Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $78,115)
John R. Justice (JRJ) Program
FY 2022 Application
Encourage qualified attorneys to be part and remain in careers as public defenders and prosecutors for at least three (3) years, by helping them to reduce their student loans debt.
Priority will be given to eligible participants who have the least ability to repay student loans debt, considering the Puerto Rico’s cost of living index and actual economic fragile situation; and
Equally distribute awards between public defense lawyers and prosecutors unless an equal allocation requirement waiver is granted.
The Puerto Rico Department of Justice (PRDOJ) has also considered a process for awarding additional JRJ benefits on behalf of individuals who have already completed the initial three- year term of service of their original JRJSLRP Service Agreement and would like to apply for additional benefits in exchange for additional terms of service. After evaluating the regular beneficiaries, individuals from that sector could be considered if funds are available. The applicants should have complied with all the program requirements during his/her participation in the program during the past three (3) years and will have to demonstrate a commitment to continue (3) three more years in the public service to be eligible. This opportunity will be disseminated through public announcements.
The total number of prosecutors and public defenders employed in the Government of Puerto Rico prior to the availability of the John R. Justice funds (2009) was 318; 283 for prosecutors and 35 for public defenders. For the fiscal year 2021 the number of prosecutors is around 340 and public defenders 120 for a total approximately of 460 professionals.
Federal Public Defenders
Use various outreach methods to ensure that all eligible public defense lawyers and prosecutors will have the necessary knowledge and opportunities to apply for the student loan repayment program. This outreach strategy will include personal direct notifications by electronic mail, and technical tools such as website and social media. It will also include printed materials dissemination to both, public defense lawyers and prosecutor offices.
This outreach will target the Puerto Rico Department of Justice (PRDOJ) full-time state prosecutors and state public defenders under the Legal Aid Society (SAL) and federal public defenders.
Develop an open, competitive, and fair grant award process given priority to applicants with the least ability to repay their student loans, taking into consideration Puerto Rico’s cost of living index and critical economic situation; and
Make payments directly to the financial institutions that hold the student loans.
- BJA FY 2022-2023 Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program Formula Solicitation
- The Erie County Law Enforcement & Mental Health Response Program
- Expansion of DNA Databases to Assist with Sexual Assault Investigations and Prosecutions: Collection of Lawfully Owed DNA from Convicted Offenders and Arrestee DNA Collections