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FY 2009 RFA Grant Application Information (RFA)

Application Information Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)

Request for Applications (RFA)

Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity for Adult Drug Courts
(Short Title: Adult Treatment Drug Courts)

(Initial Announcement)


Request for Applications (RFA) No. TI-09-003
Posting on March 5, 2009
Receipt date: May 8, 2009
Announcement Type: Initial

Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) No.: 93.243

Key Dates:

Application Deadline Applications are due by May 8, 2009
Intergovernmental Review
(E.O. 12372)
Applicants must comply with E.O. 12372 if their State(s) participates.  Review process recommendations from the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) are due no later than 60 days after application deadline.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2009 Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult Drug Courts (Adult Treatment Drug Courts).  The purpose of this program is to expand and/or enhance substance abuse treatment services in “problem solving” courts which use the treatment drug court model in order to provide alcohol and drug treatment, recovery support services supporting substance abuse treatment, screening, assessment, case management, and program coordination to adult defendants/offenders.  Priority for the use of the funding should be given to addressing gaps in the existing continuum of treatment.

Grantees will be expected to provide a coordinated, multi-system approach designed to combine the sanctioning power of treatment drug courts with effective treatment services to break the cycle of criminal behavior, alcohol and/or drug use, and incarceration or other penalties.  Treatment Drug Courts use regular appearances of the client before a judge (who is part of, or guided by, a team of relevant professionals) in order to monitor compliance with court ordered conditions and substance abuse treatment. 

There is a significant disparity between the availability of treatment services for persons with alcohol and drug use disorders and the demand for such services.  According to the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 22.3 million individuals needed treatment for an alcohol or illicit drug use problem.  Only 10 percent of these individuals received treatment at a specialty facility in the past year.  This disparity is also consistent for criminal justice populations, as estimates show only 10 percent of individuals involved with the criminal justice system who are in need of substance abuse treatment receive it as part of their justice system supervision.  By providing needed treatment services, this program is intended to reduce the health and social costs of substance abuse and dependence to the public, and increase the safety of America’s citizens by reducing substance abuse related crime and violence.

Treatment Drug Courts are problem-solving courts, often used as an alternative to incarceration, that quickly identify substance abusing offenders and place them under strict court monitoring and community supervision as well as provide the participant with effective treatment services.  They are being created at a high rate with over 2,100 in existence in 2008, but many lack sufficient funding for substance abuse treatment.  Treatment Drug Courts represent the coordinated efforts of the judiciary, prosecution, defense bar, probation, law enforcement, mental health, social service, and treatment communities to actively intervene and break the cycle of substance abuse, addiction and crime.  Stakeholders work together to give individual clients the opportunity to improve their lives, including recovery from substance use disorders, and develop the capacity and skills to become fully-functioning parents, employees and citizens.  SAMHSA’s interest is to actively support and shape Adult Treatment Drug Courts, including Driving While Impaired (DWI) Courts, so that clinical needs are met and clients are treated using evidence-based practices consistent with the disease model and the problem-solving model, rather than with the traditional court case-processing model.  A long-term goal of this program is to build sustainable systems of care for adult persons needing treatment drug court services.

Adult Treatment Drug Courts is one of SAMHSA’s services grant programs.  SAMHSA’s services grants are designed to address gaps in substance abuse and mental health prevention and treatment services and/or to increase the ability of States, units of local government, American Indian/Alaska Native Tribes and tribal organizations, and community- and faith-based organizations to help specific populations or geographic areas with serious, emerging mental health and substance abuse problems.  SAMHSA intends that its services grants result in the delivery of services as soon as possible after award.  Service delivery should begin by the 4th month of the project at the latest.  

As of April 2008, approximately 1.64 million men and women have been deployed to serve in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) in support of the Global War on Terror.  Individuals returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are at increased risk for suffering post-traumatic stress and other related disorders.  Experts estimate that up to one-third of returning veterans will need mental health and/or substance abuse treatment and related services.  In addition, the family members of returning veterans have an increased need for related support services.  To address these concerns, SAMHSA strongly encourages all applicants to consider the unique needs of returning veterans and their families in developing their proposed project.

Adult Treatment Drug Court grants are authorized under Section 509 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended.  This announcement addresses Healthy People 2010 focus area 26 (Substance Abuse) of the Public Health Service Act.


SAMHSA/CSAT is restricting eligibility to existing individual misdemeanor or felony Adult Treatment Drug Courts that have demonstrated relationships and agreements with existing community-based substance abuse treatment providers in order to create the necessary networks to successfully implement these grants.  Adult Treatment Drug Courts are the eligible entities for this program because such courts are the catalysts for adults involved in the criminal justice system to enter a treatment drug court program. Although public and private nonprofit organizations have a pivotal supporting role in treatment drug court programs and may be sub-recipients/contractors to the applicant, they are not the catalysts for entry into drug court and are restricted from applying.

