JAG report reveals funding formulas for law enforcement awards

The JAG program provides funding for law enforcement and is the single most utilized grant for tools, technology and other critical resources for local police departments

The Bureau of Justice Statistics released a technical report concerning the Justice Assistance Grant Program that describes the formulas used to allocate the state and local JAG awards. The JAG program provides funding for law enforcement and is the single most utilized grant for tools, technology and other critical resources for local police departments. It also provides funding to prosecution and courts, substance abuse prevention and education programs as well as corrections, drug treatment, planning evaluation and technology improvement programs and crime victim and witness programs. In 2012, more than $200 million was available through this grant program.

Program highlights published in this report include:

The total 2012 allocation for the JAG funding was approximately $295.6 million, of which $288.4 million went to states and $7.2 million to territories and the District of Columbia.

The five largest total state allocations included California ($32.9 million), Texas ($22.7 million), Florida ($19.5 million), New York ($16.0 million), and Illinois ($12.0 million).

A total of 1,606 local governments were eligible for awards, either directly or through a joint allocation with other governments within their county. The five local governments eligible to receive the largest awards included New York City ($4.1 million), Chicago ($2.9 million), Philadelphia ($1.9 million), Houston ($1.9 million), and Los Angeles ($1.8 million).

Three states had around 100 or more local governments eligible to receive award funds either directly or through a joint allocation: California (224), Florida (130), and Texas (98).

This grant is administered through a formula grant process, which means that each eligible jurisdiction funding total was determined by specific parameters based on local data. Your department must demonstrate, through data collection and aggregation, your jurisdiction’s level of violent crime.  Your data must be uploaded to your state and FBI in order to be included in this grant process. This award process includes four steps:

Computing an initial allocation for each state and territory, based on its share of violent crime and population (weighed equally).

Reviewing the initial allocation amount to determine if it is less than the minimum award amount defined in the JAG legislation (0.25% of the total). If this is the case, the state or territory is funded at the minimum level and the funds required for this are deducted from the overall pool of funds. Each of the remaining states receives the minimum award, plus an additional amount based on its share of violent crime and population.

Dividing each state’s final amount at a rate of 60% for state governments and 40% for
local governments.

Determining local award allocations, which are based on their proportion of the state’s three year violent crime average. If a local award amount is less than $10,000, the funds are returned to the state. If it is $10,000 or more, than the local government is eligible to apply for an award.

According to the report, about $288.4 million of $295.6 million was made allocated to the 50 states and the remainder to the District of Columbia.  As required by the program, 40 percent of this amount ($115.3 million) was initially reserved for local governments. A total of 1,606 local governments had sufficient number of reported violent crimes to the FBI to be eligible for the awards. The remaining local governments (those without sufficient violent crime data) must work through their state JAG office (SAA) for funding under the balance of the JAG funding allocation of $20.4 million.

In addition the District of Columbia was eligible for $1.8 million and Puerto Rico was eligible for $3.2 million. Guam and the US Virgin Islands were each eligible for a minimum award of $738,950. American Samoa ($95,097) and Guam ($243,854) split the one minimum award.

The population data used to calculate state and territory JAG allocations are from the 2011 census estimates. The crime data used to calculate local JAG allocation amounts are provided by the UCR program. This is why it is very critical for all law enforcement organizations to gather, aggregate and upload all of their UCR required data.

The sum of the UCR violent crimes for all local governments within a state for a given year will not equal the estimated crime total reported for that state published by the FBI. These state-level estimates are based on crimes reported by all state, local and special district law enforcement agencies within a state, plus an imputation adjustment to account for non-reporting agencies and agencies reporting less than 12 months of data for the year. These imputed values do not appear on the electronic data file provided to BJS and are not used in the local award calculations.

For more information concerning this report, the JAG Grant program and the application process to www.bja.gov.  

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