FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Public Welfare Foundation Awards $1 Million Grant to Vera Institute of Justice
Grant to advance access to prison-based college education in key states
WASHINGTON DC – Public Welfare Foundation President and CEO Candice C. Jones today announced a one million dollar grant to Vera Institute of Justice (Vera), a nonprofit organization working to advance a more humane justice system that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for all.
Vera’s mission is to drive change and urgently build justice systems that ensure fairness, promote safety, and strengthen communities. One high priority initiative for achieving that mission is Vera’s national campaign to gain support for high quality postsecondary education and training in prison. The two-year program support grant from Public Welfare Foundation will advance that effort.
“Education is a critical component to reforming our country’s failed criminal justice system,” Jones said. “Providing incarcerated individuals with the skills they need to secure jobs is good for everyone – individuals, families and communities – and, ultimately, has the power to disrupt the devastating cycle of incarceration. Public Welfare Foundation looks forward to partnering with Vera to push these efforts for a broader impact across our country.”
Vera tackles the most pressing issues in justice reform, with three key priorities: closing mass incarceration’s front door; improving life behind bars to emphasize restoration over retribution; and securing justice, safety, and fairness for a diverse America. The support from Public Welfare Foundation will help Vera implement a campaign to emphasize the importance of quality postsecondary education in prison, with a goal of seeing policy changes and increased funding at the state level to provide more educational opportunities for those who are incarcerated.
“College-in-prison programming is essential to ensuring that individuals returning from prison are given the skills they need to secure gainful employment and thrive as they reenter their communities,” Vera President Nicholas Turner said. “Support from Public Welfare Foundation will allow us to help spread this message across the country and build the momentum to help lift the federal ban on Pell Grants for people in prison. Efforts to expand access to postsecondary education improve the lives of formerly incarcerated people and their families and help build safer communities for us all.”
Public Welfare Foundation announced its work focusing on race, redemption, and restoration in March. These time-limited grants will help catalyze and replicate innovative work in the field. Organizations interested in applying for a grant can submit a Letter of Inquiry at https://www.publicwelfare.org/grants-process/submit-a-letter-of-inquiry/.
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. For more information visit www.publicwelfare.org.
CONTACT: Diane Camper