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                                                                                                    April 16, 2020

Department of Justice's Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental

Funding Program


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act
(CARES Act, P.L. 116-136) provided $850 million to the
Department of Justice (DOJ) to be awarded to state and
local governments to help them prevent, prepare for, and
respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally.
DOJ is awarding this funding under its Coronavirus
Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) program, which
is being administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance
(BJA).

Per the CARES Act, the $850 million is to be allocated
pursuant to the formula allocation (adjusted in proportion
to the relative amounts statutorily designated therefor) that
was used in fiscal year 2019 for the Edward Byrne
Memorial Justice Assistance Grant [JAG] program.
However, the act also states that allocation provisions
under sections 505(a) through (e) ... of the [Omnibus
Crime Control and Safe Streets Acts of 1968, P.L. 90-351],
shall not apply to the amount provided under this heading in
this Act.

In effect, while the JAG program formula was used to
determine which state and local governments are eligible to
receive funding under the CESF program and the amount of
their allocation, many of the requirements of the JAG
program do not apply to funds awarded under the CESF
program.


Under the JAG formula, each state's allocation is based on
its population and the number of reported violent crimes in
the state. Specifically, half of a state's allocation is based on
the state's respective share of the U.S. population. The
other half is based on the state's respective share of the
average number of violent crimes reported to the Federal
Bureau of Investigation for the three most recent years for
which data are available. Under current law, each state is
guaranteed to receive no less than 0.25% of the amount
appropriated for the JAG program in a given fiscal year
(i.e., the minimum allocation). When calculating
allocations, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S.
Virgin Islands, and Guam are considered to be states;
American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands are
considered to be one state, and their allocation is split
with 67% going to American Samoa and 33% going to the
Northern Mariana Islands.

After each state's allocation is determined, 40% of it is
directly awarded to units of local government in the state
(this does not occur in the District of Columbia or the
territories). Awards to units of local government, which
includes Indian tribes that have law enforcement
responsibilities, are based on the jurisdiction's proportion of


the three-year average number of violent crimes committed
in its respective state. Only units of local government that
would receive $10,000 or more are eligible for a direct
allocation. The balance of funds not awarded directly to
units of local government is administered by the state and
must be distributed to the state police department or to units
of local government that were not eligible to receive a
direct award from BJA. Also, each state is required to pass
through to units of local government a certain percentage
of the funds directly awarded to the state. The pass-through
percentage is calculated as the ratio of the total amount of
state expenditures on criminal justice for the most recent
fiscal year to the total amount of expenditures on criminal
justice by both the state and all units of local government in
the past fiscal year. Pass-through percentages for each state
are calculated by the Bureau of Justice Statistics using data
on state and government expenditures collected by the U.S.
Census Bureau and grant award data from the Federal
Award Assistance Data System.


               Disparate Allocation
  In some instances, a unit of local government or
  multiple units of local government are required to
  collaborate on a single joint award with the county.
  This happens when BJA certifies that there is a
  disparate allocation, meaning that one city qualifies
  for an amount that is one-and-a-half times more than
  the amount for the county with concurrent
  jurisdiction, or when the total amount cities in a single
  county qualify for is four-times more than the amount
  for the county. The unit or units of local government
  and county representatives must sign and submit a
  memorandum of understanding stating that they all
  agree on how the joint award, which is the sum of all
  of the individual awards, will be allocated and used.

For more information on the JAG program, see CRS In
Focus IF10691, The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice
Assistance Grant (JAG) Program.

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BJA has released calculated allocations for state and local
governments and is accepting applications for grants until
May 29, 2020. Grants under this program are not
automatically awarded to state and local governments; they
have to apply to receive funding. However, grants are not
competitive, so if an eligible jurisdiction submits a fundable
application it is to receive a grant.

Grants under the CESF can be used for, but are not limited
to, overtime, equipment (including law enforcement and
medical personal protective equipment), hiring, supplies


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