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Grants to USA Agencies and Tribal Governments
for Initiatives to Improve Local Legal Systems

BJA Community Courts Initiative

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Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)

Deadline Date:

06/21/22 8:59 PM Eastern - deadline; 06/27/22 8:59 PM Eastern - JustGrants deadline


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Grants to USA and territories government agencies and tribal governments for initiatives to improve local legal systems. Funding is intended to create alternatives to incarceration for minor offenses. Priority will be given to programs that support underserved communities and residents of high-poverty counties. Applicants are encouraged to provide recovery support services, which include transitional or recovery housing and peer recovery support service, to active participants in their drug court programs.

The Community Courts Initiative supports efforts by state, local, and federally recognized American Indian tribal governments to establish and enhance community courts in their jurisdictions. Community courts are neighborhood-focused court programs that combine the power of the community and the justice system to address local problems. They connect persons committing less serious crimes — often misdemeanor cases — to judicially supervised substance use disorder treatment, alternative sanctions, and other community-based services.

Solicitation Categories:

  • Planning and Implementation
  • Enhancement

BJA will support projects to implement new community courts and enhance or expand existing community courts. Implementation projects will support jurisdictions that have completed a substantial amount of planning and are ready to establish a community court. This planning should include the community court stakeholders engaging residents to assess community-related crimes and issues, including potential kinds of cases, and create an action plan during the first 6 months to build a strong and focused strategy to scale up the community court program’s capacity; build or enhance court operations; create, expand, or enhance court services; and improve the quality and/or intensity of services for participants based on needs assessments. 

Enhancement projects will support jurisdictions with an existing community court that has been fully operational for at least 1 year as of September 30, 2022. An applicant may propose to use funding to scale up the court program’s capacity, enhance court operations to serve a specific population such as veterans, expand or enhance court services, improve the quality and/or intensity of services based on needs assessments, gather data, or complete a program evaluation.


  • Establish or enhance court-based intervention programs to prioritize and expedite the provision of treatment and recovery services to individuals who are frequent users of justice, health, and other services who commit low-level misdemeanor offenses.
  • Emphasize alternatives to incarceration by tailoring sentences to each defendant to improve community safety, enhance confidence in justice, and reduce recidivism.
  • Build and maximize the capacity of jurisdictions to ensure that all participants are identified, assessed, and referred to services.
  • Enhance the use of community services by participants in the community court docket, including case management, housing assistance, and service coordination.
  • Developing and maintaining partnerships and collaborations with service providers to enhance the provision of treatment and recovery support services.
  • Support the development, enhancement, and translation of research and knowledge of researcher-practitioner partnerships.
  • Collect lessons learned and other examples of use to the field at-large from grantees and disseminate via publications, media platforms, and conference presentations.

The Department of Justice is committed to advancing work that promotes civil rights and racial equity, increases access to justice, supports crime victims and individuals impacted by the justice system, strengthens community safety and protects the public from crime and evolving threats, and builds trust between law enforcement and the community.

  1. Priority Considerations Supporting Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government
  2. In addition, OJP will give priority consideration, if applicable, to applicants that demonstrate that the individuals who are intended to benefit from the requested grant reside in high-poverty areas or persistent poverty counties.

For additional information on these priorities, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 202918

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

8: 4 Planning and Implementation; 4 Enhancement

Estimated Size of Grant:

Award Ceiling: $600,000 for each category
Award Floor: $0

Term of Contract:

Performance start date: 10/1/22, 12:00 AM
Performance duration: 48 months

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:
- State governments
- City or township governments
- County governments
- Native American tribal governments (federally recognized)
- Other: State, city, township, county, or tribal government acting directly or through agreements with other
public or private entities on behalf of a single community court

For purposes of this solicitation, “state” means any state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands.

To advance Executive Order 13929 Safe Policing for Safe Communities, the Attorney General determined that all state, local, and university or college law enforcement agencies must be certified by an approved independent credentialing body or have started the certification process, to be eligible for FY 2022 DOJ discretionary grant funding.

For additional eligibility information, see:

Award funds may not be used for the following:
- Prizes, rewards, entertainment, trinkets, or any other monetary incentives
- Client stipends
- Gift cards
- Vehicles
- Food and beverages

The use of BJA grant funds for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAV), and all accompanying accessories to support UAS or UAV, is unallowable.

Pre-Application Information:

The SF-424 and the SF-LLL must be submitted in by 8:59 PM ET on June 21, 2022
The full application must be submitted in JustGrants by 8:59 PM ET on June 27, 2022

OJP urges applicants to submit their and JustGrants submissions prior to the due dates to allow sufficient time to correct errors and resubmit by the submission deadlines if a rejection notification is received. To be considered timely, the full application must be submitted in JustGrants by the JustGrants application deadline.

Applications will be submitted to DOJ in two steps:
- Step 1: The applicant must submit by the deadline the required Application for Federal Assistance standard form (SF)-424 and a Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL) form when they register in To register in, the applicant will need to ensure that its System for Award Management (SAM) registration is current.
- Step 2: The applicant must then submit the full application, including attachments, in JustGrants. To be considered timely, the full application must be submitted in JustGrants by the JustGrants application deadline. OJP encourages applicants to review the “How to Apply” section in the OJP Grant Application Resource Guide and the JustGrants website for more information, resources, and training.

An applicant requesting a waiver to submit a late application must document their request for technical assistance in an email to the OJP Response Center within 24 hours after the application deadline to request approval to submit their application after the deadline. If an applicant has technical issues with, the applicant must contact the OJP Response Center within 24 hours of the deadline to request approval to submit after the deadline.

This solicitation requires a 25 percent cash or in-kind match. Federal funds awarded under this solicitation may not cover more than 75 percent of the total costs of the project being funded.

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For a list of application documents, go to the Package tab (press Preview) on the link above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.


OJP Response Center:

For technical assistance with submitting the Application for Federal Assistance standard form (SF)-424 and a Disclosure of Lobbying Activities form (SF-LLL) in, contact the Customer Support Hotline at 800-518-4726, 606-545-5035, Customer Support, or The Support Hotline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except on federal holidays.

For technical assistance with submitting the full application in DOJ’s Justice Grants System (JustGrants), contact the JustGrants Service Desk at 833-872-5175 or The JustGrants Service Desk operates 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. eastern time Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, and federal holidays.

For assistance with any other requirements of this solicitation, contact the OJP Response Center by telephone at 800-851-3420 or TTY: 301-240-6310 (hearing impaired only), or by email at The OJP Response Center hours of operation are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., eastern time Monday–Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the solicitation closing date.

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Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);

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