Criminal Justice


More than two million people are incarcerated in the United States – the largest criminal justice system-involved population in the world. More than 80 percent of the 1.6 million in prisons are sentenced and housed in the states. The number has historically been driven, in large part, by harsh sentencing laws that impose excessively long sentences, and by ineffective probation and parole policies and practices. A stunning 60 percent of the people in prison are racial and ethnic minorities.

This approach is not only unsustainable, it does not protect communities. Locking up more people – disproportionately people of color – for greater lengths of time, and later releasing them with little access to reentry programs, rehabilitation and drug and related treatment services, has not made our streets safe. It also comes with great human and fiscal costs. “Tough on crime” policies have devastated communities from which the incarcerated come, splitting families apart and depriving people of the basic tools they need to stay out  of the criminal justice system and live stable, productive lives.


The Foundation’s Criminal Justice Program supports groups that are working to end the overincarceration of adults in the United States while also aiming to reduce racial disparities. In particular, the Program makes grants primarily to state-based groups that are working to:

Lenore Anderson and Robert Rooks

Rashad Robinson

Julie Stewart

Cherise Fanno Burdeen

Criminal Justice News


The Impact of Incarceration

Facts and Figures: Some of the effects of imprisoning so many people in America… Full Story


Reducing Crime and Incarceration

Experts find that the latest crime and prison numbers show positive trends and bolster the case for enhanced criminal justice reform.… Full Story


Latinos in the Criminal Justice System

A one-of-its-kind website exposes the lack of data about the number of Latinos affected by criminal justice in each state. … Full Story


From Heartbreak to Healing –
the Journey of Crime Survivors

In April, about 500 people gathered at the Convention Center in downtown Sacramento, California for the annual Survivors Speak Conference.…… Full Story

Criminal Justice Resources

Accounting for Violence: How to Increase Safety and Break Our Failed Reliance on Mass IncarcerationLink

Texas Public Policy Foundation's Report on Texas' Mandatory Sentencing EnhancementsLink

Ending the Era of Mass IncarcerationLink

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