Public Welfare Foundation is anchoring its work in the Western part of the country in Colorado and Oklahoma.

Men walking down sidewalk


In Colorado, community reinvestment initiatives have been underway for the past several years, driving public dollars deep into communities most harmed by the criminal legal system. The State has emerged as a compelling model for community reinvestment, with other jurisdictions looking to Colorado for best practices and lessons learned. The work that’s been done in Colorado, through both developing leadership and building infrastructure, have created the conditions to advance significant reforms to the criminal legal system.


Oklahoma has the highest incarceration rate in this country. Many of those incarcerated are from rural communities and Oklahoma is the top incarcerator of women. But after years of promoting single minded tough on crime policies, the moment appears ripe for reform. 


Recent policy changes show an appetite by individuals and policy makers to rethink the State’s response to drug and property crimes. In addition, arrest rates in Oklahoma of youth under 18 have fallen by 67 percent and the average daily population of Oklahoma’s juvenile facilities has declined by 69 percent. As detention beds continue to sit unused, this is a moment to advocate for a concerted effort in decreasing racial disparities, reinvesting savings into community-based continuum of care and for communities disproportionately impacted by the youth justice system to receive a larger portion of those funds and services. 

Woman in focus

Organizations Working for Justice Reform in the West

Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition

CCJRC’s mission is to eliminate the overuse of the criminal justice system and advance community health and safety. CCJRC advocates and organizes for public safety strategies that are more holistic, effective and just.

Second Chance Center

Second Chance Center helps formerly incarcerated people transition to lives of success and fulfillment by providing the formerly incarcerated and their network with education, resources, and support to successfully re-enter the community and cultivate a rewarding life.

Scroll through our grants database for details about local investments.