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BJA's Justice Today
June 2015   
In the Spotlight

The State and Local JAG Programs

Body-Worn Camera Toolkit imageBJA has posted the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 State and Local Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program solicitations, along with respective application due dates, on the BJA JAG web page. BJA’s JAG Program continues to be a leading source of federal justice funding to state, local, and tribal jurisdictions and supports a range of program areas including law enforcement, prosecution and courts, prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, planning, evaluation, technology improvement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.

In FY 2015, there is a total of $255,795,278 million available (approximately $155.99 million to states and territories, and $99.80 million to local units of government). BJA anticipates making FY 2015 JAG awards to all 56 states/territories and more than 1,000 local applicants (accounting for disparate groupings) eligible for JAG funds.

BJA has identified Reducing Gun Violence; Body-Worn Cameras, Storage and Policies; Recidivism Reduction; Pretrial Reform and Justice System Realignment; Indigent Defense; and Improving Mental Health Services as key priority areas in FY 2015. Each state, territory, and local JAG recipient is invited to join BJA in addressing these challenges as a part of the JAG partnership. Refer to the FY 2015 JAG state and local solicitations for additional information on these priority areas.

Important Update! BJA has posted a JAG Prohibited and Controlled Expenditures list, which will apply to all FY 2015 JAG awards and forward. Pursuant to Executive Order 13688 (Federal Support for Local Law Enforcement Equipment Acquisition), a federal interagency working group has been charged with, among other things, developing a consistent governmentwide list of controlled equipment allowable for acquisition by law enforcement agencies, as well as a list of those items that can only be transferred with special authorization and use limitations. The working group's recommendations, which were delivered to the President in mid-May, has altered the BJA controlled/prohibited items list. Applicants must conform to any updated guidance regarding specialized equipment. Additional information on JAG controlled and prohibited expenditures, along with the process for requesting approval from BJA for any controlled expenditure, can be found within the JAG FAQs. FY 2014 and prior JAG award recipients should continue to utilize the JAG Waiver List and follow the related guidance found within the JAG FAQs.

The BJA Success Story web page continues to identify and highlight JAG and other BJA-funded grant projects that have demonstrated success or shown promise in reducing crime, positively affecting communities, etc. This page is a valuable resource for states, localities, territories, tribes, and criminal justice professionals in the field who seek to identify and learn about successful BJA-funded projects linked to innovation, crime reduction, evidence-based practices, etc. If you have a JAG Success Story to share, sign in to your My BJA account to access the Success Story Submission form. If you do not yet have a My BJA account, please register. Once you register, one of the available areas on your My BJA page will be "My Success Stories", which includes an option to add a "Success Story". Once reviewed and approved by BJA, all success stories will appear on the new BJA Success Story web page.

News You Can Use

JRI Successes in NebraskaJRI Successes in Nebraska
On May 21, Nebraska's Legislature unanimously passed justice reinvestment legislation (LB 605), which is projected to drop the prison population by 10 percent while averting $306 million in construction and operations costs by FY 2020. BJA and the CSG Justice Center released a report, Nebraska's Justice Reinvestment Approach: Holding Individuals Accountable through Expanding Probation and Parole Supervision, summarizing the process leading to this success.

Law Enforcement Cyber Crime Web Site Launched
BJA, in partnership with the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and the RAND Corporation, launched the Law Enforcement Cyber Center (LECC) web site to fight cybercrime. It will serve as a "one-stop shop" to enhance awareness and build the capacity of law enforcement and its partners to prevent, investigate, prosecute, and respond to cyber threats and cybercrimes. Visit the site's Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more.

VALOR AppVALOR Launches Officer Safety App
BJA's launched the VALOR Officer Safety app, which provides officer safety and wellness tips, a daily pre-service checklist, and other information to help law enforcement prepare mentally and physically for each shift. Download the app from your phone's app store or the VALOR website.

Dialogue on Implementing TLOA’s Enhanced Sentencing Authority
On July 13-14, 2015, BJA and the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) will conduct A Dialogue on the Tribal Law & Order Act (TLOA) Implementation of Enhanced Sentencing Authority in Tucson, Arizona. At this no-cost event, tribal governments will share their experiences in implementing new TLOA authority. Discussion will also explore how to better implement enhanced sentencing authority among interested tribes. For more information, visit APPA's Tribal Civil & Criminal Legal Assistance Training & Technical Assistance Project web page.

Nominate an Officer for the Medal of Valor
Medal of ValorBJA is accepting nominations through July 31, 2015 for the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer. This medal is awarded annually by the President or Vice President to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life. Find out more at the Medal of Valor website.

Grants and Funding

Visit our Funding page to view all open BJA solicitations, including:

  • Justice Information Sharing Training and Technical Assistance (JIS TTA) Program
  • Technology Innovation for Public Safety (TIPS) FY 2015 Competitive Grant Announcement

Don’t forget to visit OJP’s Funding Resource Center, where you’ll find OJP funding opportunities, an overview of OJP’s grant process, and more!

Funding Resource Center

In Focus This Month

States and Territories Committed to Ending Prison Rape
Under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), FY 2015 is the second year that states and territories may have certain DOJ grant funds withheld unless they demonstrate an intention to comply with the law. Of the 56 jurisdictions that are subject to PREA, 50 are in compliance or have submitted assurances to DOJ committing to spend 5 percent of certain DOJ grant funds to come into compliance. This translates to a rate of 89 percent. Certifications, assurances, and related documentation were submitted to BJA and can be found online.

Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Program
PSOB image

Enacted in 1976, the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program provides death, disability, and education benefits to those eligible for the program. For details regarding these federal benefits for law enforcement officers, firefighters, and first responders killed or catastrophically disabled in the line of duty, call the PSOB Office toll-free at 888–744–6513 or 202–307–0635, or visit the PSOB web site.

Did You Know?

National Body-Worn Camera Toolkit: National Landscape
As of May 2015, 15 states have statutes that require or recommend the audio and visual recording of statements made by persons in police custody, and another four are considering legislation addressing the recording of custodial interrogations. Visit the National Landscape page on the National Body-Worn Camera Toolkit to learn about your state’s BWC statistics and legislation.
Body-Worn Camera Toolkit image

BJA grantees & TTA providers: share your photos with BJA
BJA is looking for photographics that reflect your porgram's accomplishments and improvements in your community. We are building an archive of picture from your activities and events for use in future materials. Share the excitement of your success and submit your pictures today.

Featured Program

Alabama Counties Curb Drug Use by 24 Percent
According to the FBI’s 2013 Uniform Crime Report, there were more than 1.5 million drug-related arrests in 2013. In Alabama, Cleburne and Calhoun counties decided to take a new approach to curbing their growing drug problem. Working with BJA’s National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) and the National Network for Safe Communities, the community applied the innovative Drug Market Intervention training to eliminate drug markets and reduce crime by 24 percent. Read BJA NTTAC’s TTA Spotlight to learn more.

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