In conjunction with the Justice Expenditure and Employment Statistics Program, BJS estimates the variable pass-through (VPT) data distributions by conducting the Justice Assistance Data Survey (JADS) periodically, most recently in 1997 and 2006. The VPT data are used in the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Programs authorized by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, as amended (Public Law 90-351) and sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The Byrne program helps tribal, state and local law enforcement and justice agencies to control and prevent violent and drug-related crimes. The Byrne program includes a discretionary grant program and a block grant program.
According to Public Law 90-351, the formula for distributing block grant funds to the states is based on each state's percentage of the total U.S. population; the VPT data indicate how funds are to be distributed to state agencies compared to the localities within each state. The JADS collects detailed data for three justice functions (police protection, judicial and legal services, and corrections) and for three character and object classes (current operations, capital outlay, and intergovernmental expenditure).