Rationale for the Program:
Closing the Gap Between Incarceration and Probation
Drug offenders place an extraordinary burden on the criminal justice system. Existing correctional institutions are overwhelmed by the task of incarcerating serious drug offenders. Probation alone is an inadequate tool for dealing with drug offenders. However, lower level drug offenders are not routinely incarcerated unless they also commit a serious offense or have multiple drug-related convictions. To close the gap between incarceration and probation, the U.S. Department of Justice has explored numerous intermediate steps or punishments, including civil penalties, license suspension and revocation, boot camps and shock incarceration, halfway houses, electronic monitoring, drug testing, and denial of federal benefits such as grants, contracts, purchase orders, financial aid, and business and professional licenses.
Alerting Casual Drug Users
The denial of federal benefits sanction (Section 5301 of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act) helps ensure that individuals found guilty of violating the Controlled Substances Act will, at the very least, forfeit their claims to most taxpayer-supported economic benefits and other privileges. Federal benefits are defined by statute as "the issuance of any grant, contract, loan, professional license, or commercial license provided by an agency of the United States or by appropriated funds of the United States." The program alerts casual drug users to the fact that, as students, they can lose their student loans; as broadcasters, they can lose their Federal Communications Commission licenses; as physicians, they can lose their authority to prescribe medicine; as pilots, they can lose their Federal Aviation Administration licenses; as businessowners, they can lose their Small Business Administration loans or the right to contract with the Federal Government; and as researchers, they can lose medical, engineering, scientific, and academic grants.
Types of Federal Benefits That May Be Denied:
Selected Procurement and Nonprocurement Programs
- Procurement programs that may be denied under Section 5301. All contracts or purchase orders issued by federal agencies or by others using monies appropriated by the Federal Government. This will include all federally awarded acquisition and personal property sales.
- Nonprocurement programs that may be denied under Section 5301. All taxpayer-supported economic benefits, defined by statute as "the issuance of any grant, contract, loan, professional license, or commercial license provided by an agency of the United States or by appropriated funds of the United States.
Categories of Benefits as Shown in the CFDA Catalog
The following list is an excerpt from the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) and contains the types and brief definitions of federal benefits that may be denied an individual under Title 21, U.S. Code, Section 862.
- Project grants. The funding—for fixed or known periods—of specific projects or the delivery of specific services or products without liability for damages for failure to perform. Project grants include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, construction grants, and unsolicited contractual agreements.
- Direct payments for specified use. Financial assistance from the Federal Government provided directly to individuals, private firms, and other private institutions to encourage or subsidize a particular activity by conditioning the receipt of the assistance on a particular performance by the recipient. This does not include solicited contracts for the procurement of goods and services for the Federal Government.
- Direct payments with unrestricted use. Financial assistance from the Federal Government provided directly to beneficiaries who satisfy federal eligibility requirements with no restrictions being imposed on the recipient as to how the money is spent. Included are payments under retirement, pension, and compensation programs.
- Direct loans. Financial assistance provided through the lending of federal monies for a specific period of time, with a reasonable expectation of repayment. Such loans may or may not require the payment of interest.
- Guaranteed/insured loans. Programs in which the Federal Government makes an arrangement to indemnify a lender against part or all of any defaults by those responsible for repayment of loans.
- Sale, exchange, or donation of property and goods. Programs that provide for the sale, exchange, or donation of federal real property, personal property, commodities, and other goods including land, buildings, equipment, food, and drugs. This does not include the loan of, use of, or access to federal facilities or property.
- Use of property, facilities, and equipment. Programs that provide for the loan of, use of, or access to federal facilities or property wherein the federally owned facilities or property do not remain in the possession of the recipient of the assistance.
Submitting Cases to the Clearinghouse:
Use the Program To Enhance a Drug Conviction's Impact
The denial of federal benefits is a sentence pronounced by a state or federal judge as a result of conviction for trafficking or possession of drugs. This sanction can be imposed in combination with other sanctions, and courts have the option of denying all or some benefits and determining the length of the denial period based on the nature of the conviction.
Fill Out the Denial of Federal Benefits Form as Part of the Judgment
This form (#AO245S if a federal case and OJP Admin #3500/2 if a state case) should be filled out and included as part of the judgment. This form allows the sentencing official to provide various information, including the type of offense (trafficking or possession), prior offenses, and the period of benefit denial.
Submit the Judgment (Including the Denial Page) to the Clearinghouse
When denial of benefits is part of a sentence, the sentencing court notifies the Bureau of Justice Assistance's Denial of Federal Benefits Program Clearinghouse. This is done by mailing the judgment, including the Denial of Federal Benefits form, to the following address:
Denial of Federal Benefits Program Clearinghouse
Bureau of Justice Assistance
Office of Justice Programs
810 Seventh Street NW.
Washington, DC 20531
How the Denial of Federal Benefits Process Works:
Clearinghouse Receives Benefit Denial Information
When the denial of Federal benefits is part of a sentence, the sentencing court notifies the Bureau of Justice Assistance's Denial of Federal Benefits Program Clearinghouse and the conviction information is entered into the Clearinghouse database.
Clearinghouse Provides Denial Information to the U.S. General Services Administration
The clearinghouse then notifies the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) of the case. GSA publishes the names of individuals who are denied Federal benefits in the Lists of Parties Excluded From Federal Procurement or Non-procurement Programs, more commonly known as the Debarment List. This list contains special codes that indicate whether all or selected benefits have been denied for an individual; the agency responsible for maintaining the documentation on the case; and the expiration date for the period of denial. Before making an award or conferring a Federal benefit, organizations are required to consult the Debarment List to determine if the individual has been debarred from receiving said Federal benefits.
Agencies and Financial Institutions Verify Individuals
Agency and Cause and Treatment codes are displayed after each individual listed on the Debarment List. If the agency is the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), accompanied by the code AA, BB, FF, or QQ, then the Debarment List refers those using the list to the Denial of Federal Benefits Clearinghouse.
If a matching name is found displaying the appropriate DOJ codes, contact the clearinghouse (either by fax or phone) for individual verification.
Check Debarment List for the Individual's Name Federal agencies and lending institutions are required to check GSA's Lists of Parties Excluded From Federal Procurement or Non-procurement Programs prior to making an award or contract or conferring a Federal benefit to any individual.
Check Debarment List for the Individual's Name
Federal agencies and lending institutions are required to check GSA's Lists of Parties Excluded From Federal Procurement or Nonprocurement Programs prior to making an award or conferring a benefit.
Check Agency and Cause and Treatment Codes
Agency and Cause and Treatment codes are listed immediately following the individual's data. Contact the clearinghouse if the agency listed is DOJ and the Cause and Treatment code is AA. If the agency is not DOJ, refer to the Debarment List for further instructions.
Complete the Request Form and Fax It
Important Note: The Clearinghouse does not determine who is placed on the list, it simply processes the documents provided by the sentencing courts and adds the persons' name and period of benefits denial to the database.