Requesting a Letter of Support

 

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PADOC) is NOT a grantor; however, we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with organizations committed to working toward the successful rehabilitation of offenders as well as the smooth reintegration of those offenders back into their communities.  As such we encourage organizations and agencies throughout the Commonwealth to take advantage of grant opportunities when those opportunities present themselves.  A list of all grants offered from various federal government agencies to include SAMHSA and the Department of Justice can be accessed at the following link: www.grants.gov. Grants opportunities specific to the Pennsylvania justice system may be found on the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s website at www.pccd.state.pa.us

 

The PA DOC is often asked to provide letters of support for organizations applying for grant funding.  Our department does not generally issue blanket or general letters of support but rather seeks to work collaboratively with agencies on applications, particularly when organizations are seeking access to our facilities and/or are specifically targeting offenders in state prison or returning to communities from state prison.

 

We are interested in providing meaningful support letters which provide details of how we understand the proposed project and what specific commitments we are making should the project be funded.  Accordingly, all requesting organizations should submit detailed and descriptive information on the proposed project.

 

The following materials are to be submitted when requesting a letter of support from us:

 

  • A copy of the grant announcement and provide the link to the announcement;

 Not to exceed five pages

 

  • You may provide brief, descriptive information about your agency and the services you provide, specifically indicate prior organizational experience with the targeted population and the state corrections system.

  • A written project description (abstract) which communicates clearly the problem you are seeking to solve and the strategy you are proposing to use in solving it, including:

 

o   Geographic area of concentration (county, zip code(s), neighborhood(s), etc.)

 

    • Describe in detail the proposed activities (pre-release and/or post-release) to occur and clearly indicate the evidence-based practices to be incorporated.;

 

o   Target population (male/female and other characteristics)

 

o   Number of state offenders to be served

 

o   Partner organizations (including government, non-profit, private sector, and others that will be partnering with you under the grant-funded and match activities)

 

o   Describe how the grant activity performance will be monitored and evaluated

 

o   Describe how the grant activity performance will be sustained once grant funds are no longer available

 

  • Specifically describe what you are seeking from the department (resources, data, access to facilities etc.) along with the timeframe in which you expect to require our services. If you request “access” to a PA DOC facility or facilities, please clearly define “access” and any expectations you may have, in addition to the specific facilities you are requesting access to; 
  • Contact information for a person in your organization should we have questions regarding your application.  Also please provide the name, address, phone number, and e-mail for your organization. 

 

Key considerations:

  • A request for a letter of support does not mean a letter of support will be provided.
  • The PADOC cannot require an offender to participate your program or services
  • The PADOC cannot pay an organization for referrals if that organization does not have a contract with the Department. The PADOC follows Commonwealth procurement and purchasing requirements in regards to contracting services. You can review and follow Commonwealth open procurements at www.emarketplace.state.pa.us.
  • If you are proposing to conduct research, evaluations, or related activities, then your project must be approved by the PADOC Research in Review committee before a letter of support can be provided.

 

We are aware of the tight timeframes associated with responding to grant solicitations; accordingly it is in your best interested to submit your request and materials in a timely fashion. We would like to review your materials no less than three weeks prior to the deadline for submitting your application. Once received, your request and supporting documentation is reviewed by PADOC staff – please anticipate follow-up questions regarding the proposed activity and the role of the PADOC. The determination process, including the review of information and request for more detailed information, may take on average 2-3 weeks.  Among other reasons, the PADOC has the right to deny a request if sufficient time to review the proposed activity is not provided.

 

Please submit your request and supporting materials via electronic mail to:

 

Carrie Amann, Executive Policy & Grants Specialist
Pa. Department of Corrections

1920 Technology Park

Mechanicsburg, PA 17050-8507

camann@pa.gov