Criminal Justice & Policing Reform

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**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.**