Innovative Programming Grants

Program Information

Innovative Programming Grants (IPG) offer funding to eligible nonprofit organizations to provide programs that have demonstrated success and focus on inmate responsibility and restorative justice principles. The goal of IPG is to improve access to programming and increase the percentage of inmates served in California’s adult prisons.

The grants have funded the establishment of 299 programs since 2014. Programs cover a wide spectrum, from creative writing, gardening, and recording books for inmates’ children to socializing and training assistance dogs, learning to write computer code, improving interpersonal communication within the prison setting, and in-depth trauma-informed programs aimed at replacing violence and crime with introspective and positive life skills.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is pleased to announce that the Request for Applications for Round Six Innovative Programming Grants for victim impact programs is now released. The 2019-20 state budget includes $1 million per year in ongoing funding. IPG will be awarded for two 13-month terms for a total of $2 million for this round of grants.


Location(s) for grant applications and the locations of IPG’s programs for victim impact are available at all CDCR institutions and three Modified Community Correctional Facilities (MCCF).

Click here to see a map of IPG application locations.


Grant Eligibility

Grant eligibility is limited to nonprofit organizations currently offering victim impact programs in an adult correctional institution setting.

Inmate Eligibility/Enrollment

Inmate participation criteria and enrollment varies by institution and individual grant program.

Request for Applications (RFA)

Round Six Innovative Programming Grants for victim impact programs is now released. To complete the RFA, click here to email the IPG team to request a copy of the RFA Packet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Round 6 – Victim Impact Programs Grant


Q: Could a program meet the criteria to be considered both a victim impact program and a ‘regular’ program.  For example, can a program currently funded with a “regular” innovative programming grant also qualify as a Victim Impact grant by outlining the components specifically tied to restorative justice, victim impact, and remorse.
A: Yes, an organization can apply for both the victim impact grants and the “regular” grants. The only caveat is that programs applying for victim impact grants must solely cover victim impact material/curriculum. Programs that cover victim impact material along with other material (i.e., mindfulness, family relationships, etc.) will not be considered. If a current program covers more than just victim impact, the victim impact portions of the program could be pulled out and create a program that is solely victim impact. 
Q: What kinds of programs are eligible for Round Six Victim Impact Grants?
A: The requirement is that a program’s curriculum contains ONLY victim impact subject matter. This is as opposed to a program that includes victim impact along with other topics. 100% of the program has to be victim based.
Q: Is this Request for Application (RFA) separate from the Victim Offender Dialogue (VOD) RFA? 
A: Yes. This RFA for Victim Impact Programs is being offered by the Division of Rehabilitative Programs and the VOD RFA is being offered by the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services. The VOD RFA applications are due August 1, 2019 and the Victim Impact Programs RFA applications are due September 19, 2019.  
Q: I was under the impression the new grant funding in this year’s budget would NOT come from the Inmate Welfare Fund. Are these grants something in addition to the $5 million proposed in the budget? 
A: Round Six is for Victim Impact Programs. It is $1 million a year funded from the Inmate Welfare Fund. Applications are due on September 19, 2019. The $5 million proposed in the budget is for Round Seven which will be the California Reentry and Enrichment (CARE) grants. These grants will be $5 million a year funded from the General Fund. An application deadline has not been established CARE grants.

Program Locations

Q: Will there be target populations for the Round Six Victim Impact Programs RFA?
A: No. There are targeted institutions as a whole, which are identified in the RFA. There are no targeted populations.
Q: Will the grant funding be awarded for locations such as county jail and juvenile justice facilities?
A:  No. The $1 million dollars funded from the Inmate Welfare Fund is exclusively for programs within CDCR adult institutions.

Application Criteria

Q: What is the maximum number of pages for the proposal narrative?
A: The proposal narrative cannot exceed 10 letter size pages.
Q: Will a representative of the Office of Victim Services and Restitution Services (OVSRS) be a part of the review process for these grant applications?
A: Yes, a representative of the OVSRS will be a part of the review process to provide knowledge and specific expertise about victim impact programs.
Q: Is there a maximum amount of how many institutions a program can submit an application for?
A: An organization can submit applications for as many institutions as you choose. However, the RFA indicates that a maximum of five grants will be awarded to an organization. Please note that each location is considered a separate grant award.
Q: Does a program meet the criteria if the whole program focus is focused on Victim Impact?
A: Yes, a program focused around victim impact meets the criteria defined within the RFA.
Q: Is a victim reunion and/or dialogue required for a program to be eligible?
A: No. A victim reunion and/or dialogue is not necessary to be eligible. Optimally, some type of victim offender connection is desired, but it is not a required component for Round Six grants.

Program Operations

Q: What if a program requires Self-Help Sponsor(s)?
A: Actual program operations are under the purview of the institutions, if program sponsors are required they will be provided by the institutions. This is not a factor in the evaluation process.
Q: Can the service that is being provided in the institution be continued in the Community?
A: No, for the purposes of this RFA, the programs services are required to be provided within a CDCR adult institution.
Q: Should we engage/ talk with the Institution Warden before submitting an application for that institution?
A: No. The startup meeting with the institution administration will be conducted upon award of a grant.
Q: Under the Technical Application Review Section of the RFA, the second bullet reads: “The Applicant Information Form contains all required information and signatures, including documentation to support selection of the Promising Practice category and written verification of current programs at non-CDCR locations as applicable.” Is this information correct?
A: No the second bullet under the Technical Review Section of the RFA should read: “The Applicant Information Form contains all required information and signatures including written verification of current programs at non-CDCR locations as applicable.”

For additional questions about the Round Six Victim Impact Programs RFA please email the CDCR DRP Innovative Grants inbox:

Innovative Programming Video

Summary of Key Events
For a 26 Month Total Grant Period:

July 15, 2019: Release Request for Applications

July 30, 2019: Applicants Conference Call

August 15, 2019: Notice of Intent to Apply Due

September 19, 2019: Grant Application Due

September 20 – 27, 2019: Technical Application Review

September 30 – October 18, 2019: Merit Application Review

October 21 – 25, 2019: DRP Director Review/Approval

October 28 – November 1, 2019: Secretary Review/Approval

November 4 – 8, 2019: Notification of Intent to Award

November 11, 2019 – February 14, 2020: Grant Agreement Processing

March 1, 2020: Begin Grant Period – Term One

March 2 – 31, 2020: Grantee Meetings at Institutions

March 2 – 31, 2020: Ramp Up and New Volunteer Orientation

March 1 – April 31, 2020: New Programs Begin

March 31, 2021: End Grant Period – Term One

April 1, 2021: Begin Grant Period – Term Two

April 30, 2022: End Grant Period – Term Two

For any questions please email the grant mailbox via email:

Contact Information

For additional IPG program videos, visit our Outside Resources page.