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Calculating, Allocating and Administering Byrne JAG Awards

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) administers the JAG program, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) calculates the JAG formula-based award amounts using specifications outlined in the legislation. BJS specifies for each state and territory a minimum base allocation which, based on the congressionally mandated JAG formula, can be enhanced by: (1) the state’s share of the national population and (2) the state’s share of the country’s Part 1 violent crime statistics.

Sixty percent of total Byrne JAG funds are allocated to the state administering agency (SAA) who in turn pass a designated percentage through to local governments and, through them, to other organizations, including nonprofit service providers. The remaining 40 percent goes directly from the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Assistance to local criminal justice agencies including law enforcement.

SAAs are agencies designated in each state and territory by the Governor or other Chief Executive Officer to apply for and administer Byrne JAG funds, as well as other federal justice assistance grant programs. The Justice for All Reauthorization Act, passed in December 2016, requires all applicants for Byrne JAG state formula grant awards to include a statewide strategic plan that addresses resource allocation, use of data and implementation of evidence-based practices. This comprehensive plan must be developed in consultation with a diverse group of stakeholders; defined in the Act. The plan must describe the evidence-based approaches to be used and illustrate how funding will be allocated. States will be required to update their strategic plans every five years. NCJA offers strategic planning TTA to state agencies. Learn more.

The strategic planning process differs by state but involves outreach by the SAA to all segments of the criminal justice system and their stakeholder community to seek input on policy priorities and feedback on imbalances in the criminal justice system.

Please check out our explainer on the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program formula.

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