John R. Justice (JRJ) Student Loan Repayment Program

How to Use the E-Grants System 

Important Grant Reporting Dates


Student Loan Repayment Assistance for Public Defenders and Prosecutors

The John R. Justice (JRJ) Grant Program provides loan repayment assistance for local, state, and federal public defenders and local and state prosecutors who commit to continued employment as public defenders and prosecutors for at least three years. The JRJ Program is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Oregon’s Department of Justice, Crime Victims’ Services Division is the Oregon Governor’s designated agency responsible for the administration of the JRJ Grant Program.

Eligibility for JRJ Program

To be eligible for the John R. Justice Program in Oregon, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be an attorney continually licensed to practice law in Oregon.
    • Prosecutors must meet all of the following:
      • Employed full-time by state or local government (including tribal government).
      • Prosecute criminal or juvenile delinquency cases at state or local level (including supervision, education, or training of others prosecuting such cases) 42 U.S.C.§3797cc-21(b)(1).
      • May not be employed by the federal government.
    • Public Defenders must meet one of the following:
      • Employed full-time by the state or local government (including tribal government), and provide legal representation to the indigent in criminal or juvenile delinquency cases. Also must supervise, educate, or train others providing such representation.
      • Employed full-time by a nonprofit organization operating under contract with state or local government who devotes substantially all of the employee’s full-time employment to providing legal representation to the indigent in criminal or juvenile cases – and who supervises, educates and trains others to provide such representation.
      • Employed full-time in Oregon as a federal defender attorney in a defender organization pursuant to Subsection (g) of section 3006A of Title 18, United States Code, one that provides legal representation to the indigent in criminal or juvenile delinquency cases.
  2. Have an outstanding balance on an eligible educational loan.
  3. Not be in default on repayment of any federal student loans.
  4. Make a commitment to a three-year service agreement each time benefits are received.
  5. Be a United States Citizen or an Eligible Non-Citizen licensed to practice the law.

Eligible educational loans include:

  • Federal Stafford Loans
  • Federal Graduate PLUS Loans
  • Federal Consolidation Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans

Non-eligible loans include:

  • Federal Parent PLUS Loans
  • Federal Consolidation Loans used to repay Federal Parent PLUS Loans
  • Any eligible loans that have been paid in full
  • Non-federal student loans

Application Process

  1. All applicants must complete an application » through the Oregon DOJ’s Oregon Crime Victims’ Services Division (CVSD) E-Grant system.
    • By signing the application, the applicant is agreeing to the requirements and provisions of the program.
  2. All applicants must complete a Service Agreement and must provide documentation about the applicant’s eligible educational loan debt obligations.
    • By signing the Service Agreement, the applicant acknowledges the program requires a three-year service commitment, the benefit is in the form of a loan that must be repaid if the service commitment is not fulfilled, and all other stipulations as described in the Service Agreement.
    • View sample service agreement (PDF) »

Award Selection

Candidates for consideration will be nominated by a District Attorney (DA’s) and Executive Directors of regional (non-profit) Public Defense (PD) agencies. This will ensure geographic representation of candidates and present those prosecutors and defense attorneys who display a commitment to the field. Applicants must meet the eligibility requirement. Allocation of program funds will be equally distributed between prosecutors and public defenders.

Annual award amounts are contingent upon available funding. If funds are insufficient to pay all eligible applications, awards will be based on “least ability to pay.” Preference will be given to renewal applicants who continue to meet eligibility requirements. Additionally, applicants who are not already receiving benefits under another repayment program will receive priority consideration.

Note on Taxes: Any Loan Repayment award may result in tax implications. Please consult with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a tax advisor. Read this IRS letter to U.S. DOJ, provided for informational purposes (PDF) ».

Funding for 2017 Award Year

Annual award amounts are contingent upon available funding. If funds are insufficient to pay all eligible applications, awards will be based on the “least able to pay.” Preference will be given to renewal applicants who continue to meet eligibility requirements.

Additionally, applicants who are not already receiving benefits under another repayment program will receive priority consideration.

JOHN R JUSTICE APPLICATION IS CLOSED AT THIS TIME

Contact Information

For general information regarding the JRJ Grant Program, visit the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance website ».

For questions regarding the program, please contact Cathy Oliverio Relang at cathy.L.relang@doj.state.or.us or 503 378-4476.