State Criminal Alien Assistance Program

The State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) is a payment program designed to provide federal assistance to states and localities that incur costs for incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens who are being held as a result of state and/or local charges or convictions.

BJA administers
this program in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S.

Citizenship and Immigration Services branches.

Agency - Department of Justice

The Department of Justice enforces the law and defends the interest of the United States, ensuring public safety against threats foreign and domestic; providing Federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; seeking just punishment for those guilty of unlawful pursuits; and ensuring fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

Program Accomplishments

This program has assisted states and localities which have requested assistance in defraying the cost incurred for the imprisonment of undocumented criminal aliens, resulting in more than $4 billion in SCAAP funds being distributed to over 660 unique jurisdictions in the last 9 years.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-162, Title XI) included the following requirement regarding the use of SCAAP funds: "Amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations in paragraph (5) that are distributed to a State or political subdivision of a State, including a municipality, may be used only for correctional purposes." Beginning with FY 2007 SCAAP awards, all funds must be used for correctional purposes only.

To be eligible for reporting, inmates must have been convicted of a felony or second misdemeanor for violations of state or local law, and housed in the applicant's state or local correctional facility for 4 or more consecutive days during the reporting period.

Once a person meets these criteria, all pre-trial and post-conviction time served from July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006 may be included in the FY 2007 application.

Salary information reported in the SCAAP application must reflect the total salaries and wages paid to full and part-time correctional officers and others who meet the SCAAP definition.

See the FY 2007 SCAAP Guidelines at

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible applicants include States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands and localities or local jurisdictions exercising authority with respect to the incarceration of an undocumented criminal alien.

This covers state prison facilities (including those housing juveniles convicted as adults of felony offenses or two or more misdemeanors) and local jails, whether operated by counties or cities.

Applicants are generally State and units of local government.

Note: Only one application is accepted from each separate political division (i.e., State, county, city).

Beneficiary Eligibility

States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands and localities or local jurisdictions.


Applicants who are seeking funding must complete an electronic application form via the Office of Justice Programs Grant Management System (GMS). The authorized official certifies compliance with all SCAAP requirements, including that: the applicant has been authorized by the Chief Executive Officer of the applicable unit of government; the inmate identifiers required have been submitted to BJA in the proper format(s) for the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services verification within the prescribed deadlines; all inmates counted by the applicant have been convicted of either a felony or two misdemeanor offenses under the applicant's law; and, only salary costs for corrections officers were included in the Total Salary Costs. By certifying on-line, the authorizing signing official is also assuring that all federal certifications and assurances are being met. The certification and assurance forms (Assurances, OJP Form 4000/3 and Certifications Regarding Lobbying; Debarment, Suspension and Other Responsibility Matters; and Drug-Free Workplace Requirements, OJP Form 4061/6) are provided on-line to allow applicants to review and accept them electronically.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

No formal preapplication coordination is required.

While informal preapplication coordination is not required, it is encouraged that applicants coordinate with any facilities for which they have responsibility to detain or incarcerate undocumented criminal aliens.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372 "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs."

Application Procedures

SCAAP applications are administered via the Office of Justice Programs Internet-based Grants Management System. Inmate data, including the proper inmate identifiers, may either be manually key-stroked into the on-line application system, or submitted on-line by electronically attaching the applicable portions of their inmate databases. Awards are announced after the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services inmate verification process is done. Technical assistance is available to applicants for preparation of the on-line application process by calling the OJP Grants Management System Hotline at 1-888-549-9901.

Award Procedures

The final payment process requires that all applications and all data be fully processed and verified before any payments are made. Inmate data will be verified by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. They will attempt to match the inmate data records provided to records in its databases to obtain the maximum number of confirmed matches. These matches are expected to include three categories: 1) those positively identified (matched) as qualifying undocumented criminal aliens; 2) those unknowns and 3) those positively identified as non criminal aliens. Applicants will be given credit for a percentage of inmates whose eligibility cannot be determined through positive identification or "match," but have valid foreign countries of birth. Payments will be based on the days of incarceration for the verified number of aliens incarcerated by each applicant. Payments are granted by the Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice. The payment must be accepted on-line and the acceptance will effect a simultaneous assurance of compliance with conditions. Acceptance of the payment online initiates the automatic electronic transfer of funds from OJP to the recipient.


Varies annually. See current solicitation.


Omnibus Appropriations Act, Public Law 106-113, Division B, Section 1000(a); Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1252, Section 242 as Amended; Title II, subtitle C, Section 20301; Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Public Law 103-322.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time





If additional funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program is allocated by Congress, applications can be submitted annually.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Payments are based on the days of incarceration for the verified number of aliens incarcerated by each applicant and cost considerations which are used to determine relative percentage of total available funding each applicant is eligible to receive.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Payments are made within 90 days of application end date.

Post Assistance Requirements


No reports are required under this payment program.


Recipients who expend $500,000 or more of Federal funds during their fiscal year are required to submit an organization-wide financial and compliance audit report in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-133, as amended, and as stated in the on-line payment process. Receipt of SCAAP payments is considered in establishing the requirement for an audit under the Single Audit Act. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, a copy of the inmate records submission, and all other records pertinent to a grant shall be retained for a period of at least three years following the closeout of the grant.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $399,827,340; FY 08 $410,000,000; and FY 09 est not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance


Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

OJP Financial Guide and the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program Guidelines.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Department of Justice, 810 Seventh Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20531. Contact: Linda Hammond-Deckard. Telephone: (202) 616-6500 or (1-866) 859-2687.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Awards will be made on a pro rata share of the applicants' relative costs of incarceration for its qualifying alien prisoners, based on total days of incarceration for qualifying undocumented criminal aliens and the applicant's per diem salary cost as calculated using the total salary cost and total days of incarceration for all inmates, as submitted by each applicant.

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