Reforming Civil and Criminal Justice Systems
The goal of this work is to ensure access for marginalized groups to a robust criminal justice community committed to fairness and equal protection under the law.
The United States has the world's highest incarceration rate, locking up 1 out of every 100 adults, with poor people and people of color filling a vastly disproportionate number of prison and jail cells. Both in the United States and in other countries, civil and criminal justice systems face immense challenges in providing equal protection under the law, access to a fair legal process, adequate legal representation and information about legal rights and opportunities.
What We're Doing
We focus on developing innovative pathways to public safety that avoid excessive sentencing, increasing the quality of indigent defense, strengthening the voices of reform-minded prosecutors, and promoting greater understanding of the civil and criminal systems. We support organizations that achieve these objectives through legal and policy advocacy, empirical research, and piloting of effective practices.
We encourage collaboration among key justice stakeholders that share a commitment to systemic improvement, including law schools, research centers, public and private legal aid programs, people involved in justice systems and their families, and government and court officials on the leading edge of change.
Learn more about how our strategies and approaches shape our grant making.
From the Newsroom
Restoring Balance to the Criminal Justice System
Darren Walker calls for criminal justice reform in a Sacramento Bee op-ed
Common Cause on Criminal Justice Reform
The foundation is a partner in a national effort to make the U.S. criminal justice system more fair, just, and effective
Renewing Communities: Improving Educational Access in California’s Correctional Facilities and Beyond
Exploring the next steps in developing high-quality education programs for prisoners