About the JFA Grant

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”
—U.S. Constitution, Amendment VI



What is the Justice for All Act?

The Justice for All Act of 2004 (JFAA) was initially enacted to protect the rights of crime victims, eliminate the substantial backlog of DNA samples in crime laboratories, and expand DNA testing capacity. As progress has been made in these areas, support was continued and expanded in 2016 when the JFAA was reauthorized (JFARA), expanding its role to support statewide planning and coordination and to support state, tribal, and local efforts to protect the rights guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Who is the JFA Team?

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) has partnered with the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA), the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), and RTI International (RTI), each of whom has a specialized area of expertise, and all of whom bring a wealth of experience in providing TTA and programmatic assessments in collaborative environments to a full range of jurisdictions and criminal justice systems. Learn more


What is TTA?

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TTA stands for Training and Technical Assistance. Jurisdictions receiving TTA may receive a single service, or a combination of services created to meet the unique needs of the project and the community receiving the services. Services can take a number of different forms including:

  • Assistance from Subject Matter Experts   
  • Custom Resource & Training Materials
  • Policy Development Support
  • Guided Strategic Planning
  • Intensive System Evaluations
  • Develop & Support Pilot Projects
  • Data Collection & Analysis
  • Identify & Implement Best Practices

Key objectives in providing TTA services include:

  • Identifying and increasing knowledge and use of best practices.
  • Raising awareness of new, emerging, and innovative approaches.
  • Helping agencies and jurisdictions identify and address operational and programmatic needs.
  • Developing resources that can improve access to Sixth Amendment rights.

Visit the TTA Site Map to see more examples of TTA services.

Who can apply for TTA?

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TTA may be provided to state and local jurisdictions. Applicants can include state and local government agencies such as court administrators, defense organizations, judges, and prosecutors as well as community organizations.

What is the difference between in-depth and on-demand TTA?

On-demand TTA is provided to individual stakeholders and/or collaborative groups. Projects last 4 months or less. In-depth TTA is provided to individual stakeholders and/or collaborative groups. Projects last up to 12 months and culminate in the preparation and publication of a report detailing the project and its outcomes.

Please note: the JFA grant team will work with you after receiving your application to determine whether in-depth or on-demand TTA is most appropriate. You do not need to apply for one or the other.

How will my organization benefit from TTA services?

The purpose of this grant’s TTA services is to utilize the experience, expertise, and resources of the JFA grant team to help the recipient organization or jurisdiction address criminal legal system issues and needs related to the Sixth Amendment.

The JFA grant team represents stakeholders from across the justice system, providing TTA recipients with insight and access to the defense, prosecution, and court functions as well as the communities they serve. The team also offers opportunities for qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. Receiving TTA services allows jurisdictions to tap into a national network of resources and subject matter experts on every aspect of the Sixth Amendment. The specific ways in which TTA assistance is provided will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, based on the needs of the individual project. TTA recipients will help shape the goals and priorities of their TTA services and the JFA grant team will work with the TTA recipients to identify those goals/priorities.

Examples of past TTA services include:

Additional TTA services have included providing live and web-based training, developing resources, conducting surveys and focus groups, creating guides and checklists, identifying, and aiding in implementing best practices, engaging in strategic planning, and conducting systemic evaluations. For specific examples, visit the TTA site map to explore past and currently active projects.

If you are not sure how TTA may work for you, please contact the JFA Team at JFA@nacdl.org,  202-465-7616.


What grants are the JFA Team operating under for this work?

The JFA Team has been awarded two grants: the Justice for All Grant (JFA) and the Right to Counsel Grant (RTC). Both grants are concerned with the rights guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. While the Justice for All Grant provides support for the full range of rights protected by the Sixth Amendment rights, specific assistance to support and protect the right to counsel is offered under the Right to Counsel Grant.

How do I know which grant me/my organization’s issue falls under?

The Justice for All Grant is broad – including the right to a speedy and public trial, right to an impartial and representative jury, right to confront and cross-examine any witnesses in court, and right to obtain witnesses and evidence, as well as the right to counsel. Some examples of possible projects under the Justice for All Grant include:

  • Mitigating delays and speedy trial concerns in criminal cases.
  • Evaluating jury selection and the representativeness of juries.
  • Improving the discovery process and promoting prompt case investigation.
  • Public education campaigns around Sixth Amendment rights, such as the importance of jury service.
  • Professional education and training on Sixth Amendment issues such as how to improve criminal legal system experiences for persons with developmental disabilities.

The Right to Counsel Grant is specific – focusing solely on an accused’s right to counsel by addressing systemic and operational barriers to meaningful, effective, and zealous representation. Some examples of possible projects under the Right to Counsel Grant include:

  • Public defense systems assessments.
  • Strategic planning support for managing assigned counsel programs.
  • Creation/implementation of performance standards.
  • Developing best practices for counsel at first appearance.
  • Identification and implementation of case and discovery management tools

Many issues relating to the Sixth Amendment are intertwined, concerning both the right to counsel and an additional right, such as, right to a speedy trial. If your organization is interested in TTA to support an issue that includes components of each, select the Justice For All grant application. Regardless of which application you complete, the JFA team will determine which grant best fits your needs and assign your request accordingly. Your opportunity to receive TTA services will not be harmed or reduced because of any error in selecting the proper application.

Please Note: If you are unclear about which grant your work may fall under, please contact the JFA Team at JFA@nacdl.org, 202-465-7616.

