The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) is the primary source of federal funding to law enforcement agencies. Named after Edward Byrne, a second generation New York City police officer who gave his life in the line of duty, the purpose of JAG is to prevent and reduce violent crime. A hallmark of the grant is the wide variety of justice-related programs it supports, from nurturing human potential to stop crime before it starts, to investing in the most sophisticated technology to abate it after it happens. Both states and local governments can receive the grant, but the state and local solicitations have two separate deadlines. Although the priorities for both are the same, the information below refers primarily to the local solicitation portion of the grant.
A Broad Range of Programs
The following categories are supported by the funding opportunity:
- Law enforcement programs
- Prosecution and court programs
- Prevention and education programs
- Corrections and community corrections programs
- Drug treatment and enforcement programs
- Planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs
- Crime victim and witness programs (excluding compensation)
- Mental health programs including behavioral programs and crisis intervention teams
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has identified the following five areas of emphasis for the 2017 award:
- Reducing gun violence
- National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)
- Officer safety and wellness
- Border security
- Collaborative prosecution
The BJA showcases successful projects funded through its programs, including JAG at both the state and local levels. The examples selected below demonstrate the versatility of this grant:
- The Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center created a Victims' Rights Online Toolkit to help crime survivors understand their rights and better navigate the criminal justice process.
- The Osceola County Corrections Department developed a crisis intervention program to train law enforcement officers to recognize mental illness, and connect individuals with treatment.
- The Pennsylvania Justice Network helped Cumberland County's law enforcement agencies and forensic laboratories integrate their record keeping systems to eliminate duplication.
- The Connecticut Office of Policy and Management assisted five police departments in purchasing an evidence collection vehicle.
- The Village of Skokie equipped squad cars with automated external defibrillators.
- The Maryland Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention expedited the arrest of violent offenders and sexual predators.
- The State of Iowa created a program to reduce binge drinking and drug use on college campuses.
JAG and Grant Impacts
If you have not yet gotten a chance to watch our video about the Denver Public Library's "Peer Navigators," now is a perfect time to do so. This service, which helps connect people with housing, mental health, or substance abuse issues to critical resources, was funded through a Justice Assistance Grant.
Eligibility for JAG
As we explained in our 2016 post, only the Native American tribes and local governments that are on the allocations list are directly eligible for the local solicitation award. Entities on this list have met the specific formula requirements. However, for organizations including local governments and nonprofits who do not meet the criteria for the direct portion of the award, funding may still be available through their State Administering Agencies (SAAs). The deadline for those on the list is September 4, 2017. For those not on the list, each SAA has its own requirements and deadlines so it is best to check with them directly. Because the different types of JAG grants and subgrants can be confusing, the Office of Justice Programs has put together a convenient chart for the sake of clarity.
The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant heavily emphasizes evidence-based practice (EBP). They want to fund programs that produce results. Click below to read an introduction to EBP written for the layperson.