John R. Justice Program



The Colorado John R. Justice (JRJ) Program provides educational loan repayment benefits to prosecutors and public defenders in Colorado, using funding from the John R. Justice (JRJ) Program codified as 42 U.S.C. §3797cc-21. The purpose of the program is to encourage qualified attorneys to choose and remain in careers as prosecutors and public defenders. Selected beneficiaries must commit to continued employment as public defenders and prosecutors for at least three years (36 consecutive months).

How to Apply


Application Links

The grant application for the John R. Justice Program is now open. If you do not already have a user name and password, you must first create one before you can apply for the grant. Please follow this link to create a user name and password: Create a User Name and Password

Once you have created a user name and password, you may: Apply here

Project Details


Program Funding and Benefit Amount

Colorado received a total of $136,272 between FY 21 and FY 22 Program Funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Beneficiaries selected during this funding process will be the 2023 Cohort and receive 3 cycles of benefits from the federal program funds of FY 21, FY 22 and FY 23 based on availability of the funds from year to year. For FY 21 $68,136 is available and will be allocated as equal allocations of $34,068 to eligible selected prosecutors and $34,068 to eligible public defenders. The Division of Criminal Justice anticipates selection of five (5) prosecutors and five (5) public defenders as beneficiaries of the JRJ Program for the next 3-cycle (cohort).

The selected cohort (beneficiaries) awarded John R Justice funds for loan repayment will receive awards in the $6,000 range for Cycle I to be paid directly to the loan company in 2 installments to maximize participation in the federal loan forgiveness program. It is anticipated that Cycle II and Cycle III benefits will be similar to the first cycle. A beneficiary may not receive more than $60,000 in total lifetime benefits provided by JRJ grant funds. As a recipient of the funds this year’s funds this cohort will be the beneficiaries of the State’s FY 22 and FY 23 awards if funding is awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. See the timeline for a more detailed account of the payment cycles.

Application deadline date: November 19, 2023 at 11:59 pm

Eligibility - Eligible Employment

Program defined employment eligible prosecutors and public defenders are: 

Prosecutor: Full-time employee (defined as 30 hours or more per week) 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. 42 U.S.C.§3797cc-21(b)(1)

Public Defender: An attorney who is continually licensed to practice law and is a full-time employee (defined as 30 hours or more per week) 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.


An attorney employed as a full-time federal defender in a defender organization pursuant to Subsection (g) of section 3006A of Title 18, United States Code, that provides legal representation to indigent persons in criminal or juvenile delinquency cases. 42 U.S.C. §3797cc-21(b)(2).

Minimum Criteria

This will be a competitive process due to program eligibility and available funding limitations. Funding is based on need; please read this document for more information on how need is defined. For that reason, only applicants with a gross income (salary prior to taxes) of $100,000 or below (this is the gross income of the applicant only) and with education loan debt of $100,000 or higher are eligible to apply this program year. 



Make sure you read the entire Requirements in the Program Overview, Eligibility and Application instructions.

Overview, Eligibility, and Application Instructions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)


You just need to print the screen with the loan information. Unfortunately, the NSLDS website does not have a printer friendly option to create a “document”.

You must print and submit the summary page and a NSLDS “document” for each student loan that you possess, including the loan for which you are requesting assistance.

An applicant may have more than one qualifying student loan, but for purposes of this solicitation, the applicant must choose the one loan for which he/she requests financial assistance. Payments will not be made to multiple lending institutions or towards multiple loan numbers held at a one lending institution.

Contact your lending institution and ask them to provide you with this information as it is needed for federal reporting. The FEIN number should be a nine-digit numerical sequence.

If selected to receive funds, payment on your behalf cannot be made without a FEIN number for the loan company to be paid. This is an essential component of the application.

No. Applicants will not be notified if any information or document is missing from their application. Any missing information or documentation will result in the denial of your request.

Yes. You may resubmit your application up until the posted deadline. When resubmitting your application, use the on-line system in addition send an email to rebecca.oakes@state.co.us asking to replace the first submission with the most recently submitted version. This will result in the deletion of the application date stamped earliest.

If your lending institution has a customer service center in which there is not one specific person that can handle inquiries, please just indicate “Customer Service Rep” and provide the telephone and fax number for that center. If your lending institution does have a contact person, please provide that designated person’s name and telephone/fax number.

Yes. A loan in forbearance is eligible. Unless you have any other federal student loans reported as defaulted.

If an applicant has defaulted on any federal student loan, he or she is ineligible to apply for JRJ benefits.

Yes. To qualify for JRJ benefits you must be actively employed and meet the applicant eligibility requirements at the time of submitting your application. Being offered a position with a start date after 11/19/23 but before the contract start date does not make you eligible this year.


Staff Contact Information

Rebecca L. Oakes
Colorado Division of Criminal Justice, OAJJA
700 Kipling St. Denver, CO 80215
Direct: 720.456.2098
Toll Free: 800.201.1325
E-mail: rebecca.oakes@state.co.us