Is there any public educational programming associated with this grant?

Yes, in addition to TTA, we host webinars surrounding Sixth Amendment topics. Please fill out the information under “stay informed” at the bottom of the home page to be notified of upcoming events.


When can I apply for TTA?  

Services under these grants will be provided until September 30, 2024. We are NOT currently accepting applications.

Who can apply for TTA support?

Both grants support a broad array of stakeholders including court administrators, defenders, judges, prosecutors, corrections, law enforcement, victims’ services, and community organizations throughout the United States. State and local criminal justice organizations and agencies are eligible. Individual stakeholders may apply, though preference is given to organizations. Urban, suburban, and rural communities are encouraged to apply, including those working with tribal governments such as tribal courts.

For the JFA Grant, preference is given to diverse stakeholder groups, particularly those including representatives from different facets of the criminal justice system (ex: prosecutors, judges, defense attorneys, and community representatives). For the RTC Grant, preference is given to applicants providing or supporting the defense function.

Why do you prefer for groups of stakeholders to apply?

The criminal legal system is made up of multiple actors who carry out its essential functions. As a result, attempts to effectuate change within a system can be more effective with support from multiple stakeholder groups. The JFA grant focuses on using a collaborative model to support groups of stakeholders who have a shared interest in a particular issue or group of issues. While there is no exact science to collaborating with outside stakeholders, it is important that the individuals who can assist in strengthening Sixth Amendment protections in your jurisdiction are included in framing the issues and offering solutions.

What qualifies as a stakeholder group?

A stakeholder group includes organizations or representatives from multiple facets of the criminal justice system. For example, including a stakeholder group could be made up of prosecutors, judges, defense attorneys, and members of the impacted community.

If my organization is applying with a group of stakeholders, do we all have to submit an application?

No, only one spokesperson per stakeholder group need apply.

Can my organization apply multiple times for funding to support different TTA projects?

There is one application per TTA request and generally, applicants should limit their application to one specific issue or project.  If you are unsure what issues to pursue or wish to discuss your jurisdiction’s issues before applying, contact the JFA Team at JFA@nacdl.org, 202-465-7616 to discuss the matter.  

How can my organization apply?

Your organization may apply directly on our website's application page.

Please contact the JFA Team at JFA@nacdl.org, 202-465-7616, with any questions.

What do does my organization need to know for the application?

  1. Consider the aspects of the Sixth Amendment associated with your application and determine which grant application your TTA may fall under (please see FAQ on the difference between the grants).
  2. Brainstorm what type of TTA is needed to assist your organization’s work. If you need help in discussing your jurisdiction’s needs and in framing ideas for your application, contact the JFA Team (JFA@nacdl.org; 202-465-7616).
  3. Identify if your organization will be working with any other stakeholders. You will be asked to list the stakeholder groups on the application.
  4. Review all current and past grants you/your organization may have received. You will be asked to note on the application whether your organization has received BJA grant-funded services in the past three years.

How long after I apply for TTA will I get a decision?

Applicants will typically receive a decision within 4 weeks of their submission.

How are decisions made for who receives TTA?

The application and any supporting documents are reviewed first by the JFA Team. Thereafter, the Team’s recommendation along with the application and supporting documents is sent to BJA for a final decision. In evaluating an application, the JFA Team considers

  • The nature of the request.
  • Whether other key stakeholders are supporting the application.
  • How helpful the TTA services would be to the applicant, jurisdiction, and the greater community.
  • Whether the project has the current capacity and resources to provide the services requested.
  • Whether the applicant has received other grant-funded services from BJA in the past three years. 

How do I know if organizations or practitioners in my jurisdiction have received TTA support from either of these grants before?

In addition to the current JFA Team, other organizations including the Center for Court Innovation (CCI), the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) and the Sixth Amendment Center provide TTA services under these grants. For a full list of current and prior TTA sites, visit the TTA Site Map.

If my organization or others in my jurisdiction have previously received TTA support from BJA or the Department of Justice, are we still eligible for funding?

Yes. The fact that the jurisdiction or agency has received prior assistance is a factor that is considered in making award decisions, but it does not disqualify you from receiving funding.


Does my organization bear any of the costs associated with TTA?

No, you will not be expected to pay for any of the costs associated with TTA services provided under this grant.

Please contact the JFA Team at JFA@nacdl.org,  202-465-7616, with additional questions.

Can my organization apply for funds or financial support to assist us?

This project does not provide any direct financial assistance. Individuals and organizations selected will be eligible to receive services only. Participants will not receive any financial compensation from the grant.

What will be required from my organization if we are selected to receive TTA services?

Once a site is selected to receive TTA services, a Site Team for that site will be assembled. The Team will lead a kickoff meeting with the applicant and other key stakeholders in their community. The application will be expected to work with their Site Team to identify and recruit the kickoff meeting participants.

Selected applicants are expected to maintain communication with their Site Team, participate in monthly planning meetings, facilitate connections with other necessary stakeholders and/or community groups, and provide additional information and support throughout the project. Specific expectations are catered to each TTA project and selected applicants will work with their Site Team to identify other expectations

What is the timeline for receiving TTA after being approved?

Once an applicant is approved for TTA services, the Site Team will work with the applicant to identify a start date for services. Typically, services can begin as early as 30 days after approval, but timelines can be adjusted to meet the needs of the applicant and the available resources of the JFA Team.


If you have any additional questions, please reach out to the JFA Team at JFA@nacdl.org, 202-465-7616.