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JAG Grants: What can you do with the JAG Grant?

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program — a formula grant — is out on the street and due June 30, 2010. I get a lot of from police departments asking: “What can I do with the JAG grant?” The answer is that you can do many things with this grant funding.

The purpose of the JAG is to streamline justice funding through the support of a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime based on the needs of the local community. This grant blends the Byrne Formula grant and the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant Programs to provide agencies with the flexibility to prioritize and place justice funds where they are needed most.

That sounds simple enough but there are key words here that need to be discussed to enable each law enforcement organization to submit a competitive application: formula grant and needed most.

Formula Grant
This phrase means that the grant funds will be distributed based on statistics. The Bureau of Justice Statistics calculates for each state and territory a minimum base allocation based on the Congressionally mandated JAG formula, can be enhanced by either the state’s share of the national population and/or the state’s share of the country’s Part 1 Violent Crime Statistics. Once the state funding is calculated, 60 percent of the allocation is awarded to the state and 40 percent is eligible units of local government. Territories and the District of Columbia are exempt from this part of the formula.

Eligible state/territory recipients are entitled to the 60 percent state allocation plus any funds designated for the state’s units of local government whose direct allocation would be less than $10,000. Funds from these less than $10,000 jurisdictions are added to the state allocation and must be distributed by the state to the state police departments which provide criminal justice services to units of local of government and units of local government that were not eligible for a direct award of $10,000 or more.

In addition, the formula then calculates direct allocations for local government within each state based on their share of the total violent crime reported within the state. Local governments entitled to at least $10,000 awards may apply directly to BJA for local JAG grants. Fiscal Year 2010 JAG awards can be found at the OJP website

Needed Most
Your community violent crime statistics are a critical component for obtaining approval for JAG funds. Your statistics must support the community need for the funding. It is essential for your department to track, file and evaluate your data. This data determines your funding eligibility.

Justification for anything the JAG funds is solely based on need for the funding and therefore the need to provide tools, technology and strategic solutions to your highest crime needs. This comes from the federal requirement to provide funding to those law enforcement organizations which utilize evidence-based programs which have been statically proven effective.

There is no room for “gut analysis.”

Careful data analysis and selection of the proven way to strategically address the high rates of specific types of crime is the only fundable approach for this grant. Funding for law enforcement programs for crimes related to gun violence, gang activity, drug activity, and other violent crimes can be funded through JAG.

In a couple of weeks I will be reviewing the 29 key project areas funded under the JAG program.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions at Denise.Schlegel@policegrantshelp.com.

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