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NCJA's Strategic Planning Toolkit

NCJA provides Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) for Byrne JAG recipients on behalf of the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). States must complete a Byrne JAG Strategic Plan in order to receive their allocation of Byrne JAG Funding and NCJA provides TTA to help recipients identify priorities and needs to plan for targeted investment of their Byrne JAG funds. 


For direct assistance with any of your strategic planning needs, please contact us at


This page serves as a resource hub and a toolbox for a variety of guidance and information on Byrne JAG Strategic Planning.

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As we add materials or announce new and upcoming trainings and other events this page will continually develop and grow, so please check back!

Background on the Byrne Jag Program and Its Strategic Planning Requirement

This document provides an overview of the Sequential Intercept Model as a planning tool to create outcome-informed action and focus on the thoughtful use of resources. 

This short document describes how the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) calculates the amount of award allocated to each state and territory, how funds are distributed and pass-through requirements to local government agencies.  

Here you will find reports on how states and territories have invested their Byrne JAG funds by Purpose Area and Program Type.

This resource answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the Byrne JAG program. It is updated regularly. 

This one-pager describes the programs 8 broad-ranging purpose areas and examples of the kinds of initiatives they encompass.

One requirement of the Byrne JAG Program State Solicitation is the submission of a comprehensive statewide strategic plan every five years or annual report during the years in which a plan was not fully updated. In order to provide clarity, NCJA created a document outlining what information should be covered in each document. 

Strategic Planning Basics

This foundational brief that describes the project, enumerates principles for promoting equity, and establishes key definitions and shared language through which the work will be approached. 

This face sheet provides a concise overview of the new three-digit dialing code (988) for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, scheduled to go into effect in July 2022.

This guidebook presents an in-depth look at how to effectively plan for and work through crisis events, including crisis leadership, continuity planning, grants management, collaboration and communication

This brief provides an overview of the Death in Custody Reporting Act (DCRA), its reporting requirements, and how they align with other federal programs that collect data on criminal justice related deaths.

NCJA approaches the planning process through 7 steps from Identifying Priorities to developing an Evaluation Strategy. Each step and its sub-steps are described here.

This document provides an explanation of braided funding. The guide outlines important factors to consider when contemplating braided funding, provides steps for developing the model and highlights two states that currently utilize braided funding.

From the initial planning phase to the submission of your state’s Byrne JAG application, the development and drafting of a strategic plan involves many steps. This template provides an example of steps your state can take during the strategic planning process.

This document helps states outline the role of stakeholders in the strategic planning process and identify where stakeholder gaps may exist.

This document is a pre-made worksheet to help states prepare for the planning process by establishing deadlines and assigning roles.

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused and Time-bound (SMART) goals are important to Byrne JAG Strategic Planning. This worksheet helps states create and define their goals. 

This policy brief highlights lessons learned from a meeting of senior officials from state administering agencies (SAAs) and single state agencies (SSAs) in three states to share lessons learned in collaborating to address substance use disorders (SUD) within justice-involved populations. It is a joint publication by NCJA, NGA and NASADAD.

Attend One of Our Byrne Jag Strategic Planning Workshops

Byrne JAG Strategic Planning 101 Workshop 

Dates for our next workshop will be announced soon

The Strategic Planning 101 workshop will serve as a building block for State Agency Administrators and their staff in formulating a strategic plan as required by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to receive Byrne JAG Funding.   


Topics will include: 

  • Understanding Byrne JAG and its strategic planning requirements  

  • Engaging both traditional and non-traditional stakeholders   

  • An overview of available criminal justice data   

  • And more

Listen to the NCJA Podcast

Episode 10: Local CJ Planning Board Engagement Strategies in Oregon and Virginia

As State Administering Agencies across the nation look for effective approaches to include diverse stakeholder groups into their planning processes, many have found success engaging their state’s local criminal justice planning boards. In this podcast, we speak with Tom Fitzpatrick (Division Director for Programs and Services for the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services) and Ian Davidson (Justice Reinvestment Manager for the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission) about each state’s history in supporting local criminal justice planning boards, the benefits of engaging such boards and advice for other states looking to provide support. 

Read the full transcript

Episode 04: Pennsylvania's Virtual Strategic Planning Success with Mike Pennington and Samantha Koch 
Episode 03: Key Elements for Creating an Effective Byrne JAG Strategic Plan with Allison Badger

This webpage was created with the support of Grant No. 2019-YA-BX-K002 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the SMART Office, and the Office for Victims of Crime. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. 

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