The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced grants of $150,000 each along with technical assistance to twenty U.S. jurisdictions seeking to create fairer, more effective local justice systems.
Awarded as part of the foundation’s $75 million Safety and Justice Challenge, the grants will support efforts to develop comprehensive local reform plans that reduce unnecessary over-incarceration, improve public safety, save taxpayer money, and lead to fairer outcomes. Technical assistance and expert counsel will be provided by the Center for Court Innovation, the Institute for State and Local Governance at the City University of New York, the Justice Management Institute, Justice System Partners, the Pretrial Justice Institute, and the Vera Institute of Justice.
The twenty jurisdictions include large cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Houston; small localities like Mesa County in Colorado and Pennington County in South Dakota; and the State of Connecticut — collectively representing 11 percent of the nation's jail capacity. From this group, ten jurisdictions will be selected in 2016 to receive a second round of funding of between $500,000 and $2 million to implement their reform plans.
"Nearly two hundred diverse jurisdictions responded to our challenge, reflecting nationwide interest in reducing over-incarceration," said MacArthur Foundation president Julia Stasch. "Each of the sites selected has demonstrated the motivation, collaboration, and commitment needed to make real change in their local justice systems. The aim is that local efforts will model effective and safe alternatives to the incarceration status quo for the rest of the country."
For a complete list of the jurisdictions awarded grants, visit the MacArthur Foundation website.