Public Welfare Foundation Announces New Grants
The Board of Directors of the Public Welfare Foundation has approved nearly $6.5 million in new grants to 36 organizations, including more than $3.6 million in the Criminal and Youth Justice Program, $2.6 million in the Workers’ Rights Program and $871,000 under the Special Opportunities Program.
Among the approved projects:
- Wisconsin is not the only state in which policymakers are considering proposals that would erode workers’ fundamental rights, such as their rights to organize and bargain collectively. Several states are expected to propose additional restrictions, including the elimination of prevailing wage protections on publicly-financed projects and “right-to-work” laws in the private sector. These laws specifically forbid union contracts from including clauses that require workers to join the union or to pay their fair share for negotiations conducted by unions on their behalf. Advocates seeking to protect workers’ rights will receive support and technical assistance from American Rights at Work Education Fund. The Fund uses policy analysis, research and public education to advance policy reforms that help reinforce the right of workers to organize and to bargain collectively. It will receive $250,000 in general support to continue these efforts.
- The federal prison population and associated costs have increased dramatically over the last two decades. Federal prisons, which are administered by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, house 210,000 inmates. At 37 percent over-capacity, the federal system is one of the most overcrowded in the nation. And the majority of these prisoners are serving time for non-violent offenses. The Criminal Justice Institute (CJI), which has worked with several states to reduce their prison populations without jeopardizing public safety, will receive $350,000 over 18 months to provide similar data analysis, policy recommendations and technical assistance to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. In addition, CJI will educate Congress about more effective ways to manage the prison population and help build public support for legislative reforms.
- After a 2007 scandal involving sexual abuse of incarcerated youth in state-run facilities, Texas made several reforms to its juvenile justice system. The population in the state’s juvenile correctional facilities has dropped more than 50 percent – from 4,800 in 2006 to 1,798 in 2010 – and several facilities have closed. But remaining state facilities reportedly still lack adequate staffing and services and recidivism rates are greater than 50 percent. A $220,000 grant to Texans Care for Children will allow this statewide advocacy organization to collaborate with grantee Texas Criminal Justice Coalition to push for the use and expansion of community-based alternatives to youth incarceration as the state continues to reform and restructure its juvenile justice system.
A complete list of the grants approved by the Board follows:
Criminal and Youth Justice Program
Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence – Fairfax, VA – ($175,000 – 18 months)
Support for creation of a web-based tool to help state and local governments fund treatment, services and therapy that are most effective in reducing recidivism and re-incarceration of former prisoners who are trying to re-enter society.
Center for Children’s Advocacy – Hartford, CT – ($50,000 – 1 year)
Support for local and statewide work to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in Connecticut’s juvenile justice system.
Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth – Chicago, IL – ($150,000 – 1 year)
Support to use litigation and advocacy to advance policies that protect youth against making false confessions and that prevent wrongful convictions of youth.
Citizen Opinion – Washington, DC – ($105,900 – 1 year)
Support for public opinion polling and message testing research on a selection of juvenile justice issues.
Community Law in Action – Baltimore, MD – ($65,000 – 1 year)
Support to build community acceptance of, and involvement in, the Just Kids Partnership, a campaign with Public Justice Center (grantee) to end the automatic prosecution of youth in adult courts in Maryland.
Crime and Justice Institute – Boston, MA – ($350,000 – 18 months)
Support to coordinate a campaign to reduce the federal prison population – the nation’s fastest growing prison system – using data analysis, mobilizing stakeholder coalitions and encouraging Congressional oversight.
Equal Justice Initiative – Montgomery, AL – ($200,000 – 2 years)
Support to challenge the underrepresentation of African-Americans on criminal juries in the South and to advocate for the reform of parole policies that contribute substantially to Alabama’s high rate of incarceration.
Families Against Mandatory Minimums – Washington, DC – ($100,000 – 1 year)
Support for the Florida Advocacy Project, which seeks to reform mandatory minimum laws related to prescription drugs using grassroots and media advocacy and outreach to policymakers.
International Community Corrections Association – Washington, DC – ($150,000 – 1 year)
Support to help local organizations across the country overcome neighborhood resistance to new or expanding programs and facilities that serve people returning home from prisons and jails.
Justice for Families – New York, NY – ($75,000 – 1 year)
General support/ for a new national effort to organize the families of incarcerated youth and to encourage them to advocate for policies that increase family engagement in the juvenile justice system.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – Baltimore, MD – ($250,000 – 1 year)
Support for a project that brings together leaders of communities of color and law enforcement officials to establish proactive strategies for working together to reduce violent crime, advance best practices in effective policing, and address issues of racial disparity.
National Association of Counties – Washington, DC – ($62,000 – 1 year)
Support for exploring new opportunities for inmate health coverage under the federal health care reform law.
National Youth Justice Network – Washington, DC – ($250,000 – 1 year)
Support for two projects: a Youth Justice Leadership Institute to support leadership development among promising juvenile justice advocates of color; and a Fiscal Policy Center to help juvenile justice advocacy organizations understand and analyze state budgets and incorporate advocacy for budget issues into their work.
