Understanding and using JAG preparation tools and resources

Now is the time to review the authorized Justice Assistance Grant programs and begin developing a competitive grant project and application

This feature is part of our new JAG 2016 Success Guide, which gives you everything you need for this year’s Justice Assistance Grants program. To read all of the articles included in the guide, click here.

The Justice Assistance Grant has provided many tools, technologies and programs for law enforcement over the years. The Department of Justice continues to develop new resources for preparing a JAG application. The latest of these tools can be found at the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) website.

BJA State & Territory Fact Sheets are in a box labeled “Trending” at the top of the page. One click and you find a U.S. map. Click on your state to find a report on the JAG investments for your state. Each state has a strategic plan for criminal justice, and this document will help you understand what your state priorities are for this funding.

For example, Pennsylvania’s strategic plan can be obtained from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crimes and Delinquency. In Indiana it is the Criminal Justice Institute. Your department should know your state’s contact for criminal justice planning and funding. If not, contact your State Administering Agency to get a contact name and number.

Understanding JAG requirements
Both the State & Territory Fact Sheet and BJA Investment Sheet can provide you with an overview of where JAG funding has been used to prevent and reduce crime in your state. It has become evident that many police departments are not familiar with the criminal justice funding requirements and conditions. Understanding this information can help your department better plan funding projects for your community. You must follow not only the State JAG funding announcement but also the rest of the support documents and tools to develop a competitive and fundable project.

JAG has three separate and distinct funding programs:

1. The Justice Assistance Grant Program-State Formula, developed using a formula-based Part I and Part II crime data

2. Justice Assistance Grant Program-Local Awards, Justice preselected funding

3. Justice Assistance Grant Program-Discretionary funds, competitive grant funding (determined by state priorities)

Other JAG resources
JAG provides funding in many areas, including criminal justice advisory boards, courts, victims of crime programs, pre-trial and alternatives for incarceration, mental illness and substance abuse and technology and information sharing, to name a few. The JAG program website provides detailed information and resources to assist in project planning and development and lists requirements, priorities and tools.

Other useful tools for law enforcement grants can be found on these sites:

Crime Solutions
OJP Diagnostic Center
JAG Accountability Measures
JAG Project Identifiers
Funding Announcements

What’s new
BJA has released new guidance for grant applicants wishing to acquire controlled equipment under the Justice Assistance Grant for Fiscal Years 2015 and forward. Contact your assigned State Policy Advisor with any questions.

Grant project development is a long process that starts with your department’s annual strategic planning to align with your state’s policing priorities to maximize funding opportunities. Now is the time to review the authorized grant programs and beginning developing a fully researched, well-planned, competitive grant project and draft your agency’s application so that you will be ready to apply when the funding announcement is posted.

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