[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 150 (Tuesday, August 5, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 45387-45390]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-18276]


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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

28 CFR Parts 0 and 90

[OVW Docket No. 111]
RIN 1105-AB43


Grants To Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection 
Orders

AGENCY: Office on Violence Against Women, Justice.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: This rule proposes to amend the regulations for the Grants To 
Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program 
(Arrest Program) to incorporate statutory changes, make minor technical 
corrections, and streamline existing regulations to reduce repetition 
of statutory language. This rule would also amend the regulations to 
clarify that existing regulations on grant-related procedures continue 
to apply to grants made by the Office on Violence Against Women.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before October 6, 2014.

ADDRESSES: To ensure proper handling of comments, please reference 
``Docket No. OVW 111 on all electronic and written correspondence. The 
Department encourages the electronic submission of all comments through 
http://www.regulations.gov using the electronic comment form provided 
on that site. For easy reference, an electronic copy of this document 
is also

[[Page 45388]]

available at the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. It is not 
necessary to submit paper comments that duplicate the electronic 
submission, as all comments submitted to http://www.regulations.gov 
will be posted for public review and are part of the official docket 
record. However, should you wish to submit written comments through 
regular or express mail, they should be sent to Marnie Shiels, Office 
on Violence Against Women, United States Department of Justice, 145 N 
Street NE., Suite 10W.121, Washington, DC 20530.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marnie Shiels, Office on Violence 
Against Women, 145 N Street NE., Suite 10W.121, Washington, DC 20530, 
by telephone (202) 307-6026 or by email at marnie.shiels@usdoj.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The Violence Against Women Act and Subsequent Legislation

    In 1994, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a 
comprehensive legislative package aimed at ending violence against 
women. VAWA was enacted on September 13, 1994, as title IV of the 
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Public Law 103-
322, 108 Stat. 1796. VAWA was designed to improve criminal justice 
system responses to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, 
and to increase the availability of services for victims of these 
crimes. VAWA recognized the need for specialized responses to violence 
against women given the unique barriers that impede victims from 
accessing assistance from the justice system. To help communities 
develop these specialized responses, VAWA authorized several grant 
programs, including the Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies Program 
(Arrest Program). The Arrest Program is codified at 42 U.S.C. 3796hh 
through 3796hh-4. The final rule for the Arrest Program, found at 28 
CFR part 90, subpart D, was promulgated on August 6, 1996.
    On October 28, 2000, Congress enacted the Violence Against Women 
Act of 2000 (VAWA 2000), Division B of the Victims of Trafficking and 
Violence Protection Act of 2000, Public Law 106-386, 114 Stat. 1464. On 
January 5, 2006, Congress enacted the Violence Against Women and 
Department of Justice Reauthorization Act (VAWA 2005), Public Law 109-
162, 119 Stat. 2960. On March 7, 2013, Congress enacted the Violence 
Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013), Public Law 113-
4, 127 Stat. 54. These reauthorizations all enhanced the Arrest Program 
in different ways.

Grants To Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection 
Orders Program

    The Arrest Program is designed to encourage State, local, and 
tribal governments and State, local, and tribal courts to treat 
domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking as 
serious violations of criminal law. The Arrest Program recognizes that 
sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are 
crimes that require the criminal justice system to hold offenders 
accountable for their actions through investigation, arrest, and 
prosecution of violent offenders, and through close judicial scrutiny 
and management of offender behavior. The Arrest Program challenges the 
community to listen, communicate, identify problems, and share ideas 
that will result in new responses to ensure victim safety and offender 
accountability.
    VAWA 2000 made several changes to the Arrest Program including 
prioritizing enforcement of protection orders, recognizing the roles of 
courts, probation, and parole, and addressing the specific needs of 
older victims and victims with disabilities. VAWA 2005 made additional 
changes including expanding the program to address sexual assault, 
adding new purpose areas, and adding new certification requirements 
relating to HIV testing of sex offenders and prohibiting polygraphing 
of sexual assault victims. VAWA 2013 added several sexual assault-
specific purpose areas, a set aside of funds of 25% for projects that 
address sexual assault, and improved the certification and eligibility 
requirements.

