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Department of Justice awards over $700,000 to Portland State University law enforcement and justice initiatives
Author: U.S. Department of Justice
Posted: October 25, 2016

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced grant program awards in excess of $700,000 will be given to Portland State University in support of four campus law enforcement and community justice initiatives. The awards recognize and support the work of both law enforcement and universities in developing new and innovative ways of administering justice programs on and off campus.

The funded programs vary in size, scope and subject matter. A $400,000 grant has been awarded by the DOJ Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) in support of a research partnership between PSU, the Center for Court Innovation, Multnomah County Family Court, and additional community partners. The goal of the project is to generate culturally responsive practices and policies related to procedural justice for survivors of domestic violence.

“We’re thrilled to be conducting one of the very first DOJ grant projects of this kind in the family court setting,” said Anna Rockhill, a senior research associate at PSU’s School of Social Work and co-principal investigator on the project. “We hope to deepen our understanding of the needs of a variety of different cultural and linguistic minority groups and turn those insights into concrete practice and policy recommendations.”

The DOJ Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) will give $250,000 to PSU to expand an initiative aimed at reducing sexual violence on college campuses. The additional award will augment a three-year $750,000 award received in 2015-2016 to develop a "situation-based" prevention approach to address campus sexual assault.

In the first phase of the project, PSU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences psychology professor Keith L. Kaufman and co-investigator Sarah McMahon of Rutgers University will tailor Kaufman’s four-step “Situational Prevention Approach” to help identify and address risk factors that can lead to sexual assault. Phase one sites include PSU, Rutgers, and Portland Community College. In the second phase, they will use the resulting implementation manual to guide five additional campuses’ use of the approach and gather feedback to finalize it for national dissemination. The five phase two campuses are: Penn State University, Catholic University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Northern Virginia Community College, and Linfield College. The new, supplemental award will allow for the inclusion of all five colleges and universities in the critical second phase of the development process.

“Having more campus participants will allow us to strengthen the Campus Situational Prevention Approach to more fully realize its potential to address campus sexual assault,” Kaufman said. 

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the Justice Department’s lead research and evaluation organization, seeks to improve knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science. NIJ has awarded PSU nearly $40,000 to support National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD) evaluation and analysis to help criminal justice agencies make informed decisions about the types of research programs they invest and participate in.

Finally, the PSU Campus Public Safety Office will receive $20,000 as part of the Justice Department’s Body-Worn Camera Program.

Each year, the Justice Department offers hundreds of funding opportunities to support law enforcement and public safety activities in state, local and tribal jurisdictions; to assist victims of crime; to provide training and technical assistance; to conduct research; and to implement programs that improve the criminal, civil, and juvenile justice systems. To learn more about DOJ grant opportunities, please visit: www.justice.gov/business/grants