The New York Women's Foundation has announced the launch of a fund aimed at dismantling mass incarceration in the United States, with a focus on women, girls, and transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) communities.
Part of a seven-year effort, the Justice Fund is the first of its kind to engage in criminal justice reform through the lens of gender and racial equity. Through the fund, NYWF will invest in community-based and cross-sector solutions that significantly reduce the involvement of women and families in all phases and aspects of the justice system. A key priority of the fund will be closing the jail complex on Rikers Island and investing in alternatives that better promote justice, safety, and overall well-being for TGNC communities.
To that end, the fund will support a variety of reform efforts, including grassroots organizing efforts focused on the early closing of Rikers' Rose M. Singer Center; bail reform; capacity building for community-based organizations engaged in criminal justice reform; investments in community-based solutions in areas such as housing, mental health, and leadership development; and education and training for families.
"As a public foundation rooted in and led by community experience, we have both a moral and practical imperative to leverage our resources toward a more just society for those traditionally at the margins," said NYWF president and CEO Ana Oliveira. "Our initiative will create a new paradigm for justice that dismantles unfair and biased systems and creates new paths for stability and opportunity in the lives of New York City women, families, and communities."