The Edward Byrne Justice Assistant Grant program (JAG grants) is accepting applications for local JAG grants, and will award up to $83 million to units of local government.
Eligible units include towns, townships, villages, parishes, cities, counties, boroughs or other general purpose subdivisions of a state, including federally recognized Indian tribal governments that perform law enforcement functions.
Local JAG grants are awarded to communities with programs focusing on improvement in areas related to law enforcement, drug treatment, education, technology improvement and other issues affecting local communities.
In addition, the BJA, as a component of the Office of Justice Programs, encourages local communities to focus on programs committed to improving programs in five areas:
- Reducing gun violence in local communities
- Switching to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)
- Promoting officer safety and wellness
- Bolstering support and safety measures for border security
- Working collaboratively with prosecutors and other members of the justice system
Certain items funded by local JAG grants may have additional stipulations, including:
- Body-worn cameras
- Body armor
- DNA database uploading and testing
- Interoperable communications
New JAG Restrictions Take Aim at Sanctuary Cities
In July, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued new rules for local JAG grants that would prohibit sanctuary cities from using the federal funds. Under the new rules, local governments are ineligible for JAG grants if they refuse to provide Immigration and Customs officials access to information about arrestees, access to detention facilities or fail to provide the Department of Homeland Security at least two days notice before releasing illegal immigrants from custody.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel filed a lawsuit against Sessions and the federal government, claiming that the new guidelines have not been approved by Congress.
These new conditions — which would give federal officials the power to enter city facilities and interrogate arrestees at will and would force the city to detain individuals longer than justified by probable cause, solely to permit federal officials to investigate their immigration status — are unauthorized and unconstitutional,” the complaint read.
The lawsuit could prompt a judge to place a hold on the new ICE requirements, until the case is litigated.
Applications for local JAG grants are due by Sept. 5, and award notifications will be issued by Sept. 30.