Edward R. Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program (Byrne SCIP)
Byrne SCIP 2022-23 Program Plan (Posting Soon)
The federal Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which President Biden signed into law on June 25, 2022, contains policies to prevent and reduce gun violence. The act also makes federal funds available to establish the Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program (Byrne SCIP), under which the US Department of Justice (US DOJ) is authorized to release funds to state and other governments. Byrne SCIP’s funding supports the creation and/or implementation of extreme risk protection order programs, state crisis intervention court proceedings, and related gun violence reduction programs and initiatives. US DOJ is authorized by the federal act to make funds available over five years (FY 2022–2026).
In October 2022, the US DOJ released a solicitation for state administering agencies, which in Connecticut is the Office of Policy and Management Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division (OPM CJPPD), to apply for the first two years of authorized Byrne SCIP funding. OPM CJPPD applied and, in February 2023, was notified of approval to begin the process of accepting the federal funds.
Connecticut’s Red Flag Law
Connecticut has been a national leader with respect to risk warrant policy since 1999, when it became the first state to enact a law (Public Act 19-212) creating a process to prevent someone who is at immediate risk of causing personal injury to themselves or another person from possessing firearms. In the years that followed, the risk warrant process not only helped save the lives of other people but also prevented suicides.
By 2021, with 19 other states enacting red flag laws of their own, Connecticut state policymakers moved to update their statutes by passing legislation (Public Act 21-67) later signed into law by Governor Lamont. The law allows police officers or prosecutors to apply for a risk protection order to prohibit a person from acquiring or possessing firearms, other deadly weapons, or ammunition. Additionally, the law expands the original red flag law in several ways to strengthen Connecticut’s risk warrant and risk protection order policy to prevent tragedies before they happen.
Crisis Intervention Advisory Board
The US DOJ requires state administering agencies to assign oversight of Byrne SCIP programs and initiatives to a crisis intervention advisory board. Per US DOJ guidance, the board, which may be existing or new, must contain representatives from law enforcement, the community, courts, prosecution, behavioral health providers, victim services, and legal counsel. Connecticut’s active, statutorily established Criminal Justice Policy Advisory Commission fulfills the US DOJ requirements and is performing the required Byrne SCIP advisory functions.
Beginning prior to release of the Byrne SCIP solicitation, OPM CJPPD staff began briefing CJPAC members on information gathered regarding the grant program. OPM CJPPD staff are currently preparing a program and budget plan, a draft of which will be presented to CJPAC. The plans also will be posted on this webpage for public comment.
Byrne SCIP State and Local Programs
Like the federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program (Byrne JAG), which also is administered by OPM CJPPD, Byrne SCIP state allocations are formula-based and divided into two categories. First, the state administering agency must pass through a percentage of funds to local governments. Second, another percentage is available for state-level discretionary programs, under Byrne SCIP for implementing state crisis intervention court proceedings and related programs or initiatives.
Byrne SCIP Program Areas
The program and budget plan OPM CJPPD Is preparing to bring before CJPAC is expected, like those developed for Byrne JAG, to contain: program areas consistent with federally allowable expenses, eligible for funding under the Byrne SCIP program, informed by input from stakeholders, and driven by data analysis. When completed, the Byrne SCIP program areas will be added to this webpage.
Bipartisan Safer Communities Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. No. 117-159, 136 Stat. 1313, 1339); 28 U.S.C. 530C.