Cooperative Agreement – Public Information Officers and Communication Directors Master Trainer Pilot

The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is seeking applications for funding under the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. The purpose of this project is to pilot the master trainer course for current public information officers (PIOs) and communication directors for federal, state, local, and tribal correctional agencies under NIC’s Enhanced Correctional Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Initiative.

Goal

The goal of this project is to advance public safety by shaping and enhancing correctional communications staff and practices through leadership, learning, and innovation.

Deadline

Applicants must register with Grants.gov prior to submitting an application. NIC encourages applicants to register several weeks before the application submission deadline. In addition, NIC urges applicants to submit applications 72 hours prior to the application due date. All applications are due to be submitted and in receipt of a successful validation message in Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on January 3, 2023

Objectives

The tasks to be performed under this cooperative agreement will include the following:

  • Pilot the master trainer course to expand the role, competencies, skills, and functions of PIOs and communication directors.
  • Pilot the curriculum.
  • Revise the curriculum upon completion of the pilot.
  • Develop a resource guide for PIOs and communication directors.

Deliverables

  • The successful applicant must complete the following deliverables during the project period. The program narrative should reflect how the applicant will accomplish these activities. Cooperative agreement objectives and deliverables include the following:
  • The awardee will pilot the PIO and Communication Director Master Trainer Course.
  • The training will be considered the pilot for the newly developed curriculum. The curriculum specialist and project director will be present. Final revisions to the curriculum will be made by the awardee based on feedback about the training from the curriculum specialist, project director, NIC’s program managers, instructors, and participants.
  • Prior to the pilot delivery, the awardee will be required to facilitate a two-day planning meeting with subject matter experts (SMEs) and NIC program managers to discuss and review materials as well as practice module delivery of the materials.
  • The pilot will be held at a location to be determined by NIC, and it is anticipated that the total number of participants will not exceed 16. NIC will pay for participant travel and per diem. The awardee will pay for the instructors, curriculum specialist, and project director’s fees and expenses as well as the costs for printing facilitator and participant guides. Dates will be determined in conjunction with the NIC program managers and awardee.
  • Participants will be selected from a national audience. The awardee will work with NIC program managers to determine appropriate participants.
  • Program instructors will comprised four SMEs approved by the NIC program managers. The instructors’ experience must have equitable representation for jails and prisons.
  • The awardee will revise the curriculum and all required materials upon completion of the pilot. The following items are required as part of the pilot revision but are not limited to:
  • lesson plans
  • complete instructor’s manual with all lesson plans in one cohesive document
  • participant manual that follows the lesson plans
  • presentation slides
  • teach-back guides and evaluations
  • supplemental materials (agenda, handouts, etc.)
  • The awardee will create a program information package for all curricula containing, but not limited to, the following content:
  • course overview with individual module summaries included
  • course objectives
  • training program request options (technical assistance, NCA, etc.)
  • intended audience
  • pre-work requirements
  • evaluation processes
  • program flier
  • regional training host requirements
  • The awardee will develop a resource guide for PIOs and communication directors. The guide must be professionally edited and adhere to federal guidelines regarding publications. The guide is intended to be a sustainable resource for PIOs and communication directors of jails and prisons of all sizes. Therefore, it should include key topics and descriptions of topics as well as templates and examples. At a minimum it should include, but is not limited to, the following components:
  • overview of the role, characteristics, and competencies of contemporary PIOs and communication directors
  • purpose of correctional communication, stakeholder engagement, and agency branding
  • best and promising practices regarding correctional communication, stakeholder engagement, agency branding
  • possible future trends in correctional communication, stakeholder engagement, and agency branding
  • variety of communication strategies
  • communication with agency executives (i.e., how to communicate with the 23PR02 8 C-suite)
  • common questions PIOs and communication directors ask and appropriate responses
  • templates and examples (i.e., press releases, social media postings, etc.)
  • resources for PIOs and communication directors
  • additional items identified during the research phase and/or focus group
  • Facilitate a half-day close-out meeting to discuss delivery strategies, format, and content of the curriculum; potential next steps for deployment strategies of the curriculum; and overall operation of the cooperative agreement. Minimally, this collaborative meeting must include the NIC program managers, the awardee, and the project director. This meeting may be in person or virtual.
  • Conduct a second PIO and Communication Director Master Trainer Course. The training will be held at a location to be determined by NIC. The awardee will pay for the instructors, curriculum specialist, and project director’s fees and expenses as well as the costs for printing facilitator and participant guides. Dates will be determined in conjunction with the NIC program managers and awardee.
  • Program instructors will comprise four SMEs approved by the NIC program managers and the instructors’ experience must have equitable representation for jails and prisons.

Applications must include in the Program Narrative and Budget Narrative the incorporation of products delivered to meet Plain Language and Section 508 standards.