The Art For Justice Fund is a five-year initiative that aims to turn art into action, investing more than $100 million into strategic efforts to reform the criminal justice system.

America’s broken criminal justice system devastates entire communities and undermines our democracy. This is a public policy crisis with a human cost.

Our Approach

Our unique approach is to use funds from art sales and other contributions to fuel policy reform and arts-related initiatives that put a human face on the problem of mass incarceration.

We invest in leading organizations and innovative programs that work to safely reduce the number of incarcerated people in the U.S. and systematically strengthen education and employment options for people leaving jail or prison.

Equal Justice Initiative

Featured Grantee

Equal Justice Initiative

Confronting racial justice in America and protecting the lives of the most vulnerable.

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The Actors' Gang

Featured Grantee

The Actors' Gang

Producing original plays and programs that give hope and emotional fluency to the disenfranchised.

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Agnes Gund

Our Founder

In June 2017, visionary arts advocate Agnes Gund announced that proceeds from the sale of a beloved painting would create a fund to support efforts to reform the American criminal justice system. The Art for Justice Fund builds on her unprecedented generosity in order to drive meaningful change.

— Agnes Gund

April 18, 2018 | MEL Magazine

Inside Prison ‘Shark Tank,’ the Program Where Inmates Become Entrepreneurs

“A few dozen inmates have gathered in the gymnasium at Kern Valley State Prison to meet a group of business executives and venture capitalists who have taken the two-and-a-half hour bus ride from L.A. to hear them pitch. For the day, instead of 'prisoners,' the inmates will be called Entrepreneurs in Training (or EITs), as part of a program sponsored by Defy Ventures, a nonprofit that teaches incarcerated men and women business skills.”

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May 11, 2018 | The Atlantic

‘Human Frailty’ Is a Byproduct of Mass Incarceration

In his new book Homeward, Harvard University professor Bruce Western explores what it’s like to reenter society after prison—and uncovers an epidemic of illness and mortality.

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April 27, 2018 | 60 Minutes

Inside the Memorial to Victims of Lynching

Oprah Winfrey reports on the Alabama memorial dedicated to thousands of African-American men, women and children lynched over a 70-year period following the Civil War.

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April 20, 2018 | The Atlantic

Is Rural America Getting Tired of Tough-on-Crime Policies?

“A new poll, released Thursday by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and the Vera Institute of Justice, provides the latest data in a growing body of evidence suggesting that Americans actually want fewer prisons—and now favor policies and politicians that put fewer people in them.”

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May 8, 2018 | Pacific Magazine

How Over-Incarceration is Driving a Push for Criminal Justice Reform

An interview with the Vera Institute of Justice’s Jasmine Heiss about a recent poll that uncovers American's souring sentiment toward incarceration policy.

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