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John R. Justice Loan Repayment Program: Impact Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2016
5 pages
This impact report presents results from the first year of data collection (July 2014-June 2015) for grantees under the Federal John R. Justice (JRJ) Program, whose purpose is to encourage qualified attorneys recently graduated from law school to apply for and maintain employment as State, local, and Federal public defenders and prosecutors by providing financial assistance in repaying student loans for those who accept such positions.
Since the JRJ Program was launched in fiscal year 2010, The U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has granted approximately $26,665,532 to States and Territories to attract and retain eligible qualifying attorneys. All 50 States, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. Territories have received JRJ grants. A total of 45 awards closed over the last year, providing impact data. These awards distributed just over $2 million to 1,371 attorneys. On average, public defenders received a larger award than prosecutors ($1,789 and $1448, respectively). State loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs) served a similar number of attorneys, but awarded a significantly larger amount per attorney on average. Generally, no effect of JRJ funding on attorney recruitment was found; however, JRJ funding may have a moderate to small effect on attorney retention. Grantees indicated that the decrease in JRJ funding is a major concern in their efforts to increase program recruitment and retention. 5 tables and 1 figure