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John R. Justice (JRJ) Grant Program

This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-RJ-BX-0056 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U. S. Department of Justice.

Bank of North Dakota (BND) has been awarded John R. Justice funds ($51,485) through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), to assist certain prosecutors and public defenders in repayment of their eligible student loans. BND has been designated by the Governor to administer the grant program. Funds will be distributed fairly to eligible participants as an attempt to encourage individuals to enter and continue employment as prosecutors and public defenders in North Dakota. To qualify you must meet the following definition of a prosecutor or public defender:

  • Prosecutor – must be a full-time employee of a state or unit of local government (including tribal government) who is continually licensed to practice law and prosecutes criminal or juvenile delinquency cases at the state or unit of local government level (including supervision, education or training of other persons prosecuting such cases).

Note:  Prosecutors who are employees of the federal government are not eligible.

  • Public defender
    1. Must be an attorney who is continually licensed to practice law and is a full-time employee of a state or unit of local government (including tribal government) who provides legal representation to indigent persons in criminal or juvenile delinquency cases including supervision, education or training of other persons providing such representation;
    2. Must be a full-time employee of a nonprofit organization operating under a contract with a state or unit of local government who devotes substantially all of the employee’s full-time employment to providing legal representation to indigent persons in criminal or juvenile delinquency cases including supervision, education or training of other persons providing such representation;
    3. Is employed as a full-time federal defender in a defender organization pursuant to Subsection (g) of section 3006A of Title 18, United States Code, which provides legal representation to indigent persons in criminal or juvenile delinquency cases.

    Note:  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 are not considered to be eligible.

  • The applicant must be employed in the state from which s/he receives funding.
  • The applicant must have an existing balance on an eligible student loan.
  • The applicant must not have any federal student loans in a default status.
  • The applicant must agree to and sign a three-year service agreement that s/he will remain employed as a prosecutor or public defender.
  • The applicant provides proof or income and student loan debt to BND.
  • The applicant has not exceeded the annual ($10,000) or aggregate ($60,000) repayment benefit limit. 
  • The applicant has completed and returned the application, service agreement, a copy of the most recent tax forms, and any other documentation requested by BND.
  • The applicant’s employer certifies the applicant meets the definition of “prosecutor” or “public defender” as noted above, and that the applicant works at least 30 hours per week as a prosecutor or public defender.
  • The applicant returns the application and supporting documentation to BND by March 31, 2014.

Note:  Full-time employment means “not less than 75 percent of a 40-hour work week prosecuting (prosecutors) criminal or juvenile delinquency cases or providing legal representation (public defenders) to indigent persons in criminal or juvenile delinquency cases.

Loan repayment assistance is based on the availability of funds.  Applicants that show a greater need will receive a higher benefit.

(Information collected will only be used or revealed for research or statistical purposes and compliance with the request for information is not mandatory and participation may be terminated at any time.) 

Instructions for submitting JRJ Loan Repayment Application for Prosecutors and Public Defenders (these are also outlined in the application):

  1. Application:  Complete and sign the John R. Justice Loan Repayment Application for Prosecutors and Public Defenders.
  2. Proof of Employment:  Provide the Employment Verification section of the application to your employer for completion.
  3. Proof of Loans:  Submit a recent account statement for each loan listed in Section D. 
  4. Proof of Income:  Submit a copy of your most recent federal tax return.
  5. Consent to Release of Information:  Authorizes lenders to provide information, if needed, to Bank of North Dakota.
  6. Service Agreement:  Complete and sign the John R. Justice Loan Repayment Program Application for Prosecutors and Public Defenders Service Agreement.

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The following documents must be printed, signed and returned to BND at the address below along with the required supporting documentation. (The application and consent form are fillable online for your convenience.)

Bank of North Dakota
Attn: JRJ Grant Program
PO Box 5509
Bismarck, ND 58506-5509

If you have any questions, please call 800.472.2166 ext. 328.5653 or locally at 701.328.5653.