THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS
Ken Paxton

Grants and Contracts

In cooperation with the Texas Legislature, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) provides vital support to victims of crime throughout the state by awarding grants and contracts to hundreds of local and statewide victim assistance programs.

Working in partnership with local and statewide law enforcement agencies and nonprofit organizations, the OAG continues to focus on minimizing the physical and emotional trauma experienced by children and adults who are victims of crime.

Through victim service grants and contracts, the OAG demonstrates a commitment to cultivating an environment where the needs of crime victims are expediently identified and effectively met in communities of varying size. The fiscal support provided by the OAG helps to empower communities to develop robust local networks that reflect their respective crime victim population needs.

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 56.541, authorizes the OAG to use monies appropriated from the Compensation to Victims of Crime Fund for grants and contracts supporting victim related services or assistance. The OAG administers the following victim assistance grant programs as authorized by the Legislature.

Victim Coordinator and Liaison Grants (VCLG)

The purpose of the VCLG program is to fund the mandated positions described in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 56.04, specifically Victim Assistance Coordinators (VAC) in prosecutor offices and Crime Victim Liaisons (CVL) in law enforcement agencies.

VCLG Purpose Areas: In addition to the duties imposed in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 56.04 (and more specifically described in Article 56.02), VACs and CVLs are also expected to promote and educate the community and other professionals about victim rights and services in an effort to identify crime victims and provide or refer them to needed services.

Eligible Applicants: The following entities are eligible to apply under the VCLG Program:

  • A local criminal prosecutor may apply for a grant to fund a position, or part of a position, for a victim assistance coordinator.
  • A local law enforcement agency may apply for a grant to fund a position or part of a position, for a crime victim liaison.

Other Victim Assistance Grants (OVAG)

The purpose of the OVAG Program is to provide funds, using a competitive allocation method, to programs that address the unmet needs of victims by maintaining or increasing their access to quality services.

OVAG Purpose Areas: Grant contracts awarded under the OVAG Program may be used for victim-related services or assistance for the following purposes:

  • Providing direct victim services including, but not limited to, counseling, crisis intervention, assistance with Crime Victims' Compensation, legal assistance, victim advocacy, and information and referral;
  • Providing outreach or community education to help identify crime victims who might not otherwise be reached and provide or refer them to needed services;
  • Connecting crime victims to services for the purpose of supporting or assisting in their recovery;
  • Training professionals and volunteers to improve their ability to inform victims of their rights, to assist victims in their recovery, or to establish a continuum of care for victims; or
  • Other support for victim-related services or assistance as determined by the OAG.

OVAG Statewide Project: An OVAG Statewide project is one that actively offers or provides victim-related services or assistance in six or more COG regions.

In addition to the purpose areas stated above, only Statewide projects may apply for funding for public awareness campaigns designed for connecting crime victims to services for the purpose of supporting or assisting in their recovery.

Eligible Applicants: The following entities are eligible to apply under the OVAG Program:

  • Local units of government;
  • Non-profit agencies with 26.U.S.C. § 501(c)(3) status; or
  • State agencies, including universities.

Sexual Assault Prevention and Crisis Services (SAPCS)

The Sexual Assault Prevention and Crisis Services (SAPCS) Program awards grants to support local and statewide programs that are addressing the problem of sexual assault through direct services, training and education.

SAPCS-State Purpose: The purpose of the SAPCS-State Program is to maintain or expand the existing services of local sexual assault programs and any other purposes consistent with Texas Government Code, Chapter 420

SAPCS-State Purpose Areas: Grant contracts awarded under the SAPCS-State Program may be used to provide services to survivors and their families for the following purposes:

  • 24-hour Crisis Hotline
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Public Education
  • Advocacy and Accompaniment to hospitals, law enforcement offices, prosecutor's offices, and courts for survivors and their family members.
  • Crisis Intervention Volunteer Training
  • Other support services to survivors and their families as determined by the OAG.

