Indigent Defense


This program supports states and localities in developing and implementing strategies to ensure that youth involved with the juvenile justice system have fair and equal access to quality legal representation; ensure that offenders involved with the juvenile justice system have resources that address the collateral consequences of justice system involvement; and/or provide training for the juvenile indigent defense bar, including public defenders and court-appointed counsel working on behalf of juvenile indigent defendants. The objective of this program is to enhance the capacity to deliver high-quality, fair, and comprehensive legal services to youth who have come into contact with the juvenile justice system- by . (1) developing and implementing specialized training for staff and stakeholders involved with assisting juvenile offenders within the juvenile justice system; (2) improving juvenile courts data collection and reporting capacity, specifically relating to youth and their legal representation, and access to services pre- and post-adjudication; (3) analyzing the juvenile defense delivery system(s) with respect to juvenile offenders access to services by identifying critical program, practice, and policy needs and gaps; areas for improvement; and aspects that are working and may be replicable and/or scalable across jurisdictions; and (4) addressing an identified need or gap within the applicants juvenile justice system related to providing juvenile offenders with plenary access to high-quality juvenile defense services. The performance measures associated with these objectives are: PM 1: Percentage of a justice systems decision points informed by the results of data analysis PM 2: Number of juvenile defense attorneys who completed training on topics pertinent to juvenile defense PM3:Percentage of a justice systems decision points informed by the results of data analysis

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Pub. L. No. 117-328, 136 Stat. 4459, 4539
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Applicants are limited to states (including territories and the District of Columbia), federally recognized tribal governments (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior), nonprofit and for-profit organizations (including tribal nonprofit and for-profit organizations) and institutions of higher education (including tribal institutions of higher education).
Beneficiary Eligibility
individuals subject to juvenile court jurisdiction
Generally applicant documentation includes the Standard Form 424 (SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance), a program narrative, budget detail worksheet, and budget narrative. There also are a number of certifications that may be required, and other elements, as specified in the program announcement
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. This program may be eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. National training and technical assistance awards may be excluded from the E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Effective FY 2021, applications are submitted to DOJ in a two-step process. Step 1: Applicants will submit an SF-424 and an SF-LLL in at To register in, applicants will need to obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) and System for Award Management (SAM) registration or renewal. Step 2: Applicants will submit the full application, including attachments, in JustGrants at To be considered timely, an application must be submitted by the application deadline using, and the applicant must have received a validation message from that indicates successful and timely submission. OJP urges applicants to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the application due date to allow time for the applicant to receive validation messages or rejection notifications from and to correct in a timely fashion any problems that may have caused a rejection notification.
Award Procedure
Upon approval by the Assistant Attorney General, successful applicants are notified via DOJ's Justice Grants System (JustGrants). The grant award must be accepted electronically by the receiving organizations authorized official in JustGrants
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
varies by project.
Not applicable.
See applicable program announcement
How are proposals selected?
Varies by program. Applications are judged according to their consistency with the policies and program priorities established by OJJDP and applicable laws.
How may assistance be used?
Permitted uses of funds for civil legal assistance include the following: reentry services, including referral to and payment of legal services related to the purpose of the grant, such as securing a driver’s license, expunging criminal records, litigating inappropriate denials of housing or employment and violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, creating and/or modifying child support orders, and other family law services that help stabilize individuals and families. This excludes the payment of fines or penalties associated with a driver’s license suspension or the payment of child support.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: To assist in fulfilling the Departments responsibilities under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), Public Law 103-62, and the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010, Public Law 111–352, recipients must provide data that measures the results of their work.
See Uniform Administrative Requirements, 2 C.F.R. Part 200 at Subpart F - Audit Requirements (Sec. 200.500 - 200.507) as adopted by D.O.J. in 2 C.F.R. Part 2800.
All financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to the award must be generally retained for a period of three (3) years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report (Federal Financial Report/SF-425). For more information and exceptions, see Uniform Administrative Requirements 2 C.F.R. ? 200.333 as adopted by D.O.J. in 2 C.F.R. Part 2800.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is voluntary. Please review the published solicitation for specific information regarding the match.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Length and time phasing of assistance vary by project--see applicable program announcement. Applications are required to be submitted in and awarded through the Office of Justice Programs’ Grants Management System.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Office of Justice Programs
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
810 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531 US
Phone: 2023075311
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 22$4,444,231.00; FY 23 est $2,500,000.00; FY 24 est $3,500,000.00; FY 20$1,818,149.00; FY 21 est $2,500,000.00; FY 19$1,800,476.00; FY 18$1,814,626.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
varies by project
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
The program solicitations, Department of Justice's Financial Guide ( guide/DOJ/index.htm) and Post award Instructions (, applicable OMB Circulars, and Department of Justice regulations applicable to specific types of grantees, which can be found in title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations (28 C.F.R.). See also program announcement and Uniform Administrative Requirements in 2 C.F.R. Part 200 as adopted and supplemented by D.O.J. in 2 C.F.R. Part 2800.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2017 In FY 2017, the Enhancing Youth Access to Justice Initiative funding supported one grant award under Category 1: Juvenile Defense Training and Technical Assistance; two grant awards under Category 2: Regional Juvenile Defender Resource Centers; and eight grants under Category 3: Second Chance Act Juvenile Reentry Legal Services.
Fiscal Year 2018 In FY 2019, the Improving Juvenile Indigent Defense State Systems program Enhancements for Youth Offenders solicitation will fund up to four three awards to states and localities to enhance juvenile indigent defense systems.
Fiscal Year 2019 In FY 2018, the State System Enhancements for Youth Offenders funding supported four grant awards. This program provided funding to states and localities to enhance juvenile defense in one or more of the following areas: (1) training of staff, (2) data collection and analysis, (3) juvenile defense delivery system analysis, and/or (4) addressing a specific need(s) identified by the state or locality related to providing juvenile defense services to youth offenders.


Federal Grants Resources