Description of Proposed Changes

    This rule proposes to amend the regulations for the Arrest Program 
to comply with statutory changes and reduce repetition of statutory 
language.
    In addition, the Violence Against Women Office Act, title IV of the 
21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act, 
Public Law 107-273, codified at 42 U.S.C. 3796gg-0 et seq., authorized 
the Office on Violence Against Women as a ``separate and distinct 
office within the Department of Justice.'' To avoid any possible 
confusion, this rule would clarify that the existing grant-making 
provisions of 28 CFR Part 18, which set forth hearing and appeal 
procedures available for applicants and for recipients of certain 
Department of Justice grant funding, apply to grants administered by 
the Office on Violence Against Women.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563--Regulatory Review

    This proposed regulation has been drafted and reviewed in 
accordance with Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and 
Review'' section 1(b), Principles of Regulation, and in accordance with 
Executive Order 13563 ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review'' 
section 1(b), General Principles of Regulation.
    The Department of Justice has determined that this rule is not a 
``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866, section 
3(f), Regulatory Planning and Review, and accordingly this rule has not 
been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. This rule relates 
to matters of agency practice and procedure and amends the applicable 
regulations to conform to statutory changes.

Executive Order 13132

    This proposed regulation draft will not have substantial direct 
effects on the States, on the relationship between the national 
government and the States, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in 
accordance with Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this rule 
does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant preparation 
of a Federalism Assessment.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Office on Violence Against Women, in accordance with the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), has reviewed this 
regulation and by approving it certifies that this regulation will not 
have a significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small 
entities for the following reason: The economic impact is limited to 
the Office on Violence Against Women's appropriated funds.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local, and 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of 
$100,000,000 or more in any one year, and it will not uniquely affect 
small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under 
the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

[[Page 45389]]

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This rule 
will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or 
more; a major increase in cost or prices; or significant adverse 
effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, 
innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to 
compete in domestic and export markets.

List of Subjects in 28 CFR Parts 0 and 90

    Grant programs; Judicial administration.


    For the reason set forth in the preamble, the Office on Violence 
Against Women proposes to amend 28 CFR parts 0 and 90 as follows:

PART 0--ORGANIZATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

0
1. The authority citation for part 0 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510, 515-519.

0
2. In Sec.   0.122, add a new paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  0.122  Office on Violence Against Women

* * * * *
    (c) Departmental regulations set forth in part 18 of this title, 
shall apply with equal force and effect to grant programs administered 
by the Office on Violence Against Women, with references to the Office 
of Justice Programs and its components in such regulations deemed to 
refer to the Office on Violence Against Women, as appropriate.

PART 90--VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

0
3. Subpart D is revised to read as follows:

Subpart D--Arrest Policies in Domestic Violence Cases

Secs.
90.60 Scope
90.61 Definitions and Grant Conditions
90.62 Purposes
90.63 Eligibility
90.63a Speedy Notice to Victims
90.64 Application Content
90.65 Evaluation
90.66 Review of Applications


Sec.  90.60  Scope

    The eligibility criteria, purpose areas, application requirements, 
and statutory priorities for this program are established by 42 U.S.C. 
3796hh et seq.


Sec.  90.61  Definitions and Grant Conditions

    (a) In General. For purposes of this subpart, the definitions and 
grant conditions in 42 U.S.C. 13925 apply.
    (b) Unit of Local Government. For the purpose of this subpart, a 
unit of local government is any city, county, township, town, borough, 
parish, village, or other general purpose political subdivision of a 
State;
    The following are not considered units of local government for 
purposes of this subpart:
     Police departments;
     Pre-trial service agencies;
     District or city attorneys' offices;
     Sheriffs' departments;
     Probation and parole departments;
     Shelters;
     Nonprofit, nongovernmental victim service providers; and
     Universities.


Sec.  90.62  Purposes

    (a) Purpose areas for the program are provided by 42 U.S.C. 
3796hh(b).
    (b) Grants awarded for these purposes must demonstrate meaningful 
attention to victim safety and offender accountability.


