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Cornerstone for Justice: Byrne JAG and Its Impact on the Criminal Justice System

NCJ Number
Date Published
28 pages
This report provides an overview of The Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program (Byrne JAG).
Byrne JAG is the cornerstone Federal crime-fighting program, enabling communities to target resources to their most pressing local needs. Many innovative criminal justice practices begun with Byrne JAG funds are replicated nationwide, such as drug courts, methamphetamine lab reduction, anti-gang strategies, reentry programs and information sharing protocols. Sixty percent of Byrne JAG is allocated by the State criminal justice planning agencies (State Administering Agencies, or SAAs) to local governments and non-profit service providers; 40 percent goes directly from DOJ/Bureau of Justice Assistance to local law enforcement based on FBI crime data. Funding is authorized at $1.1 billion, but annual funding levels have historically hovered around $500 million. In FY08, funding was cut by 67 percent to $170 million. In FY09, Congress restored funding to $512 million and provided an additional $2 billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Currently the seven general program areas are: 1) law enforcement; 2) prosecution and courts; 3) crime prevention and education; 4) corrections and community corrections; 5) drug treatment and enforcement; 6) planning, evaluation, and technology improvement; and 7) crime victim and witness (other than compensation). States and local communities are able to use Byrne JAG funds to balance resources and address problems across the criminal justice system. Appendix