Priority Purpose Areas

Byrne JAG: Funding State and Local Criminal Justice Programs

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) Program (42 U.S.C. § 3751(a)) is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. Administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the Byrne JAG Program supports the federal government’s crucial role in spurring innovation, as well as testing and replicating evidence-based practices nationwide. This section details the history of Byrne JAG, how grants are awarded and distributed, how Byrne JAG funding compares to other large Department of Justice grant programs, and how Byrne JAG is invested in state and local communities.

Spending Purpose Areas

Byrne JAG funds may be used for state and local initiatives, technical assistance, strategic planning, research and evaluation, data collection, training, personnel, equipment, forensic laboratories, supplies, contractual support, and criminal justice information systems that will improve or enhance the following program areas:

  • Law enforcement programs;
  • Prosecution and court programs, including indigent defense;
  • Prevention and education programs;
  • Corrections, community corrections and reentry programs;
  • Drug treatment and enforcement programs;
  • Planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs
  • Crime victim and witness programs (other than compensation)
  • Mental health programs and services (added FY 17)

Because Byrne JAG is flexible, states and local communities are able to use the funding to address needs and fill gaps across the entire criminal justice system. This is a hallmark of the Byrne JAG program and one that is vitally important. See reports on the impact of Byrne JAG on the criminal justice system.

Byrne JAG Investment and Impact One-Pagers

The NCJA has developed a series of one-pagers detailing how states invest Byrne JAG funds by state and project type, as well as the impact of these investments on state and local criminal justice communities.

Programs Funded by Byrne JAG

The Library of Byrne JAG Promising Programs contains examples of promising programs in all 50 states and Washington, DC funded by Byrne JAG in calendar year 2016. This library demonstrates how JAG is invested in other jurisdictions to help users generate ideas and potentially replicate promising programs. Each library entry contains a program description, and links to related agencies, program information and other resources.