A New Normal? Amid COVID-19, Criminal Justice Reform Funders Dare to Hope
May 15, 2020
The Justice and Mobility Fund is a philanthropic collaboration that aims to boost economic mobility and improve the life trajectories of people impacted by the criminal justice system.
The Justice and Mobility Fund seeks to scale the impact, reach, and influence of solutions to problems caused by interaction with the criminal justice system, both nationwide and in targeted regions. Reducing convictions and incarceration and mitigating their negative downstream effects is critical to giving people — especially people of color, who are disproportionately impacted — greater access to jobs, educational opportunities, and housing that will help lift them out of poverty.
Mass incarceration is one of the most critical civil rights issues of our time. 77 million Americans have criminal records and millions more interact with the justice system each year. Once engaged with the system, the damage to an individual’s economic mobility can be devastating and ripples through their family for generations. Despite justice reform efforts, insufficient attention is paid to developing and scaling interventions that provide economic opportunity for people affected by the system.
In addition, COVID-19 poses exponentially higher risks to the health and economic stability of incarcerated people. In response, jurisdictions across the country are releasing select populations. However, during this crisis, the communities to which they return are often unable to support their re-entry with needed services, presenting an urgent issue.
Americans have criminal records and millions more interact with the justice system each year
The Justice and Mobility Fund will bring significant new resources and capacity-building to the field in order to extend the reach, impact, and influence of the most promising strategies and organizations. We will make right-sized investments in solutions poised to scale nationally, as well as strategic local investments across the criminal justice system, with a focus on economic mobility.
In response to the additional risks stemming from the COVID-19 crisis, the Fund is making an initial set of investments in programs helping citizens released from the justice system to access financial resources and critical support. These programs enhance public safety as well as the health of individuals, families, and communities.
initial dollars dedicated to scaling nationwide and community-specific interventions, including COVID-19 crisis relief
The Justice and Mobility Fund is a collaboration launched by The Ford Foundation and Blue Meridian Partners with support from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. Leveraging Blue Meridian’s rigorous investment approach and the Ford Foundation’s expertise in social justice grantmaking, the Justice and Mobility Fund presents the opportunity to make investments that can change the lives of generations. We welcome additional funders to join the partnership as we continue to innovate.
The Ford Foundation centers on belief in the inherent dignity of all people. Around the world, too many people are excluded from the political, economic, and social institutions that shape their lives. Across eight decades, The Ford Foundation’s mission has sought to reduce poverty and injustice, strengthen democratic values, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement.Visit Website
The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is a global organization that seeks to improve lives, strengthen communities and reduce inequality. The Schusterman Foundation's philanthropic vision is grounded in a commitment to pursue justice, repair the world and treat all people with dignity and civility. The Foundation invests in efforts to improve public education in the United States, strengthen the Jewish people and Israel, and address the needs of marginalized individuals and communities.Visit Website