The Criminal Justice Council is proud to assist Delaware agencies in retaining and recruiting public attorneys by offering student loan repayment assistance through the John R. Justice (JRJ) federal grant program and NEW state funding through HB 380.
Student loan debt is consistently cited as the overwhelming reason why attorneys decline or leave the public and non-profit sectors. The JRJ and the new State Public Attorney Student Loan Repayment Assistance programs ultimately serve as an incentive to attract and retain quality legal services and better serve the citizens of Delaware.
The CJC is not currently accepting new applications. The CJC is working with a vendor to build an online application portal to streamline the application process. This website will be updated when the application period opens.
The Annual Report is required by statute. It summarizes the Program, applicant demographics, and recommendations based on the experience of the most recent group of applicants.
See below for program descriptions, eligibility criteria, and to learn more about the information required on the application from the SFY 2023 application packet!
The CJC offered two informational sessions in early 2023 for prospective applicants. Live sessions featured an overview of the programs, eligibility criteria, and frequently asked questions (FAQs), which can be accessed by viewing the Slides in PDF format.
Have additional questions or want to schedule a session for your agency’s attorneys? Contact Kathleen Kelley at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-577-8725
The John R. Justice federal grant has been available to assist State of Delaware Public Defenders and Criminal Prosecutors for over 10 years. The NEW State Public Attorney Student Loan Reimbursement Program has wider eligibility criteria to recruit and retain public attorneys by offering student loan repayment assistance. The two programs have separate but overlapping eligibility criteria. All applicants must submit a completed application packet and select the program for which they are applying. Eligible applicants may apply for both programs.
In accordance with the state program’s guidelines, HB 380, participants must satisfy the following eligibility conditions:
In accordance with the federal program’s guidelines, participants must satisfy the following eligibility conditions:
If you fit into both programs’ eligibility criteria, yes! Attorneys who are eligible for the John R. Justice federal grant program are likely eligible to participate in the State’s public attorney student loan repayment assistance program. Applicants of both programs must qualify independently for each set of eligibility criteria. However, the JRJ program participation is projected to be lower due to its narrower eligibility criteria. The new combined application allows individuals to opt into the program that is the best fit for them.
A lump-sum check will be issued from the Criminal Justice Council directly to the specified student loan servicer, on behalf of the approved applicant. Applicants who successfully apply and receive approval for both the JRJ and State Programs will receive two separate checks (one for each program award) to their specified lender(s).
The State of Delaware’s Public Attorney Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program is funded through the Delaware Criminal Justice Council by the State of Delaware’s new Public Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program (made possible by HB 380). The federal Prosecutor and Public Defender Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program is made possible through funding from the United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, through the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s John R. Justice Grant Program, Award 15PBJA-21-GG-00103-JRJX.
The CJC does not provide legal advice on tax issues. Beneficiaries of John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program and State Public Attorney Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program benefits remain responsible for, and should consult with their tax advisors for advice on any tax obligations resulting from benefits paid on their behalf. The Bureau of Justice Assistance released a letter from the IRS providing information that JRJ recipients may benefit from. State program applicants should speak directly with their tax advisors.
For the purposes of participation in either program, the CJC and the Public Attorney Student Loan Program Committee will not count current or previous student loan repayment assistance awards toward the salary cap stipulation in the State Program eligibility criteria.
Application Packets were accepted between Wednesday, February 15th and Friday, April 28, 2023. The CJC is not currently accepting application packets.
The Application Packet should be completed electronically and submitted to Kathleen Kelley at the Criminal Justice Council either via secure email, or mail delivery if the applicant wishes to submit a hard-copy of the packet. For anyone depending on a hardcopy mail delivery as their sole application submission method, be aware that USPS mail may be delivered to the Carvel Building, but does not make arrive to the CJC’s office on the same date. Delivery is frequently delayed by a week or more due to processing and pick-up delays.
NEW Email address to collect and
process Public Attorney applications:
Criminal Justice Council
Attn: Kathleen Kelley
820 N. French Street, 10th FL
Wilmington, DE 19801
For more information on the John R. Justice program, visit BJA’s John R. Justice Program Overview page. Visit the Delaware statute, HB 380, for information and eligibility to participate in the State of Delaware’s Public Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program.
If you have additional questions about the Programs, please contact Kathleen Kelley (email: email@example.com, direct line: 302-577-8725).