2010 Justice Assistance Program: Now is the time!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
By Vince Siragusa
June 2010 (GO Know)
One of the nation’s more popular grant programs, the Justice Assistance Program (JAG), has opened for 2010. This Department of Justice (DOJ) program allows states, tribes, and local governments to support a broad range of activities based on local needs and conditions. The JAG program, first funded through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, was the product of a merger between the former Byrne Memorial Formula Program and the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant Program. The rationale for combining the two programs was to create a single funding mechanism intended to simplify the application and administration process. In many ways, the merger also provided the grant recipient greater spending flexibility. This flexibility has resulted in thousands of municipalities and departments having the ability to steer JAG money toward any number of public safety areas where there is a need for support.
In Federal FY2010, an amount of $520 million has been allocated to the JAG program. From that amount, forty percent of JAG funding is distributed by the DOJ on a direct formula basis to locally identified municipalities who are eligible for an allocation of at least $10,000. The allocations do change from year to year and are primarily based on two factors: population and Part 1 violent crime statistics. The 2010 direct allocation list is available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/grant/10jagallocations.html. Local level JAG applications are due June 30, 2010.
The DOJ distributes the remaining sixty percent of the program’s funding to states and territories. Those recipients will retain a percentage of the JAG allocation for state level activities but are also required to pass-through a portion of the state JAG allocation to local governments not eligible for a direct allocation. This is commonly referred to a variable pass-through process. The application structure, deadline, and pass-through method for this funding vary by state. Additional state specific information is available by contacting your State JAG representative, found at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/saa/index.htm. State level JAG applications are due June 16, 2010.
More so than most grant programs, a great deal of individual discretion is afforded to JAG recipients allowing them to spend their JAG allocations when and where they see fit. These expenses have to be reasonable, and have to patronize a public safety need, but can be used for a variety of state and local initiatives. Eligible projects include technical assistance and training, personnel and staffing, and equipment and supplies.