John R. Justice Grant Program



LIMITED RE-OPENING FOR COUNTY and FEDERAL Public Defenders(only)

John R. Justice Loan Repayment Program
Pre-Application Instructions

Pre-Application Receipt Period: November 1 – December 7, 2012

Questions concerning this funding announcement can be directed to:
Mr. Thomas D'annunzio
Email: thdannunzi@pa.gov
Phone: 717-265-8452

Program Background

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), the state administering agency for federal criminal, juvenile and victim services funding, administers the John R. Justice (JRJ) Loan Repayment program for Pennsylvania.

In order to ensure that Pennsylvania’s program meets federal guidelines, provides loan relief and promotes employee retention, PCCD utilized a workgroup consisting of statewide prosecutorial and defender associations to assist the agency in its efforts to create program requirements and guidelines.

This second solicitation will provide $4,350 of law school loan debt relief for selected full-time county and federal public defenders that are determined to have the least ability to repay their loans. PCCD received and selected 31 full time assistant district attorneys to share the funds set aside for assistant district attorneys.

Pennsylvania has remaining fiscal year 2011/12 JRJ funds that are set aside for assistant public defenders. As prescribed by the JRJ guidelines, we intend to equally share our available allocation between prosecutors and defenders.

PCCD will utilize a two-stage application process. Potential applicants will first fill out the online pre-application form to determine eligibility and provide PCCD with a pool of qualified applicants.

** A link to the online form and the pre-application worksheet is provided at the end of these instructions for your convenience. **

From this pool, PCCD will select eligible public defenders to receive awards who demonstrate the greatest need. The selected individuals will then be asked to complete a formal application to include income verification, school loan verification and a John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program Service Agreement.

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has been retained to administer loan repayment matters and will work directly with the appropriate lending institutions to make these loan payments.

Once preliminary selections are finalized, these individuals will be mailed a formal application packet (including Appendix A from the JRJ solicitation) to complete and return along with required documents (i.e. 2011 Federal Tax Return, education loan documentation, proof of employment, etc.). A copy will be retained by PCCD, with a copy forwarded to PHEAA for verification. If all the required documentation is received and PHEAA’s requirements are met, PCCD will instruct PHEAA to execute and maintain loan forgiveness processes with the relevant loan institution.

Eligibility Requirements

Pennsylvania’s JRJ program is designed to prioritize selection of individuals who have the least ability to repay their qualifying law school loans. We will consider individuals who are employed within Pennsylvania as full time Public Defenders. Selected recipients will agree to provide three additional years of employment or must repay the entire loan forgiveness amount, if the continued employment requirement is not met. We will follow the specific loan eligibility/ineligibility as prescribed in the federal JRJ requirements such as:

NOTE: Under federal JRJ program guidelines, PCCD must give preference to those who have previously received JRJ awards.

Eligible Loans

  1. A loan made, insured or guaranteed under part B of subchapter IV of Chapter 28 of Title 20 (Federal Family Education Loan Program)
  2. A loan made under Part C or D of subchapter IV of Chapter 28 of Title 20 (William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan and Federal Perkins Loans);
  3. A loan made under section 1078-3 or 1087e (g) of Title 20 (Federal Consolidation loans and Federal Direct Consolidation loans, respectively).
Ineligible Loans
  1. A loan made to the parents of a dependent student under section 428B of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1078-2).
  2. A Federal Direct PLUS Loan made to the parents of a dependent student.
  3. A loan made under section 428C or 455 (g) of the higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1078-3 (Federal consolidation loans) and 1087e (g) (Federal Direct Consolidation loans) to the extent that such loan was used to repay a loan described in clause (1) or (2).

We are targeting individuals that have completed at least one year of full-time employment and are limiting eligibility to those with no more than five years of full-time employment. In addition, an attorney may not be in default on repayment of any federal student loans.

PCCD and its workgroup believe we have developed a program that balances student need with maintaining sufficient prosecutorial and defender resources at the county level.

NOTE: Once you start the online application process, you will need to finish it. You will not be able to save your information and complete it at a later time. Because of that fact, we strongly encourage you to download and complete the JRJ Loan Program pre-application worksheet BEFORE starting your pre-application online.

Be sure you have the following information at hand before beginning the pre-application process:

  1. The Source of your 2011 Federal Taxable Income (Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ)
  2. Your Federal Taxable Income Amount
    1. Line 43, Form 1040
    2. Line 27, Form 1040A
    3. Line 6, Form 1040EZ
  3. Total of All Eligible Loan Balances
    1. See list of all ‘Eligible Loans’
  4. Use this link to download the pre-application worksheet.
  5. Use this link to access the online JRJ Loan Repayment pre-application.