Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $37,513)
Congress enacted the John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act (hereinafter referred to as the "Act"), codified at 42 U.S.C. §3797cc-21, and named for the late John Reid Justice of South Carolina, to encourage qualified attorneys to choose careers as prosecutors and public defenders and to continue in that service. The John R. Justice (JRJ) Student Loan Repayment Grant Program provides loan repayment assistance for local, state, and federal public defenders and local and state prosecutors who commit to continued employment as public defenders and prosecutors for at least three years. To administer this program, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) will award funds to each of the 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia to serve eligible recipients working within the state's, territory's, or District's jurisdiction.
The grant recipient, serving as the state administering agency for this program, will use the grant funds to establish a statewide JRJ Grant Program consistent with the Act's requirements and programmatic guidance provided by BJA. Once the state has received the grant award, the state administering agency is responsible for outreach, education, and solicitation of applications from eligible beneficiaries. The state will ensure grant funds for loan repayment are allocated equally between prosecutors and public defenders, with a priority placed on those eligible beneficiaries who have the least ability to repay their loans.