SAPCS-State Statewide Projects: The OAG may also consult and contract with or award grants to local and statewide programs for special projects to improve services to survivors.

Eligible Applicants: The following entities are eligible to apply under the SAPCS-State Program:

  • Local units of government, excluding law enforcement agencies and prosecutor's offices;
  • Non-profit agencies with 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3) status; or
  • State agencies.

Local Programs: A local program must offer the following minimum services for at least nine months prior to receiving a SAPCS-State grant contract: 24-hour crisis hotline; crisis intervention; public education; advocacy and accompaniment to hospitals, law enforcement offices, prosecutor offices, and courts for survivors and their family members; and crisis intervention volunteer training.

Statewide Program: A statewide program, to be eligible for SAPCS-State special project funding, must show that it supports efforts to maintain or expand existing services offered by local sexual assault programs; improve services to survivors; or other activities consistent with Texas Government Code, Chapter 420.

SAPCS-Federal Purpose: The purpose of the SAPCS-Federal Program is to fund strategies and activities that support the primary prevention of sexual assault and/or sexual violence and any other purposes consistent with Texas Government Code, Chapter 420.

SAPCS-Federal Purpose Areas: Grantees will be expected to:

  • Continue a comprehensive primary prevention planning process to develop strategies and activities to prevent sexual assault and/or sexual violence using a public health approach;
  • Work to enhance the Approved Activities to include a focus on primary prevention; and
  • Implement primary prevention activities spanning at least two spheres of the ecological model using any of the Approved Activities by October 2008.

SAPCS-Federal Approved Activities: Under the terms of the federal funding, any of the following Approved Activities are to be used to achieve the goals of the SAPCS-Federal Program:

  • Educational seminars
  • Training programs for professionals
  • Preparation of information material
  • Education and training programs for students and campus personnel designed to reduce the incidence of sexual assault at colleges and universities
  • Education to increase awareness about drugs used to facilitate rapes or sexual assaults
  • Other efforts to increase awareness of the facts about, or to help prevent, sexual assault, including efforts to increase awareness in underserved communities and awareness among individuals with disabilities (as defined in section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 [42 U.S.C. 12102])

SAPCS-Federal Statewide Projects: A statewide program, to be eligible for SAPCS-Federal special project funding, must show that it supports efforts to maintain or expand existing services offered by local sexual assault programs; improve services to survivors; or other activities consistent with Texas Government Code, Chapter 420.

Eligible Applicants: The following entities are eligible to apply under the SAPCS-Federal Program

  • Local units of government, excluding law enforcement agencies and prosecutor's offices;
  • Non-profit agencies with 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3) status; or
  • State agencies

Local Programs: A local program must meet the local program eligibility requirements for a SAPCS-State grant which means it must offer the following minimum services for at least nine months prior to receiving a SAPCS-Federal grant contract: 24-hour crisis hotline; crisis intervention; public education; advocacy and accompaniment to hospitals, law enforcement offices, prosecutor offices, and courts for survivors and their family members; and crisis intervention volunteer training.

Statewide Program: A statewide program, to be eligible for SAPCS-Federal special project funding, must show that it supports efforts to maintain or expand existing services offered by local sexual assault programs; improve services to survivors; or other activities consistent with Texas Government Code, Chapter 420.

A local or statewide Applicant does not have to actually apply or receive a SAPCS-State grant to meet these eligibility requirements for an SAPCS-Federal grant.

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program

A component of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Crisis Services Program, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program trains and certifies registered nurses to perform sexual assault medical forensic examinations when a patient indicates that he/she has been sexually assaulted.

Eligible Applicants: Must be a registered nurse in good standing with the Texas Board of Nurse Examiners for a minimum of two years prior to course participation to apply. SANE training includes classroom, clinical, and courtroom components.

