Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $85,993)
The criminal justice system works best when prosecutors and defenders have a level playing field to present a case based on research, facts, and evidence. Whether in district or circuit court in all 120 counties, the Supreme Court of Kentucky, or the Kentucky Court of Appeals, public defense ensures that the system of law is balanced and fair for each person who comes before it. To this end, the Commonwealth of Kentucky currently employs 177 prosecutors and a little over 400 public defenders. KHEAA requests $115,000 to administer and provide loan repayment benefits to qualified applicants to encourage qualified attorneys to choose careers as public service prosecutors and public defenders working within the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
If approved for the grant, KHEAA will award the benefit based on the least ability to pay. Three public service prosecutors and three public defenders will be selected from the seven Kentucky Supreme Court Districts and three public service prosecutors and public defenders will be selected from a statewide responsibility group. The benefit amount will be distributed evenly between prosecutors and public defender beneficiaries of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has designated the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority to administer the John R. Justice Grant Program.