MacArthur Foundation Announce $22 Million to Reduce Over-Incarceration
The MacArthur Foundation on Wednesday announced an additional $22 million in grants through its Safety and Justice Challenge -- a national initiative to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails. The new funding will support 12 new cities and counties working to reduce incarceration and 13 sites already part of the growing national movement. The initiative supports local leaders tackling the misuse and overuse of jails. Local leaders at each site identify the causes of over-incarceration locally. They engage diverse local voices including elected officials, health providers, law enforcement, formerly incarcerated residents, and other community members, all to determine ways to reduce over-incarceration, address racial and ethnic disparities, and make local systems more just and equitable. They also work together to build infrastructure to design, implement, and track progress over time. “There is growing demand for criminal justice reform across the country, and local jurisdictions are leading the way,” said Laurie Garduque, MacArthur’s Director of Justice Reform. “MacArthur is increasing our investment because we are seeing promising results and an appetite for more reform as evidenced by the diversity and creativity of the solutions implemented and tested across the Network. While progress is not always easy, and there is no single solution or quick fix, these jurisdictions are proving it is possible to rethink local justice systems from the ground up with forward-looking, smart solutions.” There are 2.2 million people in prison or jail in the U.S., and many states are struggling to manage their high inmate populations. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics data, the U.S. incarcerated 471 people per every 100,000 in 2014 alone. More here.