Oklahoma organizations to receive funding for criminal justice reform advocacy The Criminal Justice Advisory Council (CJAC) of Oklahoma County has been named a grant awardee by The Just Trust, a criminal justice reform grantmaking entity. As part of the State by State Campaign, approximately $7.4 million in grants will go to select groups in several states, including Oklahoma, to help grow and stabilize state-level advocacy infrastructure for durable criminal justice policy reform.
CJAC is being recognized for its work advancing fair chance hiring. Research has shown that employment is one of the most significant indicators of long-term success for those leaving the justice system.
CJAC will use the grant funds to increase the visibility of justice involved employees and the organizations who employ them. They will conduct outreach and develop video stories of successful fair chance employers, employees and the numerous programs in Oklahoma County that prepare fair chance employees to succeed.
“We are excited to get this grant to further develop our outreach to employers. Our 2022 Fair Chance Hiring Toolkit is a good start for employers and we plan to develop more opportunities for employers to learn.” said Tardibono. The thirty-four groups in the cohort work on many different issues related to criminal justice reform – from parole and probation reform to second chance hiring, sentencing reform, decriminalization of substance use and mental health disorders, and faith and community engagement. They also represent a big tent of organizations working across the political spectrum, urban and rural divides, and a myriad of constituents from businesses to formerly incarcerated people and survivors of crime.
“Our grantmaking approach takes the long view,” said Ana Zamora, Founder and CEO of The Just Trust. “It’s focused on building up a strong advocacy ecosystem that can withstand the natural ebbs and flows of politics and culture – one that is ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice because it has the sustained funding to do so.”
Oklahoma, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi were selected as the initial states for the campaign after a comprehensive, nationwide analysis – with external field advisors and consultants – of both need and opportunity around criminal justice reform. The analysis considered incarceration rates and populations, racial disparities, criminal justice trends, historic philanthropic investment, recent reform or rollback efforts, existing advocacy infrastructure, public and political will for reform, and many other factors. Groups were invited to apply for funding requests based on their needs. Grant amounts were not predetermined.
Oklahoma awardees include:
About The Criminal Justice Advisory Council: Founded in 2015, CJAC independently assesses Oklahoma County’s criminal justice system by analyzing the processes that lead to jail population, understanding how the decisions in the process are made, identifying the costs associated with processes and decisions, recommending priorities to responsibly reduce jail population with associated costs, and outlining long-term sustainability options. Visit OKcountyCJAC.com for more information. See the 2022 Fair Chance Employment Toolkit.
About The Just Trust: Founded in 2021, The Just Trust is a grantmaking initiative made up of The Just Trust (a 501(c)(3) project of the New Venture Fund) and The Just Trust for Action, a 501(c)(4). It is 100% dedicated to powering criminal justice reform across the country. Since its first grants in March 2022, The Just Trust’s funds have committed $46.7 million in grants at the state and national level across its portfolios. Visit TheJustTrust.org for more information.