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FY 2012 Grant Request for Applications (RFA)

Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity In Adult and Family Drug Courts (Short Title: SAMHSA Treatment Drug Courts)


Request for Applications (RFA) No. TI-12-005
Posting on May 8, 2012
Original Receipt date: June 21, 2012

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

Key Dates

Application Deadline Applications are due by June 21, 2012.
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.
Public Health System Impact Statement (PHSIS) / Single State Agency Coordination Applicants must send the PHSIS to appropriate State and local health agencies by application deadline. Comments from Single State Agency 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) 2012 Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment in Adult and Family Drug Courts.  The purpose of this program is to expand and/or enhance substance abuse treatment services in existing adult and family “problem solving” courts which use the treatment drug court model in order to provide alcohol and drug treatment (including recovery support services supporting substance abuse treatment, screening, assessment, case management, and program coordination) to defendants/offenders.  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.  Priority for the use of the funding should be given to addressing gaps in the continuum of treatment for those individuals in these courts who have substance abuse and/or co-occurring disorders treatment needs.  Grant funds must be used to serve people diagnosed with a substance use disorder as their primary condition.

The term "drug court" means a specially designed court calendar or docket, the purposes of which are to achieve a reduction in recidivism and substance abuse among substance-abusing offenders and to increase the likelihood of successful habilitation through early, continuous, and intense judicially supervised treatment, mandatory periodic drug testing, and use of appropriate sanctions and other habilitation services. They are being created at a high rate with over 2,400 in existence in 2011, 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 various existing Treatment Drug Courts that serve substance-abusing adults in the respective problem-solving court models as long as the court meets all the elements required for drug courts. The intent is to meet the clinical needs of clients and ensure 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 individuals needing treatment drug court services in the following four drug court categories in FY 2012:

Category 1- Adult Drug Courts;

Category 2- Adult Municipal/Misdemeanor Drug Courts;

Category 3- Veterans Treatment Courts; and

Category 4- Family Drug Courts.

For definitions of these drug court categories, see Section I-2, Expectations of this RFA. Applicants should indicate on the front page of their application form (SF-424) the category for which they are applying (See Section IV-3, Application Submission Requirements for more information).

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) 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.

In alignment with the goals of SAMHSA's Strategic Initiative: "Trauma and Justice", this program will help "reduce the pervasive, harmful, and costly health impact of violence and trauma by integrating trauma-informed approaches throughout health, behavioral health, and related systems and addressing the behavioral health needs of people involved in or at risk of involvement in the criminal and juvenile justice systems". By providing needed treatment and recovery 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. See Appendix J - Background Information for more on drug courts and SAMHSA's role in providing funding for substance abuse treatment services in drug courts.

"Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult and Family Drug Courts (hereafter referred to as SAMHSA Treatment Drug Courts)" is one of SAMHSA's services grant programs. 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.

SAMHSA Treatment Drug Court grants are authorized under Section 509 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. This announcement addresses Healthy People 2020 Substance Abuse Topic Area HP 2020-SA.

NOTE: SAMHSA/CSAT, in collaboration with The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), is also offering an innovative funding opportunity for adult drug courts titled "Enhancing Adult Drug Court Services, Coordination, and Treatment FY 2012 Competitive Grant Announcement". The purpose of the joint initiative is to invite applicants to submit for consideration one comprehensive strategy for enhancing drug court coordination, services, and treatment capacity, allowing applicants to compete for access to both criminal justice and substance abuse treatment funds with one application. BJA will also offer its stand-alone drug court solicitation titled "Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program FY 2012 Competitive Grant Announcement," which provides financial and technical assistance to States, state courts, local courts, units of local government, and Indian tribal governments to develop and implement drug treatment courts that effectively integrate substance abuse treatment, mandatory drug testing, sanctions and incentives, and transitional services in a judicially supervised court setting with jurisdiction over nonviolent, substance-abusing offenders.

Applicants may apply simultaneously for any or all posted drug court grant solicitations offered by BJA and/or CSAT. However, BJA and CSAT will not make more than one award for the same proposed services within a program. The aforementioned solicitations may be found on OJP/BJA's website at


Eligibility is limited to States/Tribes, local units of government, and State/Tribal Courts applying on behalf of a single existing drug court jurisdiction, or to local operating adult misdemeanor or felony treatment drug courts and family dependency/drug courts that have demonstrated relationships and agreements with existing domestic public and private nonprofit entities and community-based treatment providers.

Therefore, in addition to direct application by an individual misdemeanor or felony Adult or Family Treatment Drug Court, units of State/tribal/local government such as the Tribal Court Administrator, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Single State Agency for Alcohol and Drug Abuse, the designated State Drug Court Coordinator, or local governmental unit such as county or city agency with direct involvement with the drug court may apply on behalf of an individual adult treatment drug court. When the Tribal/State, County or local government 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. In order to reach more drug courts, the following SAMHSA/CSAT drug court grantees are not eligible to apply for funding under this solicitation:

  • FY 2010 SAMHSA Adult Treatment Drug Court grantees;
  • FY 2010 SAMHSA-BJA Adult Drug Court grantees; and
  • FY 2011 SAMHSA-BJA Adult Drug Court grantees.

This grant is NOT intended for Juvenile Drug Courts and those entities should not apply.

In those cases where a Tribe/State/local unit of government (city/county) applies on behalf of a drug court, the Tribe/State/local governmental unit will be the award recipient and the entity responsible for satisfying the grant requirements. 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.

Furthermore, eligible applicants must 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. Public and private nonprofit organizations such as substance abuse treatment providers have a pivotal supporting role in treatment drug court programs and may be sub-recipients/contractors to the applicant. However, they are not the catalysts for entry into drug court and are therefore restricted from applying.

To better ensure coordination between the criminal justice and community-based substance abuse treatment systems, applications must include a letter from the State Substance Abuse Agency (SSA) Director or designated representative that provides support for the application and confirms that the proposal conforms to the framework of the State Strategy of Substance Abuse Treatment. All applicants (unless the applicant is the SSA) must include this letter in Attachment 4 of your application or it will not be reviewed and you will not be considered for an award. A listing of the SSA's can be found on SAMHSA's Web site at (101KB).

Letters of commitment or formal contractual agreements from collaborating organizations must be provided in Attachment 1 of your application and a letter from the SSA Director or designated representative must be included in Attachment 4 of your application as outlined in Section I-2 (unless the applicant is the SSA),or the application will not be reviewed and will not be considered for an award.

The statutory authority for this program prohibits grants to for-profit agencies.

Award Information

Funding Mechanism: Grant
Anticipated Total Available Funding: $14.135 million
Estimated Number of Awards: Up to 52 awards
Estimated Award Amount: Up to $250,000 - $325,000 per year
Length of Project Period: Up to 3 years

Contact Information

For questions about program issues contact:

Kenneth W. Robertson
Lead Public Health Advisor, Criminal Justice Grants Team
Targeted Populations Branch, Division of Services Improvement
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road
Room 5-1001
Rockville, Maryland 20857
(240) 276-1621

For questions on grants management and budget issues contact:

Roger George
Office of Financial Resources, Division of Grants Management
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road
Room 7-1081
Rockville, Maryland 20857
(240) 276-1418

Documents Needed to Complete a Grant Application





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: 04/13/2012