Public Defender Grants Center

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Criminal Justice & Policing Reform

**We see potential for Public Defenders to connect to this funding stream in several areas. Primarily, through the Charles Koch Foundation's focus on sentencing and research gaps we see opportunities for proposal success that demonstrates the value of investigators and mitigation experts in reducing over incarceration, collateral consequences, and in reducing the jurisdictions overall budget bottom line, as well as proposals that support reentry programs and client support programs. Should you be interested in connecting with NLADA directly to discuss proposal ideas or seek support, please email Emily Flanagan at [email protected].**

The Charles Koch Institute and Charles Koch Foundation work on five areas of criminal justice and policing reform in order to improve public safety, reduce costs, and respect the dignity of each individual:

  • Sentencing: Too many people go to prison - often for far too long - for low-level, nonviolent crimes. People who break the law should be held accountable, but the punishment should fit the crime.
  • Second Chances: Thousands of laws erect barriers for those with a criminal record to getting jobs and rejoining their communities with dignity, increasing the likelihood of recidivism.
  • Overcriminalization: Thousands of seemingly ordinary activities are classified as crimes. We shouldn't criminalize so many things, and jail should be reserved for people who are truly dangerous.
  • Civil Asset Forfeiture: Law enforcement officers can take your property if they suspect it relates to a crime, even if you're innocent. Getting your property back is difficult, and the seized assets may go directly to a law enforcement agency's budget. Policing should be about public safety, not profit.
  • Policing Practices: Many law enforcement departments are using equipment and tactics from the battlefield. When police are seen as peace officers rather than an occupying force, community trust can grow. This trust and collaboration is important to solving crime and protecting the public.

The Charles Koch Foundation requests proposals for research related to criminal justice and policing reform. We are especially interested in research that:

  • Analyzes the possible personal/non-economic and economic (including employment) effects of various sentencing reform ideas on individuals, families, and communities.
  • Examines the causes, costs, and consequences of police militarization and civil asset forfeiture, including public perception of these topics.
  • Collects or creates data sets to fill scholarly gaps related to criminal justice and policing reform issues.
  • Determines the causes, costs, and consequences of over criminalization and the proliferation of laws that carry criminal penalties.
  • Assesses the effectiveness of various penalties imposed for crimes.
  • Examines the incentives that lead to growing prison populations.


Funding Source: 
The Charles Koch Foundation
Eligible Grantees: 

**Public Defender offices will likely need to form an external partnership in order to be eligible for these funds.**

Reimagining America’s Crisis Response Systems

**This solicitation may be a good fit for programs that have existing relationships with crisis stabilization, response, and diversion facilities. If you have current programs to support clients experiencing crisis related to mental illness, substance use, or homelessness in addition please read the solicitation to learn more.**

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) is committed to leveraging the power of data, research, and innovation to improve community safety by reducing crime, increasing police effectiveness, and working to ensure that laws are enforced in a fair and equitable way. 

Individuals experiencing mental illness, substance use disorders, or homelessness require evidence based, preventive treatment to achieve improved outcomes. Too often, the needs of these vulnerable populations are not only unmet, but inadvertently worsened by emergency response systems. With police having to act as the primary responders to a crisis, individuals often end up in situations that lead to the use of force, arrest, and/or incarceration. These approaches fail to address individuals’ underlying health, societal, and financial struggles; are cost-inefficient; and cause significant harm to both the individual and the community.

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation are working to identify and help implement evidence-based policies and programs that can reduce the use of force, arrest, and/or incarceration, and instead connect vulnerable populations to evidence-based treatment programs and services for improved outcomes. To support this goal, LJAF seeks proposals for evaluations of (1) emergency response programs for individuals in moments of crisis, (2) post-crisis stabilization facilities, and/or (3) treatment programs and services funded by governments or other entities. Evaluations should focus on outcomes for individuals whose vulnerabilities include mental illness, substance use disorders, and/or homelessness.

LJAF will host a Q&A webinar on the RFP on October 5, 2018 at 3:00 PM EST. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to attend. Attendees should sign up for the webinar using this form.

Funding Source: 
The Laura and John Arnold Foundation
Eligible Grantees: 

This is a research solicitation. Eligible applications will include a clear proposal for research and evaluation.