BJA FY 15 Smart Defense Initiative Answering Gideon’s Call: Improving Public Defense Delivery Systems

The Smart Defense Initiative, administered by BJA, is part of BJA’s “Smart Suite” of criminal justice programs including Smart Pretrial, Smart Policing, Smart Supervision, and Smart Prosecution.

BJA established the Smart Suite over 5 years ago with the creation of the Smart Policing Initiative.


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Smart Suite supports criminal justice professionals in building evidencebased, data-driven criminal justice strategies that are effective, efficient, and economical.

BJA’s smart programs represent a strategic approach that brings more “science” into criminal justice operations by leveraging innovative applications of analysis, technology, and evidence-based practices.

In many states, the public defense delivery system is in crisis, with too many defendants lacking access to quality advice and representation.

In addition to being a matter of constitutional concern, this void can contribute to over-incarceration, reduced confidence in the justice system, and other inequities.

Without quality effective representation, a defendant may not be treated fairly, may not understand the process, and may not get the benefit of available alternatives to incarceration for first-time or low-level offenses.

Additionally, ifthese issues are not addressed, victims are ill-served and the criminal justice system’s shared goals of justice and public safety go unmet.

To help jurisdictions strengthen state and local public defense delivery systems, BJA is releasing this competitive grant announcement.

Under Smart Defense, BJA is seeking applicants who are interested in developing innovative, data-driven approaches to improve their public defense delivery systems guided by the Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System.

This program is funded under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (Pub.



Related Programs

Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program

Department of Justice

Agency: Department of Justice

Office: Office of Justice Programs

Estimated Funding: Not Available

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Eligible applicants are state or local government agencies, independent boards or commissions, state or local public defender organizations, and other organizations, including nonprofit organizations (including tribal nonprofit organizations).

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For technical assistance with submitting an application, contact the CustomerSupport Hotline at 800-518-4726 or 606-545-5035, or via e-mail to The Support Hotline hours of operation are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, exceptfederal holidays.

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