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Racial Justice Task Force Pilot Project

Award Information

Award #
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $453,456)

This program is funded under both the Edward Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant Program (Byrne Competitive Program) and the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. Authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2009 (Pub. L. 111-8), the Byrne Competitive Program helps local communities improve the capacity of state and local justice systems and provides for national support efforts including training and technical assistance programs strategically targeted to address local needs. The JAG Program (42 U.S.C. 3751) is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions, and JAG funds support all components of the criminal justice system. The JAG Program authorization also states that 'the Attorney General may reserve not more than 5 percent, to be granted to 1 or more States or units of local government, for 1 or more of the purposes specified in section 3751 of this title, pursuant to his determination that the same is necessary'(1) to combat, address, or otherwise respond to precipitous or extraordinary increases in crime, or in a type or types of crime' (42 U.S.C. 3756).

The National Initiative: Encouraging Innovation: Field-Initiated Programs is designed to strengthen the criminal justice system by challenging those in the field to identify and define emerging or chronic systemic issues faced by one or more components of the criminal justice continuum (includes but not limited to law enforcement, corrections, courts, and community collaborations) and to propose innovative solutions to address these issues.

American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education will use their 2009 BJA award to initiate a 'Racial Justice Task Force Pilot Project' that will: (1) pilot a Racial Justice Task Force (RJTF) Model in four jurisdictions; (2) provide facilitation and informational resources to each pilot jurisdiction; (3) evaluate the RJTF Model's effectiveness in engaging community stakeholders, developing stakeholder consensus regarding the racial justice issues that exist in each jurisdiction; develop a work plan to address a specific racial justice issue(s) in each jurisdiction and developing a sustainable plan for the RJTF beyond the pilot period; and (4) develop written materials (articles, reports, tool kits, etc.) and a website to support replication.


Date Created: September 15, 2009