Advancing effective and equitable justice policy in the state of Michigan.
The Michigan Justice Fund is a funders’ collaborative that seeks to make investments that help stem the flow of individuals into the criminal justice system, support the investment of public dollars to community-driven alternatives to incarceration, and ensure that those who are returning home after incarceration receive the support they need to flourish.
- Blue Meridian Partners on behalf of the Justice and Mobility Fund
- Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
- Ethel & James Flinn Foundation
- Ford Foundation
- Hudson-Webber Foundation
- Public Welfare Foundation
- W. K. Kellogg Foundation
This Fund is being designed to:
- Strengthen capacity of practitioners seeking to advance effective justice policy and practice in Michigan, and intentionally support the leadership of people of color-led organizations on the frontlines of justice reform.
- Build a sustainable network of funders and donors who are informed and engaged to support safety and justice within Michigan communities.
- Shift the dominant narrative that associates community safety with incarceration to one that lifts economic security & mobility and access to health care and education as foundational to safe and just communities.
The Fund’s Goals and Objectives are to:
- Reduce Michigan’s reliance on incarceration and detention as the primary response to crime, and adopt effective strategies to divert people who are living with a mental illness, drug addiction, and other behavioral health needs from incarceration.
- Embrace an evidence-based data-driven approach to justice related state policymaking and budgeting.
- Advance racial equity in Michigan by addressing racial disparities in the juvenile and adult justice systems, and support communities of color that have been historically under-resourced and impacted by the justice system.
- Support economic prosperity strategies for people with criminal convictions.
- Reduce crime incidents and victimization through innovative strategies that are racially equitable and that improve community well-being.
Participating funders have invested in an initial round of grantmaking and peer-learning opportunities for a diverse cohort of organizations from across Michigan that directly serve justice-impacted individuals (adult and youth), and/or that work to develop or advocate for systemic policy improvements that support this population across a number of domains including health, economic security and mobility, and community investment and well-being. This work will result in a strategic grantmaking plan for the Fund informed by the initial cohort of grantees and other stakeholders.
The Michigan Justice Fund is currently not accepting grant applications. We will continue to update this page with key learnings and opportunities.
Michigan Justice Fund Learning Cohort
Twenty-six organizations were invited to participate in the cohort, and each is receiving a one-time $20,000 general operating grant to support full and robust participation. The organizations were selected to be representative of a diverse cross-section of organizations from across Michigan that directly serve justice-impacted individuals (adult and youth), and/or that work to develop or advocate for systemic policy improvements that support this population across a number of domains including health, economic security and mobility, and community investment and well-being.
Funders of the Michigan Justice Fund strongly believe that effective philanthropic strategy must be directly informed by those who are closest to the work. It is the hope that input from cohort participants, in addition to other system stakeholders, will help the Michigan Justice Fund:
- Gain a deeper understanding of the sectors that the Michigan Justice Fund will move into, and potential opportunities to break silos to advance shared objectives
- Identify or cultivate opportunities to leverage public/private/philanthropic resources, and explore ways the Fund can be most supportive to existing and emerging networks of practice; and
- Refine Fund objectives and outcome metrics.
Ultimately, this input will help the Michigan Justice Fund develop a strategic grantmaking plan or roadmap for supporting a thriving enabling environment in Michigan necessary to advance justice reform initiatives, as well as a vision for how safety and justice efforts can be supported in our state beyond the life of the Fund.
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