Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance
The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance (JAG) Grant Program (42 U.S.C. 3751 (a)) is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. The Byrne JAG Program is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs and was created in 2005 by merging the Edward Byrne Memorial Grant Program (Byrne) with the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant Program (LLEBG). Byrne JAG funding can be used to support a broad range of state and local government projects, including those designed to prevent and control crime and to improve the criminal justice system.
To ensure that each state and territory receives an appropriate share of JAG funds, allocation to state and local governments is based on a formula using population and crime statistics in combination with a minimum allocation. Funds are split 60/40 between state and local recipients within states. In New York, Byrne JAG funds received by the state are appropriated in the state's annual budget and directed to support projects identified by the Legislature and the Governor. A portion of the funds may be awarded by DCJS via a competitive solicitation.
New York State and the federal government have established the following guidelines concerning the use of Byrne JAG funds:
- Municipal governments, tribes, and community-and faith-based groups are eligible to receive Byrne JAG funding.
- Byrne JAG funds must be used to supplement existing funds for program activities and cannot replace, or supplant, nonfederal funds that have been appropriated for the same purpose.
- Byrne JAG funds cannot be used to fund security enhancements or to purchase equipment by nongovernmental entities not engaged in criminal justice or public safety directly or indirectly.
- Byrne JAG funds cannot be used to purchase vehicles (excluding police cruisers), vessels (excluding police boats), or aircraft (excluding police helicopters); luxury items; real estate; or for construction projects, other than penal or correctional institutions.
- JAG funds can be used for state and local initiatives, technical assistance, training, personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support, and information systems for criminal justice for any one or more of the following purpose areas:
- law enforcement programs;
- prosecution and court programs;
- prevention and education programs;
- corrections and community corrections programs;
- drug treatment programs;
- planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs; and
- Crime victim and witness programs (other than compensation).
Additionally, states are prohibited from expending monies or the accompanying match (either directly or via a subgrant) to support the investigation, seizure, or closure of clandestine methamphetamine laboratories until such a time as a statewide mitigation plan is in place which meets all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations; and the administering agency (DCJS) has the capability to ensure compliance and monitor these activities. Since New York State does not have a statewide mitigation plan, DCJS is prohibited from using Byrne JAG funds for meth lab investigation, seizure, and cleanup.