John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program
If you received the John R. Justice Award for 2010-2011 or 2011-12 and you wish to receive the award again for 2012-2013, you must submit a new, complete 2012-2013 application.
2012-2013 Program Guidelines
Congress enacted the John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act (the “Act”), codified at 42 U.S.C. §3797cc-21, to encourage qualified attorneys to choose careers as prosecutors and public defenders and to continue in that service. 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 Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has awarded funds to all 50 states and the District of Columbia to serve eligible recipients working within their respective jurisdiction. Each state is required to distribute funding across geographic and population areas to ensure all areas of the state are equitably represented. Funds also are to be divided evenly between prosecutors and defenders.
- Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
- Be employed (or accepted an offer of employment as of the date of application) in Tennessee in one of the following positions:
- Prosecutor – employed full-time (not less than 75% of a 40 hour week) with a local government unit or the state of Tennessee; continually licensed to practice law; and prosecutes criminal or juvenile delinquency cases at the state or local government unit level (including supervision, education, or training of other persons prosecuting such cases). Prosecutors who are employees of the federal government are not eligible. 42 U.S.C.§3797cc-21(b)(1).
- Public Defender – employed full-time (not less than 75% of a 40 hour week) with a local government unit, the state of Tennessee, or federal government; continually licensed to practice law; and provides legal representation to indigent persons in criminal or juvenile delinquency cases (including supervision, education, or training of other persons providing such representation); or is a full-time employee of a nonprofit organization operating under a contract with a local government unit or the state of Tennessee who devotes substantially all of the employee’s full-time employment to providing legal representation to indigent persons in criminal or juvenile delinquency cases including supervision, education, or training of other persons providing such representation; or employed as a full-time federal defender attorney in a defender organization pursuant to Subsection (g) of section 3006A of Title 18, United States Code, that provides legal representation to indigent persons in criminal or juvenile delinquency cases. 42 U.S.C. §3797cc-21(b)(2).
NOTE: Attorneys who are in private practice and not a full-time employee of a non-profit organization, even if individually or part of a firm that is under contract with a state or court-appointed to provide public defense services, do not qualify as “public defenders” and therefore are not considered to be eligible as beneficiaries under this solicitation.
- Must not be in default on a federally guaranteed educational loan or owe a refund on any scholarship or grant program administered by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC).
Eligible Student Loans
The following loans are eligible for repayment with JRJ funds:
- A loan made, insured, or guaranteed under part B of subchapter IV of chapter 28 of Title 20 (Federal Family Education Loan Program);
- 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);
- A loan made under section 1078-3 or 1087e(g) of Title 20 (Federal consolidation loans and Federal Direct Consolidation loans, respectively).
The following loans are ineligible for repayment with JRJ funds:
- 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);
- A Federal Direct PLUS Loan made to the parents of a dependent student.
- 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).
Applicants who have consolidated their qualifying loan(s) with a spouse’s loan(s) should provide documentation showing the dollar amount each party held at the time of consolidation and calculate what percentage of the new combined loan is attributable to each person. TSAC will look at the current loan balance, and based on the percentage attributable to the attorney requesting participation, will establish that portion as the “loan balance” eligible for repayment.
Amount of Award
The individual award amount is $1,100 and will be remitted directly to the holder(s) of the loan(s) to be repaid. You will need to contact your loan holder to determine how the payment will affect your loan and future payments. Subsequent award amounts and number of awards may change based upon future federal appropriations. Funds for fiscal year 2012-13 will not be distributed until after January 1, 2013. Recipients must continue to make regular student loan payments for any remaining student loan balance.
Selection and Distribution Process
Recipients will be selected from all qualified applicants based on their ability to repay their student loans. Applicants’ ability to pay will be determined by a formula using total taxable household income and total amount of qualified student debt. Program funds are equally distributed between prosecutors and public defenders in each of Tennessee’s three Grand Divisions. Pursuant to U.S. Department of Justice guidelines, those who received the JRJ grant in 2010-11 or 2011-12 will receive priority consideration in subsequent award years; however, priority consideration does not guaranty receipt of the JRJ grant.
Required Service Commitment
As a condition precedent to the repayment of any loan obligation, attorneys selected to receive assistance must sign a service agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. The service agreement obligates a beneficiary of 2012-2013 JRJ funds to “remain employed as a prosecutor or public defender for a period of service of not less than three years (36 months) unless involuntarily separated from employment.” Only one three-year employment commitment is required of the recipient, regardless of how many times the recipient receives the JRJ award. If an attorney voluntarily leaves employment prior to the end of the three year commitment period the distributed funds must be repaid. However, beneficiaries who change jobs but remain in continual, eligible employment in Tennessee will continue to be eligible for current or renewed benefits to the same extent as those who did not change employment. The Service Agreement is included in the application and should be read carefully to understand all requirements of the beneficiary.
Renewal of Benefits for 2012-2013 Beneficiaries
Attorneys who previously received the JRJ award will be given priority consideration for funding for subsequent awards, although such priority does not guaranty receipt of the award in 2012-13 or subsequent years. Prior JRJ recipients must continue to meet all other eligibility requirements. Renewal of the award is not automatic and nothing shall obligate TSAC to renew a benefit in the same (or greater) amount previously received by a beneficiary.
JRJ funds may be taxable to the recipient. The U.S. Department of Justice has requested a formal opinion from the IRS as to taxable status but no answer has been issued at this time. Recipients of the JRJ grant should consult with the IRS or a professional tax advisor concerning tax liability. NOTE: TSAC will not issue Internal Revenue Service 1099 MISC forms to JRJ recipients.
Application Priority Deadline
The application and all required documents must be sent together and RECEIVED at TSAC offices no later than 4:30 PM (Central Time) December 21, 2012. This is not a postmark date, but actual receipt of application material. Recipients of the award will be notified in January 2013 and payments will be made to loan holders/servicers sometime in the first half of 2013.
How to Apply and What to Include with the Application
Application for the JRJ program includes the following documents:
- Application – Part One/Applicant Information
- Application – Part Two/Employment Verification
- Application – Part Three/Eligible Loan Verification (including account statements for each loan listed on the application)
- Application – Service Agreement
- Copy of signed 2011 tax return (if married and filing separately both must be submitted)
- Legal Alien Resident Verification (if applicable)
Applicants must submit a John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program Application and a John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program Service Agreement for each year of eligibility. Applicants will be notified by TSAC if the application and/or service agreement are incomplete and will have an opportunity to furnish missing information. Applications received by TSAC after the December 21, 2012 deadline will not be eligible for consideration.
To complete the application and service agreement, use this fillable PDF form, print, and submit, along with all other required documentation, to TSAC at the address below. The application and all required documents must be submitted together and RECEIVED at TSAC offices no later than 4:30 PM (Central Time), December 21, 2012. Faxed applications will not be accepted.
Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation
Attention: JRJ Program
Suite 1510, Parkway Towers
404 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0820
Please send questions regarding this application to email@example.com.