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An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

About Us

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The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) was created in 1984 to reduce violent crime, create safer communities, and reform our Nation’s criminal justice system.

BJA strengthens the Nation’s criminal justice system and helps America’s state, local, and tribal jurisdictions reduce and prevent crime, reduce recidivism, and promote a fair and safe criminal justice system. BJA focuses its programmatic and policy efforts on providing a wide range of resources, including training and technical assistance, to law enforcement, courts, corrections, treatment, reentry, justice information sharing, and community-based partners to address chronic and emerging criminal justice challenges nationwide.

Mission

BJA’s mission is to provide leadership and services in grant administration and criminal justice policy development to support state, local, and tribal justice strategies to achieve safer communities. BJA works with communities, governments, and nonprofit organizations to reduce crime, recidivism, and unnecessary confinement, and promote a safe and fair criminal justice system.

To accomplish this mission, BJA is organized into four primary components: Programs Office, Policy Office, Operations Office, and the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Office.

Strategic Focus Areas

BJA has five major strategic focus areas:

  1. Reduction in violent crime, improvement in community safety, and support for public safety officers
  2. Reduction in recidivism and prevention of unnecessary confinement
  3. Integration of evidence-based, research-driven strategies into the day-to-day operations of BJA and the programs BJA administers and supports
  4. Increasing program effectiveness with a renewed emphasis on data analysis, information sharing, and performance management
  5. Ensuring organizational excellence

How BJA Supports the Field

BJA provides a wide variety of support to:

  • Fund – Invest in diverse funding streams to accomplish goals.
  • Educate – Research, develop, and deliver what works.
  • Equip – Create tools and products to build capacity and improve outcomes.
  • Partner – Consult, connect, and convene.

Grant Funding

Through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions, BJA provides critical support through formula-based grants. Visit Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program for further information.

In addition, BJA issues dozens of solicitations every year for competitive and formula grant applications in the focus areas listed above. To learn more about BJA funding, visit Funding & Awards.

Nongrant Awards

BJA also recognizes and honors the extraordinary service of public safety officers through nongrant programs. Visit Recognizing Bravery & Sacrifice for further information.

In addition to formula and competitive grant opportunities, BJA supports payment programs, including the Patrick Leahy Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Program and State Criminal Alien Assistance Program.

Free Toolkits, Training, Technical Assistance, and Other Resources

BJA offers program-specific toolkits that support the field. Visit Toolkits for the complete listing.

And BJA’s National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) is a free resource that connects agencies needing assistance with specialized national experts who can help them address their needs. Learn more at Working with BJA NTTAC.

BJA Leadership

BJA is led by Acting Director Kristen Mahoney.

Organization

BJA is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, which also includes:

BJA is comprised of four primary offices: Policy, Programs, Operations, and the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Office.

The Policy Office provides national leadership to criminal justice organizations that partner with BJA to identify effective program models for replication and infuse data-driven, evidence-based strategies into operational models, practices, and programs. It also provides policy guidance and training and technical assistance to communities and criminal justice partners to meet emerging and chronic criminal justice needs.

The Programs Office administers state, local, tribal, and territorial grant programs. It acts as BJA’s direct line of communication to states, local jurisdictions, territories, and tribal governments by providing customer-focused grants management support and careful stewardship over federal funds.

The Operations Office coordinates all communication, formulates and executes the budget, manages contracts, measures grantees’ performance, and provides administrative support to BJA.

Reviewing more than 1,000 claims annually, the PSOB Office provides death and education benefits to survivors of fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other public safety officers, and disability benefits to officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty.

BJA Job Opportunities

All job vacancy announcements for BJA and other federal agencies are posted on the USAJOBS website. Applicants must apply to each vacancy announcement for which they would like to receive consideration. Visit the Job Opportunities page to learn more and to view open positions (when available).

Date Modified: September 16, 2021
Date Created: September 5, 2019