Statewide Automated Notification System (Texas VINE)

The purpose of the Statewide Victim Notification System is to implement an automated method of providing victims of crime with access to information and notification about changes in offender status and court events twenty-four hours a day. Texas VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) provides crime victims with this information via a toll-free number and website. The system operates by networking status information from participating county and state contractors into a central database operated by a private vendor.

The Texas Legislature allocates resources to the OAG to provide assistance in establishing contracts between county/state entities and the central database company.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

The purpose of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) grant is to develop and support local CASA programs throughout Texas. CASA programs recruit, train and provide court-appointed volunteers to advocate in the best interests of abused and neglected children involved in the legal and welfare systems.

Eligible Applicants: The Texas Legislature directs the OAG to contract with a statewide organization that has expertise in the dynamics of child abuse and neglect as well as experience in operating volunteer advocate programs that provide training, technical assistance and evaluation services. The designated funds are awarded to Texas CASA, Inc., the statewide organization, which then contracts with local programs to provide direct victim services.

The Texas Family Code, Chapter 264, Subchapter G, specifies the eligibility criteria for a local CASA program to receive funds from Texas CASA, Inc. The local programs applying for funds must be 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations operating an advocate program that:

  • Uses volunteers appointed by the court to provide for the needs of abused or neglected children;
  • Provides services that encourage permanent placements for abused and neglected children;
  • Has provided court-appointed advocacy services for at least two years;
  • Provides court-appointed advocacy services to at least ten (10) children each month;
  • Has demonstrated local judicial support; and
  • Has demonstrated fiscal support from the community.

Children's Advocacy Centers (CAC)

The purpose of the Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC) grant program is to develop and support local child advocacy centers that offer a coordinated, multidisciplinary response to cases of suspected child physical and sexual abuse.

Eligible Applicants: The Texas Legislature directs the OAG to contract with a statewide organization that has expertise in the establishment and operation of local children’s advocacy center programs. The designated funds are awarded to Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, Inc. (CACTX), a statewide membership association that then contracts with local CAC programs to provide direct services.

Texas Family Code, Chapter 264, Subchapter E, directs CACTX to contract with eligible centers to enhance services of the local CAC programs. The eligibility requirements for a local CAC program to receive funds from CACTX include:

  • A signed memorandum of understanding with the local agencies that investigate or prosecute child abuse cases or deliver services to child abuse victims;
  • A multidisciplinary team that holds regularly scheduled case reviews;
  • A method of statistical information gathering;
  • An in-house volunteer program; and
  • Other rules pertaining to the management of contracts.

Crime Victim Civil Legal Services (CVCLS)

The Crime Victim Civil Legal Services Grants were authorized by the Legislature to increase the availability of free and affordable civil legal services for victims of crime, such as protective orders, disability benefits and other legal assistance.

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) entered into an interagency contract with the Supreme Court of Texas (Court) to support the Crime Victim Civil Legal Services Grants. The Court contracts with the Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation (TEAJF) to handle the administrative management of these funds.

Eligible Applicants: The requirements for selecting recipient programs are set forth in the Order of the Court establishing TEAJF as the administrator of these funds. To be eligible to apply for these funds, a program must:

  • Have 501(c)(3) non-profit organization status;
  • Provide victim-related civil legal services to victims, immediate family members of victims or claimants;
  • Provide services based on a person’s meeting certain income eligibility requirements;
  • Maintain open records;
  • Conduct open meetings; and
  • Comply with other policies adopted by the Court and TEAJF.

Sexual Assault Services Program Grant

The purpose of the Sexual Assault Services Program Grant is to provide program development, technical assistance and training to local sexual assault programs. The grant also provides statewide training for local programs, law enforcement agencies, and other victim service groups.

The Texas Legislature directs the OAG to contract with a statewide organization that has expertise in understanding the dynamics of sexual assault, developing informational materials and providing training for sexual assault programs and community professional groups. The designated funds are awarded to the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA), the membership organization supporting sexual assault crisis intervention and prevention programs throughout the state.