Grant Details

Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Local Program

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    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award


    Office of Justice Programs (OJP)


    The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. The JAG Program provides states and units of local governments with critical funding necessary to support a range of program areas including law enforcement, prosecution and court programs including indigent defense, prevention and education programs, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, crime victim and witness initiatives, and planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs.

    JAG funds may be used for state and local initiatives, technical assistance, strategic planning, research and evaluation (including forensics), data collection, training, personnel, equipment, forensic laboratories, supplies, contractual support, and criminal justice information systems that will improve or enhance such areas as:
    • Law enforcement programs;
    • Prosecution and court programs, including indigent defense;
    • Prevention and education programs;
    • Corrections and community corrections programs;
    • Drug treatment and enforcement programs;
    • Planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs; and
    • Crime victim and witness programs (other than compensation) 
    Additionally, BJA reminds applicants that the JAG program allows funding for broadband deployment and adoption activities as they relate to criminal justice activities.

    The following priorities represent key areas where BJA will focus nationally and invite each state and local JAG recipient to join in addressing these challenges as a part of the JAG partnership:
    • Reducing Gun Violence - BJA continues to encourage states and localities to invest valuable JAG funds in programs to combat gun violence, enforce existing firearms laws, and improve the process for ensuring that persons prohibited from purchasing or owning guns are prevented from doing so by enhancing reporting to the FBIs NICS.
    • Body-Worn Cameras, Storage, and Policies - JAG funding is an important potential source of funding for law enforcement agencies implementing new BWC programs or enhancing existing programs. JAG funds may be used to purchase BWCs and for costs associated with the BWC program, such as storage and policy development.
    • National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) - The FBI has formally announced its intentions to establish NIBRS as the law enforcement (LE) crime data reporting standard for the nation. State and local JAG grantees are encouraged to use JAG funds to expedite the transition to NIBRS in their jurisdictions.
    • Justice System Reform and Reentry - A promising approach to justice systems reform is the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), a public-private partnership between BJA and the PEW Public Safety Performance Project. Strategic investments of JAG funds to implement JRI legislation and policy changes in JRI states can augment federal funds and achieve greater cost savings and reinvestments in programs to promote public safety.
    • Public Defense - BJA encourages states and SAAs to use JAG funds to ensure that no person faces the loss of liberty without first having the aid of a lawyer with the time, ability, and resources to present an effective defense.
    • Improving Mental Health Services - JAG funding in support of programs and policy changes aimed at identifying and treating people with severe mental illness to divert when appropriate, treat during incarceration, and engage in appropriate pre-release planning for the provision of community treatment.
    • DOJ Universal Accreditation with Forensic Service Providers - The JAG program provides broad-based support to states and local jurisdictions across the nation in order to strengthen our criminal justice system, including the forensic sciences. As such, BJA encourages investments of JAG funds for programs and activities related to forensic work, including accreditation of forensic labs.
    Other JAG Requirements: 
    • Compliance with Applicable Federal Laws - Applicants for state and local JAG formula grants are required to certify compliance with all applicable federal laws at the time of application.
    • Law Enforcement Agency Training Information - Any law enforcement agency receiving direct or sub-awarded JAG funding must submit quarterly accountability metrics data related to training on use of force, racial and ethnic bias, de-escalation of conflict, and constructive engagement with the public that officers have received.
    • Body-Worn Camera (BWC) purchases - Grantees who wish to use JAG funds to purchase BWC equipment, or to implement or enhance BWC programs, must certify that they or the law enforcement agency receiving the BWC funding have policies and procedures in place related to equipment usage, data storage, privacy, victims, access, disclosure, training, etc. A copy of the required BWC certification can be found at
      • The BJA BWC Toolkit provides model BWC policies, resources, and best practices to assist departments in implementing BWC programs.
    • Body Armor - Ballistic-resistant and stab-resistant body armor can be funded through two BJA-administered programs: the JAG Program and the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Program. A copy of the certification related to the mandatory wear can be found at:  
    • DNA Testing of Evidentiary Materials and Upload of DNA Profiles to a Database - If JAG Program funds will be used for DNA testing of evidentiary materials, any resulting eligible DNA profiles must be uploaded to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS, the national DNA database operated by the FBI) by a government DNA lab with access to CODIS.
    • Interoperable Communications - Grantees (including sub-grantees) that are using FY 2016 JAG Program funds to support emergency communications activities (including the purchase of interoperable communications equipment and technologies such as voice-over-internet protocol bridging or gateway devices, or equipment to support the build out of wireless broadband networks in the 700 MHz public safety band under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Waiver Order) should review FY 2016 SAFECOM Guidance.

    History of Funding

    Previous JAG allocations can be found on the program website.

    Additional Information

    No JAG funds may be expended outside of JAG program areas. Even within these program areas, however, JAG funds cannot be used directly or indirectly for security enhancements or equipment for nongovernmental entities not engaged in criminal justice or public safety. Additionally, JAG funds may not be used directly or indirectly to pay for any of the following items unless the BJA Director certifies that extraordinary and exigent circumstances exist, making them essential to the maintenance of public safety and good order:
    • Vehicles, vessels, or aircraft.
    • Unmanned aerial vehicles/unmanned aircraft, aircraft system, or aerial vehicles (UA/UAS/UAV).
    • Luxury items.
    • Real estate.
    • Construction projects (other than penal or correctional institutions).
    • Any similar items. 
    Police cruisers, police boats, and police helicopters are allowable vehicles under JAG and do not require BJA certification. Unmanned Aircraft, Aircraft System, or Aerial Vehicles (UA/UAS/UAV): No JAG funds may be expended on these items unless the BJA Director certifies that extraordinary and exigent circumstances exist, making them essential to the maintenance of public safety and good order. In addition, no JAG funds may be expended for this purpose without Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval and certification that the use is legal in the local jurisdiction.

    Also, any grant award using funds for this purpose may be subject to additional conditions and reporting criteria, which will be spelled out in a customized special condition attached to the grant award.



  • Eligibility Details

    Applicants are limited to units of local government appearing on the FY 2016 JAG Allocations List. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of an eligible unit of local government or other officer designated by the CEO must submit the application for JAG funds.

    For JAG Program purposes, a unit of local government is: a town, township, village, parish, city, county, borough, or other general purpose political subdivision of a state; or, it may also be a federally recognized Indian tribe that performs law enforcement functions (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior). Otherwise a unit of local government may be any law enforcement district or judicial enforcement district established under applicable state law with authority to independently establish a budget and impose taxes.

    Deadline Details

    Applications were to be submitted by June 30, 2016. A similar deadline is anticipated annually.

    Award Details

    BJA estimates that it will make up to 1,161 Local awards totaling an estimated $86.4 million. Cost sharing/matching is not required.

    Awards of at least $25,000 are 4 years in length, and award periods will be from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2019. Extensions beyond this period may be made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of BJA and must be requested via GMS no less than 30 days prior to the grant end date.

    Awards of less than $25,000 are 2 years in length, and award periods will be from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2017. Extensions of up to 2 years can be requested for these awards via GMS no less than 30 days prior to the grant end date, and will be automatically granted upon request.


    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • New Funding Opportunities for K-12 School Safety - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available
    • Funding to Address High Crime Areas within Your Community - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available
    • Funding to Enhance Response, Investigation, and Prosecution of Domestic Violence - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available


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