Sec.  90.63  Eligibility

    (a) Eligible entities are described in 42 U.S.C. 3796hh(c).
    (b) Certifications.
    (1) State, local, and tribal governments. State, local, and tribal 
government applicants must certify that they meet the requirements of 
42 U.S.C. 3796hh(c)(A) through (E) or that they will meet the 
requirements by the statutory deadline.
    (2) Courts. Court applicants must certify that they meet the 
requirements of 42 U.S.C. 3796hh(c)(C) through (E) or that they will 
meet the requirements by the statutory deadline.
    (3) State, tribal, or territorial domestic violence or sexual 
assault coalitions or victim service providers. Applicants that are 
domestic violence or sexual assault coalitions or other victim service 
providers must partner with a State, local, or tribal government. The 
partner government must certify that it meets the requirements of 42 
U.S.C. 3796hh(c)(A) through (E) or that it will meet the requirements 
by the statutory deadline.
    (4) Letters. Eligible applicants or partners must submit a letter 
with proper certifications signed by the chief executive officer of the 
State, local government, or tribal government participating in the 
project, in order to satisfy these statutory requirements. OVW will not 
accept submission of statutes, laws or policies in lieu of such a 
letter.
    (c) Partnerships.
    (1) Governments and courts. All State, local, and tribal government 
and court applicants are required to enter into a formal collaboration 
with victim service providers and, as appropriate, population specific 
organizations. Sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or 
stalking victim service providers must be involved in the development 
and implementation of the project. In addition to the requirements of 
42 U.S.C. 13925, victim service providers should meet the following 
criteria:
    (A) Address a demonstrated need in their communities by providing 
services that promote the dignity and self-sufficiency of victims, 
improve their access to resources, and create options for victims 
seeking safety from perpetrator violence; and
    (B) Do not engage in or promote activities that compromise victim 
safety.
    (2) Coalitions and victim service providers. All State, tribal, or 
territorial domestic violence or sexual assault coalition and other 
victim service provider applicants are required to enter into a formal 
collaboration with a State, Indian tribal government or unit of local 
government, and, as appropriate, population specific organizations.


Sec.  90.63a  Speedy Notice to Victims

    (a) In General. A State or unit of local government shall not be 
entitled to 5 percent of the funds allocated under this subpart, unless 
the State or unit of local government certifies that it meets the 
requirements regarding speedy notice to victims provided in 42 U.S.C. 
3796hh(d).
    (b) Units of local governments.
    (1) Units of local government grantees may certify based on State 
law, policy, or regulation or based on local law, policy, or 
regulation.
    (2) In the event that a unit of local government does not have 
authority to prosecute ``crime[s] in which by force or threat of force 
the perpetrator compels the victim to engage in sexual activity[,]'' 
the unit of local government may submit a letter from an appropriate 
legal authority in the jurisdiction certifying that the jurisdiction 
does not have the authority to prosecute ``crime[s] in which by force 
or threat of force the perpetrator compels the victim to engage in 
sexual activity'' and that therefore the certification is not relevant 
to the unit of local government in question.


Sec.  90.64  Application Content

    (a) Format. Applications from eligible entities must be submitted 
as described in the relevant program solicitation

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developed by the Office on Violence Against Women and must include all 
the information required by 42 U.S.C. 3796hh-1(a).
    (b) Each eligible applicant must certify that all the information 
contained in the application is correct. All submissions will be 
treated as a material representation of fact upon which reliance will 
be placed, and any false or incomplete representation may result in 
suspension or termination of funding, recovery of funds provided, and 
civil and/or criminal sanctions.


Sec.  90.65  Evaluation

    (a) Recipients of Arrest Program funds must agree to cooperate with 
federally-sponsored research and evaluation studies of their projects 
at the direction of the Office on Violence Against Women.
    (b) Grant funds may not be used for purposes of conducting research 
or evaluations. Recipients of Arrest Program funds are, however, 
strongly encouraged to develop a local evaluation strategy to assess 
the impact and effectiveness of their projects. Applicants should 
consider entering into partnerships with research organizations that 
are submitting simultaneous grant applications to the National 
Institute of Justice or other research funding sources for this 
purpose.


Sec.  90.66  Review of Applications

    The provisions of 42 U.S.C. 3796 et seq. and of the regulations in 
this subpart provide the basis for review and approval or disapproval 
of applications and amendments in whole or in part.

    Dated: July 24, 2014.
Bea Hanson,
Principal Deputy Director.
[FR Doc. 2014-18276 Filed 8-4-14; 8:45 am]
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