Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal Justice Reform

We believe that a criminal justice system based on human dignity is the best way to keep our communities safe.

More than 2.3 million Americans are incarcerated, often for low-level, nonviolent crimes. Many prisoners receive excessive sentences and, once they’re released, thousands of laws can prevent them from obtaining jobs and rebuilding their lives. Meanwhile, people in many communities distrust or even fear their local police departments. The Charles Koch Foundation supports research on criminal justice reforms that emphasize human dignity and enhance public safety. 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.

People Making a Difference

Learn More

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Our Giving Standards and Principles

Our giving standards and principles guide our long-standing commitment to academic independence and openness.

Faculty call the shots.

Behind each of our grants is a scholar with a vision. Their freedom to drive their research wherever it may take them is essential to the discovery that we hope results from our support.

Schools provide the academic environment.

We’re excited to support hundreds of schools ranging from small liberal arts colleges to state research universities to Ivy League schools. Each grant we make follows the school’s standard procedures when it comes to hiring, curriculum, peer review, and other policies.

Openness brings opportunities.

To help make potential grantees aware of opportunities, we share news of all our major gifts. This knowledge sharing improves collaboration, offering others the possibility to build on the work of the scholars we support.

Society benefits.

The scholars we support are tackling some of the toughest challenges of our time and preparing students for success in a dynamic future. The goal of our philanthropy is to improve society. As scholars’ discoveries guide the path forward on criminal justice reform, free expression, foreign policy, technology and innovation, economic opportunity, and other pressing challenges, society progresses.

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