulations, gun violence continues to take lives and has devastating effects on communities, families and survivors. Today we are increasing the funds available to organizations to provide essential services to victims and making the process to apply for those funds easier. These changes are the result of our efforts to strengthen the state’s handling of victim services.”

In February, Grewal announced that victims advocate Elizabeth E. Ruebman would conduct a “top-to-bottom” review of New Jersey’s victim programs and services. It is expected that this review will identify additional ways to better connect victims of crime with existing grant programs, including those under VAG.

The purpose of the New Jersey VAG program is to support organizations that provide direct services to crime victims of all types. The VAG program supports programs that respond to the emotional and physical needs of crime victims; assist crime victims to stabilize their lives; assist crime victims to understand and participate in the criminal justice system; provide crime victims with a measure of safety and security; and provide specialized services to domestic violence and/or sexual assault victims.

This year’s NOAF will prioritize applications for programs aimed at providing services to victims of gun violence. These programs should focus on providing the victim with emotional support, grief counseling, crime scene cleanup services, supportive services that help the victim stabilize their lives after victimization, safety planning, and intervention and interruption services that address the psychological impact of the injury. The VAG program does not support activities that prevent future victimization, which are ineligible for funding under federal guidelines.

This program is supported by the Federal Fiscal Year 2018 Victims of Crime Act Victim Assistance Grant Program. Eligible applicants include private, nonprofit organizations and public agencies that provide crime victim services. Public agencies must provide services to crime victims and cannot be part of a law enforcement agency or a prosecutor’s office.

Applications are due on or before 11:59 p.m. on June 28. For more information, visit https://www.nj.gov/oag/grants/FY18-VOCA-VAG_NOAF-Competitive.pdf and https://www.nj.gov/oag/grants/01_FY18-VOCA_Program-Guidelines.pdf.

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