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FY 2021 John R. Justice Grant Program Fact Sheet

Program Background 

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), the state administering agency for federal criminal, juvenile and victim services funding, applied for and will administer the John R. Justice (JRJ) Loan Repayment program. 

PCCD is announcing the availability of $58,110 in JRJ funds.  It is anticipated that 14 awards will be awarded in the amount of $4,150.71.  Pennsylvania, as prescribed by the JRJ guidelines, will equally share our allocation between prosecutors and public defenders.  As per funding guidelines, preference will be given to previous JRJ award recipients who have not completed their three-year term of service.  Individuals who are previous JRJ award recipients and have completed their three-year term of service, and who are willing to agree to an additional term of service, will be considered next; if they remain eligible.  The amount paid to any individual shall not exceed $10,000 in any calendar year or an aggregated total of $60,000.  Any new eligible application will be considered for any remaining available funds. 

This solicitation will provide law school loan debt relief to full-time county and federal public defenders and full-time county and state prosecutors that are determined to have the least ability to repay their loans. 

PCCD will utilize a two-stage application process.  Potential applicants will first fill out the online pre-application form to determine eligibility and provide PCCD with a pool of qualified applicants.  

**A link to the online pre-application form is provided at the end of these instructions for your convenience.** 

Once preliminary selections are finalized, these individuals will be asked to complete and return a formal application to include income verification, school loan verification and a John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program Service Agreement along with required documents (i.e. 2020 Federal Tax Return, education loan documentation, proof of employment, etc.).

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) will be retained to verify the required loan documentation, administer loan repayment matters, and work directly with the appropriate lending institutions to make these loan payments. 

Eligibility Requirements 

Pennsylvania's JRJ program is designed to prioritize selection of individuals who have the least ability to repay their qualifying law school loans.  We will consider individuals who are employed within Pennsylvania as full-time county and federal public defenders and full-time county and state prosecutors.  Selected recipients must maintain eligible employment for a minimum of three years or repay the entire loan forgiveness amount, if the continued eligible employment requirement is not met.  The target populations to receive loan repayment awards are those individuals with at least one year and no more than five years of full-time eligible employment.  However, should an insufficient number of applications be received or to ensure equal amounts of disbursements, selections will be made from the list of individuals with over five years of eligible employment or under one year of employment who demonstrate the highest need.  

We will follow the specific loan eligibility/ineligibility as prescribed in the federal JRJ requirements such as: 

Eligible Loans 

a. A loan made, insured or guaranteed under part B of subchapter IV of Chapter 28 of Title 20 (Federal Family Education Loan Program)

b. A loan made under Part C or D of subchapter IV of Chapter 28 of Title 20 (William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan and Federal Perkins Loans);

c. A loan made under section 1078-3 or 1087e (g) of Title 20 (Federal Consolidation loans and Federal Direct Consolidation loans, respectively). 

Ineligible Loans 

a. A loan made to the parents of a dependent student under section 428B of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1078-2).

b. A Federal Direct PLUS Loan made to the parents of a dependent student.

c. A loan made under section 428C or 455 (g) of the higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1078-3 (Federal consolidation loans) and 1087e (g) (Federal Direct Consolidation loans) to the extent that such loan was used to repay a loan described in clause (1) or (2). 

NOTE: Once you start the online application process, you will need to finish it.  You will not be able to save your information and complete it at a later time. 

Be sure you have the following information at hand before beginning the pre-application process: 

1. The Source of your 2020 Federal Taxable Income (Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ) 

2. Your Federal Taxable Income Amount 

     a. Line 43, Form 1040 

     b. Line 27, Form 1040A 

     c. Line 6, Form 1040EZ 

3. Total of All Eligible Loan Balances as of January 4, 2022.

4. Use this link to access the online JRJ Loan Repayment pre-application. 

The submission period has closed. 

Contact Information

Tiana Smith
Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency