COVID-19 Criminal Justice Fund

Help release incarcerated people and protect vulnerable communities who must stay or work in detention centers from the heightened threat of coronavirus infection.

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About us

The Goodnation Covid-19 Criminal Justice Fund was created with advising from a set of criminal justice focused donor advisors, including Chloe Cockburn (Open Philanthropy), Billy Watterson (Galaxy Gives), Zoe Towns (Fwd.us), Angie Junck, and Ana Zamora (Chan Zuckerberg Initiative). Between them they have significant years of criminal justice reform grantmaking experience.

We developed this fund to support excellent organizations, doing lifesaving work at this moment, and to share guidance with funders looking to make a real difference in this extremely dangerous time, where many lives are at stake and government actors are already struggling to respond.

The need

COVID-19 threatens to overwhelm numerous systems at once, nationwide. Existing systems to care for the most vulnerable are fractured. Moreover, many of the most vulnerable people in the country are currently being held in unsafe conditions in jails, prisons, and detention centers.

With half the population of every prison system being released every year, and jails on an even quicker churn, plus staff moving inside these facilities and then going back to their communities, there is a huge risk of an uncontrolled outbreak, both inside facilities and outside.

Since no other country is as incarcerated as the United States, no other country faces such a massive risk of the spread of disease through its prison and jail systems. This is a massive public health and humanitarian crisis on the brink of exploding.

This demands immediate action to decarcerate our prisons and jails now before the COVID-19 epidemic spreads throughout the population with deadly consequences for incarcerated people and our communities. Hopefully in the long term this will also lead us to consider fairer and more just policies that make this reduction in unnecessary incarceration permanent.

How you can help

Your support of the COVID-19 Criminal Justice Fund will enable high-impact nonprofits advocating for and providing critical services to incarcerated people at risk of COVID-19. Below are examples of the great organizations we will support with your help, including:


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The North Carolina Justice Center
North Carolina
The North Carolina Justice Center is one of the key leaders in the state advancing criminal justice reform. They work in close partnership with Forward Justice and Community Success Initiative to run the North Carolina Second Chances Alliance which organizes formerly incarcerated people in the state to advocate for criminal justice reform.
Support Fund
The West Virginia Council of Churches
West Virginia
The West Virginia Council of Churches works to bridge community reentry efforts around the state to the Capitol by first helping people coming out of prison by connecting them to services in their local communities and then enrolling them and local service providers into the policy arena.
Support Fund
ACLU of Kentucky
Kentucky
The ACLU of Kentucky is a member of the Kentucky Smart on Crime Coalition, a coalition of well-established Kentucky business, economic, faith-based and civil rights organizations working for common sense justice reforms that enhance public safety, strengthen communities and promote cost effective sentencing alternatives. In the coalition, the ACLU of KY leads the work to ensure the voices of directly impacted people are at the table.
Support Fund
Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform
Oklahoma
Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform is a bipartisan organization representing faith leaders, business leaders, treatment providers, legal service providers, educators and Oklahomans impacted by incarceration. The coalition’s diverse range of campaigns have been associated with a more than 10% decrease in the prison population in just 4 years. Since COVID 19 has started to spread in prisons and jails, OCJR has continued its commutation advocacy securing a new round of several hundred commutations that were signed in April 2020.
Support Fund
People's Advocacy Institute
National
The People's Advocacy Institute is a community resources and training center in Jackson, Mississippi that organizes the communities hardest hit by violence and incarceration to advocate for immediate reform to relieve Mississippi's dangerously high prison population which was already breaking its own high records for in-custody deaths before COVID19 started to spread. Now, PAI is increasing the volume of demands for commutation and parole through online organizing while it works to provide direct relief to people who are incarcerated and their families through bail funds and food assistance drives.
Support Fund
Fair and Just Prosecution
National
Fair and Just Prosecution (FJP) brings together newly-elected local prosecutors as part of a network of leaders committed to promoting a justice system grounded in fairness, equity, compassion, and fiscal responsibility. In response to COVID-19, FJP has been working furiously to equip its prosecutors to push the public conversation towards more release by publishing white papers, videos, testimony and similar materials, plus facilitating behind the scenes conversations about what is possible and necessary in this time.
Support Fund
FAMM
National
FAMM is a national organization representing families with loved ones serving very long sentences in federal prisons, has a long track record of successful policy work at the federal level and a few states. FAMM is currently on the verge of securing the release of hundreds of prisoners in the DC area in response to COVID-19 and will be hiring a social worker to advise attorneys on release plans.
Support Fund
Amistad Law Project
Pennsylvania
Amistad Law Project consists of attorneys, activists, and organizers who are prison abolitionists; they view the prison industrial complex as directly related to the massive divestment from our communities of the things that make them safe and strong. They are advocating themselves, and also training their base in new forms of mobilization and organizing them into an online rapid response network, to push on decision makers for the release of prisoners.
Support Fund
A New Way of Life Reentry Project
California
A New Way of Life’s mission is to advance multi-dimensional solutions to the effects of incarceration by providing housing and support for formerly incarcerated women for successful community reentry, family reunification, and individual healing, and working to restore the civil rights of formerly incarcerated people. As women are released from jail in response to pressure to decrease incarcerated populations during the coronavirus pandemic, they will need reentry supports.
Support Fund
Community Justice Exchange
National
The Community Justice Exchange is a national hub for developing, sharing, and experimenting with tactical interventions, strategic organizing practices, and innovative organizing tools to end mass incarceration. In response to the danger that COVID-19 poses to incarcerated populations, their network of community bail funds is in the process of spending out all current bail/bond corpus assets as part of pressure towards mass release.
Support Fund
National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls
National
The National Council is a network of formerly and currently incarcerated women and girls committed to reimagining communities. Jails and prisons are overcrowded, unsanitary, and have limited access to basic resources and medical care. People inside are at great risk of contracting coronavirus. They have built a list of incarcerated women in federal and state prisons who they can partner with by sending funds to their commissary accounts to purchase lifesaving soap, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene items, which can then be distributed.
Support Fund
JusticeLA
Greater Los Angeles Area
In partnership with grassroots organizations, advocates, directly impacted communities, and stakeholders, JusticeLA works to reduce the footprint of incarceration by stopping jail expansion and reclaiming, reimagining and reinvesting dollars away from incarceration and into community-based systems of care. In response to COVID-19, JusticeLA is advocating for a reduction in prison overcrowding through early releases and limited arrests, and better conditions for those in custody.
Support Fund

A New Way of Life Reentry Project

California
A New Way of Life’s mission is to advance multi-dimensional solutions to the effects of incarceration by providing housing and support for formerly incarcerated women for successful community reentry, family reunification, and individual healing, and working to restore the civil rights of formerly incarcerated people. As women are released from jail in response to pressure to decrease incarcerated populations during the coronavirus pandemic, they will need reentry supports.
Criminal Justice

ACLU of Kentucky

Kentucky
The ACLU of Kentucky is a member of the Kentucky Smart on Crime Coalition, a coalition of well-established Kentucky business, economic, faith-based and civil rights organizations working for common sense justice reforms that enhance public safety, strengthen communities and promote cost effective sentencing alternatives. In the coalition, the ACLU of KY leads the work to ensure the voices of directly impacted people are at the table.

Amistad Law Project

Pennsylvania
Amistad Law Project consists of attorneys, activists, and organizers who are prison abolitionists; they view the prison industrial complex as directly related to the massive divestment from our communities of the things that make them safe and strong. They are advocating themselves, and also training their base in new forms of mobilization and organizing them into an online rapid response network, to push on decision makers for the release of prisoners.
Criminal Justice

Color of Change

National
Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. Their website hosts social justice campaigns, which currently include COVID-19 response initiatives such as local campaigns for prosecutors to take immediate mitigation steps to reduce jail populations in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Prince George County, Maryland; and a campaign pressuring New York State to stop using prison labor to make hand sanitizer at unfair wages in unsafe conditions.
Criminal Justice

Community Justice Exchange

National
The Community Justice Exchange is a national hub for developing, sharing, and experimenting with tactical interventions, strategic organizing practices, and innovative organizing tools to end mass incarceration. In response to the danger that COVID-19 poses to incarcerated populations, their network of community bail funds is in the process of spending out all current bail/bond corpus assets as part of pressure towards mass release.
Criminal Justice

FAMM

National
FAMM is a national organization representing families with loved ones serving very long sentences in federal prisons, has a long track record of successful policy work at the federal level and a few states. FAMM is currently on the verge of securing the release of hundreds of prisoners in the DC area in response to COVID-19 and will be hiring a social worker to advise attorneys on release plans.
Criminal Justice

Fair and Just Prosecution

National
Fair and Just Prosecution (FJP) brings together newly-elected local prosecutors as part of a network of leaders committed to promoting a justice system grounded in fairness, equity, compassion, and fiscal responsibility. In response to COVID-19, FJP has been working furiously to equip its prosecutors to push the public conversation towards more release by publishing white papers, videos, testimony and similar materials, plus facilitating behind the scenes conversations about what is possible and necessary in this time.
Criminal Justice

JusticeLA

Greater Los Angeles Area
In partnership with grassroots organizations, advocates, directly impacted communities, and stakeholders, JusticeLA works to reduce the footprint of incarceration by stopping jail expansion and reclaiming, reimagining and reinvesting dollars away from incarceration and into community-based systems of care. In response to COVID-19, JusticeLA is advocating for a reduction in prison overcrowding through early releases and limited arrests, and better conditions for those in custody.
Criminal Justice

National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls

National
The National Council is a network of formerly and currently incarcerated women and girls committed to reimagining communities. Jails and prisons are overcrowded, unsanitary, and have limited access to basic resources and medical care. People inside are at great risk of contracting coronavirus. They have built a list of incarcerated women in federal and state prisons who they can partner with by sending funds to their commissary accounts to purchase lifesaving soap, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene items, which can then be distributed.
Criminal Justice

Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform

Oklahoma
Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform is a bipartisan organization representing faith leaders, business leaders, treatment providers, legal service providers, educators and Oklahomans impacted by incarceration. The coalition’s diverse range of campaigns have been associated with a more than 10% decrease in the prison population in just 4 years. Since COVID 19 has started to spread in prisons and jails, OCJR has continued its commutation advocacy securing a new round of several hundred commutations that were signed in April 2020.

People's Advocacy Institute

National
The People's Advocacy Institute is a community resources and training center in Jackson, Mississippi that organizes the communities hardest hit by violence and incarceration to advocate for immediate reform to relieve Mississippi's dangerously high prison population which was already breaking its own high records for in-custody deaths before COVID19 started to spread. Now, PAI is increasing the volume of demands for commutation and parole through online organizing while it works to provide direct relief to people who are incarcerated and their families through bail funds and food assistance drives.

Prison Policy Initiative

National
The non-profit, non-partisan Prison Policy Initiative produces cutting edge research to expose the broader harm of mass criminalization, and then sparks advocacy campaigns to create a more just society. In response to COVID-19, they are push-polling state Departments of Correction about their medical co-pay policies that discourage people from seeking medical treatment, which has resulted in policy change in two states already.
Criminal Justice

Promise of Justice Initiative

Louisiana
The Promise of Justice Initiative is a Louisiana based nonprofit organization that makes positive change in the criminal justice system that is grounded and informed by impacted communities. They are advocating on behalf of the incarcerated population of Louisiana and sharing recommendations with the state government and Department of Corrections for keeping detention centers safe.
Criminal Justice

