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As a condition of the receipt of federal grant funding through the Office of Justice Assistance (OJA), grantees must comply with civil rights laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination. The following sections provide information and links to websites that will be helpful to OJA grantees in complying with these civil rights requirements. In addition, they provide information on certifications grantees must complete as a condition of receiving federal grant funding through OJA.
The US Department of Justice has provided on-line training videos in the areas of Civil Rights, LEP and EEOP to help you understand your requirements as a recipient of these funds through an OJA grant. You can find the training videos at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/about/ocr/assistance.htm. If you do not find the information you are looking for through the US Department of Justice videos, please contact your OJA program manager for assistance.
The federal Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Office of Justice Programs (OJP) website includes information that will assist grantees in complying with civil rights laws and regulations. The site includes information regarding Equal Employment Opportunity Plans, the prohibition against national origin discrimination affecting persons with limited English proficiency, and other civil rights law and regulations: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/about/offices/ocr.htm
The OCR site provides links to specific civil rights laws and regulations that are applicable to OJA grantees that receive federal OJP funding, including but not limited to Byrne JAG Formula Grant, Title II Formula Grants (Juvenile Justice) Juvenile Accountability Block Grants (JABG), Title V (Juvenile Justice), Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT), Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP). The following laws and regulations, which may be found at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/about/ocr/statutes.htm, apply to OJA grantees that receive US Department of Justice OJP funding:
The EEOP analyzes a grantee's labor market data and employment practices to identify possible barriers to participation of women and minorities in the grantee's workforce.
All recipients of US Department of Justice funding through OJA must comply with EEOP requirements. The Department of Homeland Security/FEMA is currently revising its Civil Rights guidelines and presently only funding for Fusion Centers and Disaster Debris Removal are subject to EEOP guidelines for DHS/FEMA funding. These sub-recipients should use the OJP EEOP guidelines and forms referenced here.
Not everyone is required to file an EEOP. The following sub-recipients of OJA may claim a complete exemption from the EEOP requirement:
To help you decide whether or not you need to file an EEOP, we have developed a downloadable "EEOP Decision Grid" document.
To claim exemption from the EEOP requirements for one of the reasons listed above, you must complete an EEOP Certification. The form and instructions can be found at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/about/ocr/pdfs/cert.pdf. The certification should be sent to the US Department of Justice as indicated on the form and a copy to OJA.
For grantees that are required to develop an EEOP, specific instructions on how to develop a plan are included in OCR's EEOP Short Form Builder, which may be accessed at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/about/ocr/eeop_comply.htm . The plan should be submitted to the US Department of Justice, OJP as indicated.
The EEOP Short Form Builder also provides a process to help you determine if your organization must file an EEOP.
The OCR website includes information about when an EEO Plan is required and how to develop an EEOP: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/about/ocr/faq_eeop.htm#8
Recipients of US Department of Justice funding through OJA must complete the civil rights questionnaire and submit the completed questionnaire to OJA within 90 days of the beginning of the grant period. You can download a copy of the questionnaire here, but a copy may also be obtained from a grantee’s assigned OJA program staff.
Title VI's prohibition of discrimination on the basis of national origin has been interpreted by courts to include discrimination on the basis of English proficiency. Under Title VI (and the Safe Streets Act), recipients are required to provide LEP individuals with meaningful access to their programs and services. LEP guidance and requirements for subgrantees of OJP Federal funds can be found at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/about/ocr/lep.htm
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) investigates complaints from members of the public who believe that an agency that receives funding from the Justice Department has discriminated against them, either in employment or in the delivery of services or benefits.
More specifically, the OCR has jurisdiction to investigate agencies that receive funding from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), and the Office of Justice Programs and its components. The OCR can investigate not only recipients that receive funding directly from the Justice Department, but it can also investigate agencies that receive Justice Department funding from state and local government agencies.
Federal laws prohibit recipients of Justice Department funding from discriminating against individuals or groups, either in employment or in the delivery of services or benefits, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or disability. In addition, federal law prohibits recipients of Justice Department funding from discriminating on the basis of age in the delivery of services or benefits. To file a civil rights complaint, download and complete the Complaint Verification Form (CVF) and the Identity Release Statement (IRS) and return both forms to the OCR at the following address:
Office for Civil Rights
Office of Justice Programs
U.S. Department of Justice
810 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531
If you believe that you have been the target of discrimination, you should file a complaint with the OCR as soon as possible. In most circumstances, you may have no longer than one year from the date of the discriminatory incident to file a complaint. Your OJA program manager can assist you with initiating the process.