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Reaching Rural: Advancing Collaborative Solutions



Application Deadline: Dec 15, 2023


Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), State Justice Institute (SJI)


Provides rural justice, public safety practitioners, and other community stakeholders the opportunity to participate in a 1-year planning initiative designed to help communities build local networks and develop solutions to address the issue of substance use and provide services to individuals with substance use or co-occurring disorder who are involved in the justice system. Reaching Rural is an initiative of the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Program (COSSUP) funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

The initiative will run from February 2024 through February 2025 and consists of:

  • 3 in-person meetings consisting of an orientation, a field visit, and a closing session
  • Monthly mentorship and guidance
  • Monthly assignments to help apply core concepts
  • Access to a peer network, innovative rural communities, and technical assistance providers
  • Formal recognition for completing the planning initiative

Planning activities include:

  • Evaluate local or regional opportunities for systemic change
  • Develop leadership skills to facilitate cross-sector collaboration
  • Examine the implementation of evidence-informed strategies in diverse rural settings
  • Identify ways to effectively align efforts between different sectors, such as law enforcement, child welfare, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation, judges, public health, behavioral health
  • Prioritize opportunities and strategies and commit to action
  • Build a roadmap for local implementation and identify resources to support implementing the plan
  • Commit to a project or individualized learning opportunity in month 5 of the project and devote focused time during months 6 through 11 to that effort

Amount of Funding

Participants will receive travel and per diem reimbursement to attend sponsored program activities.

Reaching Rural fellows will have the opportunity at the end of the planning period to apply for an implementation grant of up to $100,000 for up to 15 months to launch a project planned during the initiative.

Who Can Apply

Rural practitioners may apply either as an individual or as a cross-sector team.

Eligible individuals include those who work for a unit of local government, a federally recognized tribal government, or a nonprofit agency that works with a local government or tribe to respond to issues related to substance use and misuse.

Eligible cross-sector teams must consist of a minimum of 4 people from 3 different sectors: justice or public safety, public health, and behavioral health. Teams may also include 2 optional team members from additional sectors.

Priority consideration will be given to teams that include a judicial officer, such as a judge or court administrator, or those that include an elected or appointed local government representative or tribal leader.

All proposed activities must target rural communities. Applicants can use the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer to determine if their community is considered rural or provide documentation that their community has been designated rural by a state or federal agency.

Geographic Coverage


What This Program Funds

Capacity Building

Application Process

Application instructions, requirements, and other information can be found in the funding announcement.

Cross-sector team application
Individual application
Applicant webinar recording and slides


For program questions:

Topics This Program Addresses

Community Planning and Coalition Building • Justice System • Substance Use Disorder