Edward "Eddie" Byrne was a second-generation New York City police officer who was killed in the line of duty by drug dealers in 1988. He was only 22 years old. The cornerstone grant that the Department of Justice (DoJ) makes available to state and local governments bears his name as one way to honor his memory. Often referred to as the JAG grant, the purpose of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program is to help prevent and reduce violent crime.
What Can the JAG Award Be Used For?
One of the most beneficial aspects of the JAG program is its versatility. Funding may be used for a wide variety of activities including:
- Technical Assistance
- Strategic Planning
- Research and evaluation
- Data collection
- Forensic Laboratories
- Contractual Support
- Criminal Justice Information Systems
- Broadband Deployment and Adoption
- Prosecution and Court Programs
- Prevention and Education
- Drug Treatment and Enforcement
- Victim and Witness Programs
2016 JAG Priorities
- Reducing Gun Violence
- Body-Worn Cameras
- National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)
- Justice System Reform and Reentry
- Public Defense
- Improving Mental Health Systems
- DoJ Universal Accreditation with Forensic Service Providers
Eligibility and Application
States, tribal governments, territories, and qualifying local governments are eligible for JAG based on a specific formula. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) gives 60 percent of a state’s award to its criminal justice planning agency, called the State Administering Agency (SAA). The SAA then passes a percentage along to local governments. Nonprofits and public and private schools are also eligible to receive funding in some circumstances. The remaining 40 percent of a state’s portion goes directly from the BJA to local governments if the latter meet certain population and crime statistics criteria. The National Criminal Justice Association has a flow chart of this process.
If your municipality does not meet the criteria for the direct portion of the award, it is still possible that JAG funding may be available through your SAA. THE BJA has a list of state and local allocations for 2016. You can check to determine your eligibility for direct JAG funds. If you are not eligible, you can check with your SAA.
Applications are due by June 30, 2016.
This is especially relevant to those involved with interventions for crime prevention. There is an important movement, not only with federal grants, but public and private grant makers alike, to determine how the funds they have provided have translated into substantive, measurable results. Funders want to know what works. The DoJ is particularly focused on evidence-based practices, and scientific research is used to evaluate which programs are the most effective. The BJA has linked to two new toolkits to help better understand and promote this concept in relation to the JAG Program. Here you will learn more about the rationale and history behind evidence-based practices, key concepts, issues and challenges in research and implementation, current examples, and further resources. You can choose between a summary, full text, or PowerPoint versions of the information.
Glossary of Research Terms
In the criminal justice world, evidence-based practices involve studies. Often, local governments and law enforcement agencies partner with university faculty to evaluate new programs. We pulled some basic research terms that are used in the above-mentioned toolkits and put them in a free glossary for you. It won't turn you into a social scientist overnight, but it might help demystify the process a bit. Click on the button below for access.