GENERAL GRANT PROGRAM INFORMATION
The Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP), under the John R. Justice (JRJ) Program, provides loan repayment assistance for state and federal public defenders and state prosecutors who agree to remain employed as public defenders and prosecutors for at least three years.
Funding for this solicitation is available through Iowa’s John R. Justice Grant allocation. An estimated total of approximately $137,085 will be committed through this grant process.
GRANT APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
Recipients will be selected evenly from each of Iowa’s four congressional districts in order to ensure fair distribution of funding. Fifty percent of Iowa’s total allocation for awards will be targeted to public defenders and fifty percent to public prosecutors. Priority will be given to applicants based on a formula that ranks each applicant according to the applicant’s “ability to repay” their student loans.
Eligible applicants must meet each of the following criteria:
- Be continually licensed to practice law in the State of Iowa.
- Meet the definition of an eligible prosecutor or public defender in the State of Iowa
- Eligible prosecutors are full-time employees of a state or unit of local government (including tribal government), who “prosecute criminal or juvenile delinquency cases at the state or unit of local government level.”
- Public defenders are either full-time employees of a state or unit of local government (including tribal government), or full-time employees of a nonprofit organization operating under a contract with a state or unit of local government, who “provide legal representation to indigent persons in criminal or juvenile delinquency cases.”
- Attorneys who are in private practice and not a full-time employee of a non-profit organization, even if individually or part of a firm that is under contract with a state or court-appointed to provide public defense services, do not qualify as “public defenders” and therefore are not considered to be eligible as beneficiaries under this solicitation.
- Full-time federal defender attorneys in a defender organization providing legal representation to indigent persons in criminal or juvenile delinquency cases pursuant to Subsection )(g) of section 3006A of Title 18, United States Code are eligible.
- Attorneys providing supervision, education, or training of other persons providing prosecutor or public defender representation are also eligible.
- Prosecutors who are employees of the federal government are not eligible.
- Attorneys who are in private practice (and not a full-time employee of a non-profit organization) are not eligible, even if providing public defense services under contract to the state.
- (see information and definitions in the “JRJ Student Loan Repayment Program Service Agreement” - Appendix 1).
- The three-year contract period for this solicitation which is January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2025. Applicants must have been employed in an eligible position on or before January 1, 2023.
- Complete and submit an application by the deadline established by the ODCP.
- Have outstanding eligible educational loan debt, described as one of the following:
- Federal Subsidized Stafford loans.
- Federal Unsubsidized Stafford loans.
- Federal Perkins loans.
- Federal Graduate PLUS loans.
- Must be employed full-time, which is not less than 75 percent of a forty-hour work week.
- Must not hold an elected office as a prosecutor or public defender (does not prohibit elected offices that are unrelated to the prosecutor/public defender position).
- Must not be in default on any federal student loans.
Priority consideration will be given to applicants who have not previously completed a JRJ 36-month contract period.
Applications for assistance must be received by ODCP through Iowa’s enterprise grant management system (www.iowagrants.gov) by 4:30 p.m. December 1, 2022.
*Note: Registration with www.iowagrants.gov is required prior to submitting an application. Registration may take several business days to complete. Do not wait until the last minute to begin your application. Difficulty with registration will not be an appealable hardship.