Organization, Mission and Functions Manual: Office of Justice Programs

Office of Justice Programs organization chartd

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), established by the Justice Assistance Act of 1984 and reauthorized in 2005, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist crime victims. OJP partners with federal, state, local, and tribal agencies, as well as national, community-based, and nonprofit organizations, to develop, implement, and evaluate a wide range of criminal and juvenile justice programs. These partnerships help communities across the nation fight crime, make the criminal and juvenile justice systems more responsive to local needs, and improve their quality of life and sense of safety.  OJP also plays a leading role in efforts to use evidence and evaluation to improve criminal justice and victims services programs at all levels of government.

OJP's Assistant Attorney General is responsible for the overall management and oversight of OJP. This includes setting policy; ensuring that OJP policies and programs reflect the priorities of the President, the Attorney General, and the Congress; and promoting coordination among the OJP offices and bureaus. OJP's bureaus include the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Institute of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office for Victims of Crime, and Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking.

OJP administers a mix of formula and discretionary grant programs and provides targeted training and technical assistance. Although some research and technical assistance is provided directly by OJP, most of the work is accomplished through federal financial assistance to scholars, practitioners, experts, and state and local governments and agencies. Several OJP components award formula grants to state agencies, which, in turn, sub-grant funds to units of state and local government. Discretionary grant funds, which are announced on and the OJP website, are competitively awarded to a variety of state, local, tribal, private, and non-profit organizations.

OJP’s mission is to increase public safety and improve the fair administration of justice across America through innovative leadership and programs.

The major functions of the OJP are to:

  • Implement national and multi-state programs, provide training and technical assistance, and establish demonstration programs to assist state, local, and tribal governments and community groups in reducing crime, enforcing state and local drug laws, and improving the function of the criminal justice system.
  • Collect, analyze, publish, and disseminate statistical information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operations of justice systems at all levels of government. Enhance the quality, completeness, and accessibility of the nation’s criminal history records system.
  • Sponsor research in crime and criminal justice and evaluations of justice programs. Disseminate research findings to practitioners and policymakers.  (Please see the website for more information.)
  • Support the development, testing, evaluation, adoption, and implementation of new and innovative technologies and techniques to support and enhance law enforcement, courts, and corrections options.
  • Provide national leadership, direction, coordination, and resources to prevent, treat, and control juvenile violence and delinquency, improve the effectiveness and fairness of the juvenile justice system, and combat the problem of missing and exploited children.
  • Enhance the nation’s capacity to assist crime victims and provide leadership in changing attitudes, policies, and practices to promote justice and healing for all victims of crime.
  • Work with state, local, and tribal governments to develop and implement a seamless sex offender registration system to help law enforcement protect the nation’s children.
  • Provide targeted assistance to state, local, and tribal governments to advance and sustain public safety at the local level through the leveraging of both technical and financial resources and the development and implementation of community-based strategies.

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Updated September 9, 2014

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