Funding is intended to serve individual drug courts, although some States/Counties have restrictions prohibiting individual courts from applying for this type of funding.  Only if there is a formal legislative, administrative, or policy restriction preventing an individual court from applying for a grant or legally administering grant or treatment funds can the State or County apply for this grant.  In those cases, the State or County will be the award recipient, the entity responsible for satisfying the grant requirements and must provide the documentation of the restriction that prohibits the individual court from applying in Appendix 5 of the application.  When the State or County is the applicant, all grant funds awarded must be dedicated to the individual drug court with the exception of a small set aside, not to exceed two percent of the total award, that is permissible to cover the cost of administration and oversight of the grant. 

Although funding is intended for individual drug courts, SAMHSA recognizes the scarcity of treatment resources in some rural communities.  Therefore, it is allowable for contiguous rural counties in one State to apply as a multi-county partnership to serve more than one drug court within the identified counties.  However, in such situations, one county unit of government must assume the role of lead applicant, which will oversee and administer the grant for the multiple jurisdictions.     

This grant program is not intended to provide start-up funds to create new treatment drug courts.  Applicant drug courts must be operational for at least one year at the time of application.  Operational is defined as a judge being designated as a “drug court” judge with a “drug court” docket of cases and seeing defendants in “drug court” on a regular and recurring basis for at least one year prior to the submission of the grant application.  By signing the cover page (SF 424 v2) of the application, the authorized representative of the applicant organization is certifying that the Adult Treatment Drug Court applying for funds is operational, as defined above, for at least one year at the time of application.    

You must provide letters of commitment or formal contractual agreements from collaborating organizations (in Appendix 1 of your application) and a letter from the SSA Director (in Appendix 4 of your application) as outlined in Section I-2,or your application will not be reviewed and you will not be considered for an award.

Award Information

Funding Mechanism: Grant
Anticipated Total Available Funding: $11.55 million
Anticipated Number of Awards: Up to 39 grants
Anticipated Award Amount: $300,000 per year
Length of Project Period: Up to 3 years

Proposed budgets cannot exceed $300,000 in total costs (direct and indirect) in any year of the proposed project.  Annual continuation awards will depend on the availability of funds, grantee progress in meeting project goals and objectives, timely submission of required data and reports, and compliance with all terms and conditions of award.

Funding for this program is subject to the enactment of a final budget for FY 2009.  Funding estimates for this announcement are based on potential funding scenarios that reflect early Congressional action on the SAMHSA appropriation but do not reflect final conference action on the 2009 budget.  Applicants should be aware that SAMHSA cannot guarantee that sufficient funds will be appropriated to fully fund this program.
Applicants should be aware that the amount to be awarded for continuation awards in year 3 is expected to be 95% of the amount available for continuation awards in year 2.  This is being done to create a pool of funds for supplemental performance-based awards (described below). [Note: Applicants should not reduce their requested third year amounts relative to year 2; this adjustment will be made by SAMHSA at the time the year 3 continuation awards are negotiated.]

Supplemental Awards Based on Performance:  Section VI-2, Administrative and National  Policy Requirements, of this RFA discusses a grantee’s proposed performance targets and explains that failure to meet stated goals and objectives may result in suspension or termination of the grant award, or in the reduction or withholding of continuation awards.  Conversely, a Treatment Drug Court grantee that exceeds its performance targets or demonstrates efficiencies may receive a supplemental award based on performance to maintain its high level of performance.  For year 3 of the Treatment Drug Court grant program, CSAT will review each grantee’s Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) data submissions and assess whether a grantee has: 1) met or exceeded its target for the number of clients served by 25 percent or more; 2) met or exceeded its target for 6-month follow-up rates; and 3) provided services within approved cost bands.  Any grantee that has demonstrated appropriate financial management of the grant and has exceeded its targets for the number of clients served by 25 percent or more, exceeded its target for 6-month follow-ups, and provided services within allowable cost bands, may receive a supplemental award of up to 5 percent of the third year requested amount based on performance.  Supplemental award amounts will be determined on a sliding scale based on availability of funds and the grantee’s achievement of performance goals and demonstration of sound fiscal management.  Applicants should be aware that SAMHSA/CSAT does not plan to make supplemental awards to all grantees, and that is it possible that no grantees will receive supplemental awards based on performance.

Eligible grantees will be asked to submit a narrative and budget justification for the supplemental award that maintains the increase in its targets during the final year of the project.  The supplemental award based on performance is for the purpose of the grantee maintaining, at a minimum, the additional number of clients for the remainder of the project. 

A grantee receiving a supplemental award based on performance may be subject to additional site visits and/or audits to verify the accuracy of the client data reported.      


Contact Information

For questions on program issues, contact:

Holly Rogers
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Division of Services Improvement
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road
Room 5-1014
Rockville, Maryland 20857
(240) 276-2916

For questions on grants management issues, contact:

Kathleen Sample
Office of Program Services, Division of Grants Management          
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road
Room 7-1089
Rockville, Maryland 20857
(240) 276-1407

Documents needed to complete a grant application:

Applications that are not submitted on the required application form will be screened out and will not be reviewed.

You must respond to the requirements in the RFA in preparing your application.

PHS 5161-1 (revised July 2000): Includes the face page, budget forms and checklist. Applications that are not submitted on the required application form will be screened out and will not be reviewed.

Additional Materials

For further information on the forms and the application process, see Useful Information for Applicants

Additional materials available on this website include:

Last updated: 03/27/2009