Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $500,000)
The Department of Justice of Puerto Rico (DJPR) is the leading institution in the territory providing services to crime victims. However, the internal processes of the DJPR are outdated, mostly paper-based and dependent on the limited technological capacity available in the Department. The Improving Victims’ Services in Puerto Rico Through Technology program seeks to update the DJPR’s technology in two different ways: digitalizing the files of subgrantee projects and establishing a mechanized grant management system.
The implementation of this project will have a direct impact in victims’ services by broadening the DJPR’s scope of service providers that are able to apply for funding and making the allocation of funding more transparent, as well as equitable. This will ensure that victims’ services are provided throughout the entire territory, reaching previously underserved communities, mainly in the mountainous and western region of the Island.
This process will assist in the thorough compliance with federal and state regulations by facilitating document filings and providing real-time feedback to subgrantees. This will also assist the DJPR in providing better technical assistance to subgrantees and allow us to focus our efforts in providing better access to funding, educate the population regarding the services provided, and widen the network of institutions servicing these communities.
The DJPR will establish this program within its External Resources Division, impacting all funding petitioners and subgrantees that provide victims’ services for: assault, sexual assault of adults and minors, child abuse, larceny, harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, theft, breaking and entering, physical abuse or negligence of minors, child pornography, sexual abuse of children, domestic violence, driving under the influence, elderly abuse, hate crimes, human trafficking, sexual trafficking, identity theft, kidnapping, mass violence, hit and run, homicide survivors, terrorism, and violations of protective orders.
This project directly affects the civil rights and racial equity of underserved Puerto Rican communities, which are top priorities among the local Hispanic community. Of note, this
project will provide underserved communities better access to funding, networking, and education, especially in less populated communities outside of the San Juan metropolitan area.