Criminal Justice Reform Grants

Criminal Justice Reform Grants

The criminal justice system affects everything from individual opportunity and family cohesion to public safety and community life. A better understanding of the criminal justice system and its effects on society will help identify opportunities to create better long-term outcomes for all involved.

Grant Description

The Charles Koch Foundation requests grant proposals for research related to criminal justice 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 overcriminalization 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.

Grant Criteria

  • A one-to-two-page abstract of the project on behalf of your university, college, think tank, or other 501(c)(3) organization. The abstract should provide sufficient detail for reviewers to assess the nature and feasibility of the idea.
  • A CV or résumé.
  • A brief, itemized budget.
  • Final projects should be original and meet the highest standards of their field, and must not have been previously published.


Funding levels are commensurate with the requirements of the research and the potential for the research to advance an understanding of critical issues. Accepted proposals may also receive support to disseminate the research findings.

Review & Notification Process

Proposals will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis.

Explore the Issue

Our grants seek to inform efforts to reduce overcriminalization and government overreach as well as recidivism, and to remove barriers that prevent former offenders from achieving successful lives.

Learn more

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