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.

By The Numbers

Share

Share

of the world’s prisoners locked up in the U.S.
Amount

Amount

the U.S. spends on correction services every year.
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More

likely that black children will be incarcerated compared to white children in America.

A Legacy of Inequality

We can no longer pretend that mass incarceration is anything but a legacy of inequality. Drivers of unjust mass incarceration include:

  • Policing that preys on racial difference and economic disadvantage. Police too often make "zero tolerance" arrests for minor infractions in poor neighborhoods, funneling disproportionate numbers of people of color into the justice system.
  • Unfair bail policies that incarcerate people before trial based largely on their poverty. These policies do not reflect a person's public safety or flight risk.
  • Prison stays that are racially disparate and too long for all offenses. Misguided laws passed during the tough on crime era doubled and tripled prison time for minor as well as serious offenses.
  • People who enter the system stay in the system. People leave prison hobbled by discrimination and legal barriers to housing, jobs and education that prevent their success.

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