[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 5 (Thursday, January 8, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 1005-1007]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-30766]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 5 / Thursday, January 8, 2015 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 1005]]



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: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This rule amends 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 also amends 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: This rule is effective March 9, 2015.

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 [email protected].

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, Pub. L. 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, Pub. L. 106-386, 114 Stat. 1464. On 
January 5, 2006, Congress enacted the Violence Against Women and 
Department of Justice Reauthorization Act (VAWA 2005), Pub. L. 109-162, 
119 Stat. 2960. On March 7, 2013, Congress enacted the Violence Against 
Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013), Pub. L. 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 Changes

    This amends 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, 
Pub. L. 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 clarifies 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.
    The Office on Violence Against Women published the Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register on August 5, 2014. The 
comment period closed on October 6, 2014. Two comments were received, 
both of which supported the goal of this regulation to incorporate 
statutory changes, make minor technical corrections, and streamline 
existing regulations to reduce repetition of statutory language. 
Neither comment made any recommendations for the regulation. Therefore, 
the Office on Violence Against Women is finalizing the proposed rule 
without change.

[[Page 1006]]

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563--Regulatory Review

    This 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 regulation 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.

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

28 CFR Part 0

    Judicial administration, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Whistleblowing.

28 CFR Part 90

    Grant programs--law, Judicial administration, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Women.

    For the reason set forth in the preamble, the Office on Violence 
Against Women amends 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 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. The authority citation for part 90 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 3711-3796gg-7; Sec. 826, Part E, Title 
VIII, Pub. L. 105-244, 112 Stat. 1581, 1815.


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

Subpart D--Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of 
Protection Orders

Sec.
90.60 Scope.
90.61 Definitions and grant conditions.
90.62 Purposes.
90.63 Eligibility.
90.64 Speedy notice to victims.
90.65 Application content.
90.66 Evaluation.
90.67 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:
    (1) Police departments;
    (2) Pre-trial service agencies;
    (3) District or city attorneys' offices;
    (4) Sheriffs' departments;
    (5) Probation and parole departments;
    (6) Shelters;
    (7) Nonprofit, nongovernmental victim service providers; and
    (8) 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. 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)-(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)-(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)-(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

[[Page 1007]]

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:
    (i) 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
    (ii) 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.  90.64  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 or 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.  90.65  Application content.

    (a) Format. Applications from eligible entities must be submitted 
as described in the relevant program solicitation developed by the 
Office on Violence Against Women and must include all the information 
required by 42 U.S.C. 3796hh-1(a).
    (b) Certification. 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.  90.66  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.  90.67  Review of applications.

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

    Dated: December 23, 2014.
Bea Hanson,
Principal Deputy Director.
[FR Doc. 2014-30766 Filed 1-7-15; 8:45 am]
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