On Tuesday February 10th, 2015, the MacArthur Foundation announced a new $75M initiative to reduce over-incarceration in America’s jails. This new Safety and Justice Challenge intends to “change the way America thinks about and uses jails.” A comprehensive report by the Vera Institute of Justice, “Incarceration’s Front Door: The Misuse of Jails in America,” revealed that not only has America’s jail population tripled since 1980, but the cumulative expenditures related to building and running jails has increased nearly 235 percent. This initiative hopes to ameliorate those very real human and financial costs.
According to the official MacArthur press release, the Safety and Justice Challenge “will support jurisdictions across the country working to safely reduce over-reliance on jails, with a particular focus on addressing disproportionate impact on low-income individuals and communities of color. Core to the initiative is a competition through which the Foundation will fund up to 20 jurisdictions to design and implement plans for creating fairer, more effective local justice systems using innovative, collaborative, and evidence-based solutions.” Stay tuned for the results of this generous investment.
Read the full press release by the MacArthur Foundation here.
Explore the Safety and Justice website here to learn more about the Challenge.