Edward R. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG)
The Edward R. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program is a federal initiative awarding justice funding to state, tribal, and local governments address needs, fill gaps, test and replicate evidence-based practices, and spur innovation. Every state has a State Administering Agency (SAA) that manages Byrne JAG funding. In Connecticut, the SAA is the Office of Policy and Management Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division (OPM CJPPD). The U.S. Department of Justice (US DOJ) allocates Byrne JAG to SAAs and provides guidance regarding use of the funds.
Between 2017 and 2020, eight states had Byrne JAG funds withheld following the placement of immigration-related special conditions on the program. In 2018, California and seven states, led by New York and including Connecticut, brought litigation against the federal administration, arguing that the conditions interfered with the rights of states and localities to set their own law enforcement policies. While the litigation moved through the process, Connecticut could not accept a total of $6.4 million from the Byrne JAG program in FY2017, FY2018, FY2019, and FY2020. In 2021, the Biden-Harris administration announced that it would rescind the above conditions, freeing up withheld funding for the litigation states. Since the rescission of conditions and release of withheld funds were announced, Connecticut has worked with the US DOJ to restart administration of the Byrne JAG program.
The Byrne JAG program is broken down into two categories — state-level and local-level funds — which are detailed in the two sections below.
State-level funds may be expended on projects and programs addressing criminal justice issues on a state-wide level. Such entities include, but are not limited to, state agencies, non-profit organizations, federally recognized tribal nations, coalitions, inter-municipal groups and taskforces, and private entities. State-level funds may be used to support programs adhering to the following purpose areas:
- Law enforcement,
- Prosecution and the courts,
- Crime prevention and education,
- Corrections, community corrections and reentry,
- Drug treatment and enforcement,
- Planning, evaluation, and technology improvement,
- Crime victims and witnesses, and
OPM CJPPD allocates local-level funds using a formula based on crime rate and population. For the 2022-23 funding cycle, OPM has allocated $2.1M from previously withheld FY2017-19 Byrne JAG funds on local-level projects.
Funds are passed through either of the two categories described below.
Application (Fall 2022)
OPM CJPPD requests that all applicants review the information pertaining to supplanting, unallowable costs, and prohibited items before completing and submitting a JAG application. Applicants should also review the Eligibility and Application section to ensure that the applying entity qualifies for JAG funds.
Supplanting is defined as deliberately reducing state or local funds because of the existence of federal funds. The US DOJ requires Byrne JAG recipients to ensure federal funds do not supplant, or replace, funds that have been budgeted for the same purpose using non-federal sources.
Unallowable Costs are those the government is unwilling to pay as a direct charge or through an indirect cost pool applied to the federal grant or contract. An organization is not prohibited from incurring unallowable costs, but they cannot be recovered, either directly or indirectly, under federal grants or contracts.
The JAG Program is authorized by Title I of Pub. L. No. 90-351 (generally codified at 34 U.S.C. 10151-10726), including subpart 1 of part E (codified at 34 U.S.C. 10151 - 10158); see also 28 U.S.C. 530C(a).