Charles Koch Foundation Awards $2.2 Million to UPenn Law School

The University of Pennsylvania Law School has announced a $2.2 million gift from the Charles Koch Foundation in support of research on reforming and improving the U.S. criminal justice system.

The gift will provide four years of funding to the school's Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice, which takes an interdisciplinary, data-driven approach to identifying and analyzing the most critical problems in the justice system and proposing solutions designed to prevent error and improve fairness. Among other things, the funds will be used to create a research initiative overseen and administered by Quattrone Center academic director Paul Heaton that includes faculty-led  projects focused on identifying the causes of -- and effective public policies to address --- crime, as well as joint research efforts with visiting scholars.

The funds also will be used to expand the center's postgraduate fellowship program, enabling fellows whose training is primarily legal to gain exposure to data and empirical analysis methods, while those with social science training will gain deeper expertise in the legal and institutional features of the system.

"Improving the criminal justice system requires the work of scholars from a diverse group of fields, not only law, but also fields such as psychology, sociology, and medicine," said Heaton. "This new research initiative will allow us to broaden and deepen our study of key areas of criminal justice, while training a new generation of scholars in the field."