State Byrne JAG Programs

The NCJA advocates for effective criminal justice policy and funding for justice assistance programs.

Byrne JAG: Investing in State and Local Criminal Justice

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) Program (42 U.S.C. § 3751(a)) is the primary source of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. The cornerstone of federal support for state and local justice systems, Byrne JAG is a federal-state-local partnership enabling communities to target resources to their most pressing local needs.

What Byrne JAG Funds

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 purpose areas:

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

This breadth and flexibility means states and local communities can use Byrne JAG to balance resources and address problems across the entire criminal justice system, and to react quickly to urgent challenges and changing circumstances. Many innovative criminal justice practices demonstrated using Byrne JAG funds have been replicated nationwide, such as drug courts, opioid prevention and addiction response, methamphetamine lab reduction, anti-gang strategies, reentry programs and information sharing protocols. Click here to learn more about the Byrne JAG Program.

How States Invest Byrne JAG

In 2017, the National Criminal Justice Association conducted its 4th biennial study of Byrne JAG Investments to learn more about how states allocated Byrne JAG funds by Purpose Area (see above) and project type, and the types of programs that were funded during calendar year 2016. Findings from the study are discussed in a series of state and topical one-pagers. In addition, the Byrne JAG Library of Promising Practices contains numerous examples of JAG-funded programs across the country. Click below to learn more.

Overview of Byrne JAG How States Invest Byrne JAG JAG-Funded Program Examples

What is Byrne JAG?

How States Invest Byrne JAG Funds

2016 Byrne JAG Spending Study

NCJA conducted the 2016 Byrne JAG Spending study in 2017 to learn more about how states invest their Byrne JAG funds. We surveyed SAAs about how money was allocated in calendar year 2016 to the 8 JAG Purpose Areas and 14 JAG Project Types. We then conducted one-on-one interviews with the SAAs to learn more about specific programs funded, in whole or in part, with Byrne JAG during this time period. A series of state and topical one-pagers were produced illustrating funding allocations and program examples.

Compendium of Byrne JAG-Funded Programs

Progarm examples gathered from the Byrne JAG study are available in a search database for policymakers and practitioners to use for searching program ideas to adopt as part of their strategic planning process.