Our Strategy

Our Strategy

A Legacy of Inequality

Mass incarceration is racially biased and emerged from chattel slavery. There are staggering racial disparities among who is detained. In fact, Black and Brown people are disproportionately impacted by every part of our justice system, from uneven monitoring and policing of their communities to receiving longer sentences for the same crimes as their white counterparts.

Unfair bail policies incarcerate people before trial because they don’t have access to cash. Any given day here in America, 450,000 people suffer the trauma of jail – not for a crime, but because they can’t afford to pay cash bail for their freedom. Imagine the children whose parents aren’t home to help them get to school. Imagine the short-staffed small businesses who can’t get the job done.

Prison sentences 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 offenses, as well as serious ones. Consider that in 2015, Black people and Latinx people were 32% of the nation, but 56% of those who are incarcerated.

People who enter the system are not fully free after released. People leave incarceration with optimism for their future but blocked by discrimination and legal barriers to housing, jobs and education that prevent their success.

Our Grantmaking Strategies

Our four grantmaking strategies support our objective to drive and build public will for ending mass incarceration with the goal of safely reducing the prison populations in priority states by 20% by 2022.

Our Grantmaking Strategies
Strategy 1
Keeping People out of Jails & Prisons
Our grantee partners are committed to justice reinvestment, which is reallocating government funding from prisons to tangible investments in communities hardest hit by poverty, violence and incarceration.
Our Grantmaking Strategies
Strategy 2
Shortening Sentences
The Fund supports work to reform or repeal excessive prison sentences and incarceration laws.
Our Grantmaking Strategies
Strategy 3
Promoting Reentry
The Fund is supporting work to increase opportunities for formerly incarcerated people and eliminating the unnecessary barriers they face to being part of their communities when they return home.
Our Grantmaking Strategies
Strategy 4
Changing the Narrative Through Art
We invest in artists so that they can continue to show the human impact of mass incarceration and tell the stories of the mothers, fathers, spouses, friends and students who are caught behind bars.

Art is Transformative

Art powerfully exposes the pain, injustice and racial bias in our criminal justice system, gives voice to people erased from this conversation and creates the compassion and empathy necessary to drive social change.

Meet our Grantees





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We can create true justice