Byrne Formula Grant Program Law and Legal Definition

The Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Grant Program or the Byrne Formula Grant Program is a federal grant provided to states from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) division. This grant aims to help law enforcement agencies enforce and strengthen local and state laws designed for serious offenders or violent criminals. This program was created in honor of the fallen New York City police officer Edward Byrne, who was killed by gang members who had been instructed to kill the police officer assigned to protect a witness during a drug trafficking trial. Now, the Byrne grant program is known as the Justice Assistance Program.

The Byrne Formula Grant Program was created pursuant to the provisions of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. The BJA is authorized to award grants to states to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system. The grants are used by local government units within the state. This program emphasizes on the control of violent crime and serious offender, and aids in enforcing state and local laws that establish offenses similar to those in the federal Controlled Substances Act.

The grants can be used to provide personnel, equipment, training, technical assistance, and information systems for more widespread apprehension, prosecution, adjudication, detention, and rehabilitation of offenders who violate such state and local laws. Grants also may be used to provide assistance to victims of these offenders.

The 50 states of the U.S., the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are eligible to apply for formula grant funds. Local jurisdictions are not eligible for direct Byrne Formula Grant Program funding. However, local practitioners may seek funding for innovative projects through subgrants.