New York Center for Youth Justice – New York, NY – ($150,000 – 1 year)
Support to advocate for increasing the age of juvenile court jurisdiction in New York from age 16 to age 18 and to end the automatic transfer of younger teens accused of certain offenses to adult courts.
Pretrial Justice Institute – Washington, DC – ($350,000 – 1 year)
Support for efforts to protect pretrial services programs, which allow non-violent defendants pending trial to be released under treatment and supervision, against challenges by the bail bonding industry seeking to increase its profits.
Texans Care for Children – Austin, TX – ($220,000 – 1 year)
Support for a collaborative effort with grantee Texas Criminal Justice Coalition to advocate for the use and expansion of community-based alternatives to youth incarceration as the state of Texas considers restructuring its juvenile justice system.
Texas Appleseed – Austin, TX – ($60,000 – 1 year)
Support to challenge the reliance on juvenile and municipal courts to handle minor misbehaviors committed by youth while at school.
Texas Public Policy Foundation – Austin, TX – ($200,000 – 1 year)
Support to continue working with conservative and libertarian policymakers and advocates for criminal and juvenile justice reform in Texas and throughout the country.
Vera Institute of Justice – New York, NY – ($400,000 – 2 years)
Support for the Vera Institute’s Family Justice Program to provide technical assistance to juvenile correctional facilities in Ohio to engage families of incarcerated youth in better ways; to develop and pilot national standards on family engagement for juvenile correctional facilities; and to evaluate the impact of family engagement policies on youth outcomes.
Youth Law Center – San Francisco, CA – ($80,000 – 1 year)
Support to help the state of California develop a system for using federal funds under the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 to provide youth leaving the juvenile justice system with transitional services until age 21.
Workers’ Rights Program
American Rights at Work Education Fund – Washington, DC – ($250,000 – 1 year)
Blue-Green Alliance Foundation – Minneapolis, MN – ($180,000 – 1 year)
Support for advocacy and organizing to promote occupational safety and health, with a particular focus on improving federal policies governing toxic chemicals.
DC Employment Justice Center – Washington, DC – ($150,000 – 2 years)
Support for advocacy to challenge employer practices of misclassifying workers and stealing wages from low-income workers.
Farmworker Justice – Washington, DC – ($300,000 – 2 years)
General support for the organization’s national litigation and advocacy work to improve conditions for farmworkers.
Interfaith Worker Justice – Chicago, IL – ($247,000 – 1 year)
General support for the organization’s nationwide efforts to improve conditions for low-wage workers and support to educate and organize religious communities for reform of federal workplace health and safety policy.
In These Times – Chicago, IL – ($160,000 – 2 years)
Support for original news coverage and commentary on workers’ rights issues in the magazine In These Times and the online blog Working In These Times at www.inthesetimes.com/working.
MomsRising.org – Bellevue, WA – ($100,000 – 1 year)
General support for this online organization’s advocacy work involving issues affecting women and children, including paid sick days.
National Consumers League – Washington, DC – ($150,000 – 1 year)
Support for the nation’s oldest consumer advocacy organization to educate consumers about wage theft. National Economic and Social Rights Initiative – New York, NY – ($100,000 – 1 year)Support for the continuation of research and coordination with experts, advocates and injured workers to reform workers’ compensation systems across the country, including a pilot project in Vermont. National Employment Law Project – Washington, DC – ($500,000 – 2 years)General support for the organization’s national efforts on a broad range of legal and policy issues affecting low-income workers and support to enhance its communications capacity. OMB Watch – Washington, DC – ($70,000 – 1 year) Support for research and advocacy to improve the federal regulatory process. United Workers Association – Baltimore, MD – ($40,000 – 1 year) General support.
Special Opportunities Program Mississippi Center for Justice – Jackson, MS – ($125,000 – 1 year)
Support for advocacy and other efforts to deliver financial relief and other assistance to low-income workers who continue to be affected by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico region of the South.
Oxfam America – Boston, MA – ($150,000 – 1 year)
Support for the organization’s “Fairness in the Fields” initiative, which is bringing together advocates for consumers, farmworkers and the environment, to explore establishing food production standards that protect workers and consumers.
Partnership for Working Families – Washington, DC – ($320,000 – 1 year)
Support for a project called, “In the Public Interest”, which provides research and technical assistance to explore privatization of government services and assets as well as strategic communications on government regulation for fairness and protection of workers, the environment, public health and consumers.
Southern Education Foundation – Atlanta, GA – ($175,000 – 18 months)
Support for a study of the quality of education provided to low-income and minority youth incarcerated in juvenile justice systems in southern states.
ABOUT THE PUBLIC WELFARE FOUNDATION
The Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to advance justice and opportunity for people in need. These efforts honor the Foundation’s core values of racial equity, economic well-being, and fundamental fairness for all. The Foundation looks for strategic points where its funds can make a significant difference and improve lives through policy and system reform that results in transformative change. For more information, visit www.publicwelfare.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter or on Facebook.