RAPP

Greater New York Area
Release Aging People in Prison/RAPP works to end mass incarceration and promote racial justice through the release from prison of older and aging people and those serving long and life sentences. In response to COVID-19, they are advocating to Governor Cuomo and the state legislature to take immediate action in support of incarcerated people and their families by granting clemencies to vulnerable people in prison, including older and sick incarcerated people.
Criminal Justice

The Justice Collaborative

National
The Justice Collaborative is a team of legal experts, researchers, journalists, and media strategists supplying expertise to people and organizations working to advance a common goal of ending the dehumanization that has criminalized extreme vulnerability and created an incarceration crisis. In order to prevent the rapid growth of COVID-19 from claiming lives of those incarcerated in secure facilities and the people who work in them, TJC is sharing information with decision makers about how to prevent and contain the spread of the virus.
Criminal Justice

The North Carolina Justice Center

North Carolina
The North Carolina Justice Center is one of the key leaders in the state advancing criminal justice reform. They work in close partnership with Forward Justice and Community Success Initiative to run the North Carolina Second Chances Alliance which organizes formerly incarcerated people in the state to advocate for criminal justice reform.

The West Virginia Council of Churches

West Virginia
The West Virginia Council of Churches works to bridge community reentry efforts around the state to the Capitol by first helping people coming out of prison by connecting them to services in their local communities and then enrolling them and local service providers into the policy arena.

VOCAL-NY

Greater New York Area
Voices Of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY) is a statewide grassroots membership organization that builds power among low-income people affected by HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, the drug war, homelessness, and mass incarceration in order to create healthy and just communities. VOCAL-NY is pivoting to digital organizing and outreach in light of COVID-19, which requires an investment in new mobilization and communication tools.
Criminal Justice
Santa Rosa Community Health
Sonoma County
SRCH serves our diverse community by providing excellent, culturally responsive, comprehensive primary care that is accessible to all people.
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Health
Community Services
Daily Acts
Sonoma County
We transform our local communities through inspired actions and education on food and sustainability, building leadership, and local self-reliance.
Learn MoreSupport Fund
Environment
Community Services
The Center for Mind Body Medicine
Sonoma County
The Center for Mind-Body Medicine creates communities of hope and healing. We have the world’s largest, most effective evidence-based program for healing population-wide psychological trauma and stress.
Learn MoreSupport Fund
Community Services
Health
California Community Foundation
Northern California
The California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund supports intermediate and long-term recovery efforts for major California wildfires, as well as preparedness efforts.
Learn MoreSupport Fund
Community Services
Health
North Valley Community Foundation
Butte County
Our Camp Fire Relief Fund is focused on long-term healing and rebuilding, working directly with Camp Fire survivors, often in the form of direct assistance.
Learn MoreSupport Fund
Community Services
Health
Community Foundation Sonoma County
Sonoma County
Our Sonoma County Resilience Fund is addressing our community’s mid- to long-term recovery needs. We're helping individuals impacted by the fires, healing the long-term effects of trauma, and providing housing solutions for our community.
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Community Services
Homelessness and Housing
UndocuFund
Northern California
The Fund seeks to support undocumented children, families, and communities affected by the fires in Sonoma County to recover and rebuild.
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Disaster Relief
Immigrants & Refugees
California Fire Foundation
San Francisco Bay Area
The California Fire Foundation provides emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters, firefighters and the communities they protect.
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Veterans and First Responders
Disaster Relief
La Luz Center
San Francisco Bay Area
La Luz Center strengthens community through family services, economic advancement and community engagement.
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Community Services
Economic Opportunity

How we invest

Goodnation ensures all donations to the Fund are 100% tax deductible. Funding will be allocated in proportion to the amount that funders contribute and with smaller groups prioritized first, for whom smaller grants make a big difference.

Building on the foundation of our history of aligned funding together, we are rapidly moving resources to groups on the ground that we know have the local relationships, credibility, and expertise necessary to respond to this crisis and, at the same time, move forward the urgent cause of decarceration. Many of our grantees are formerly incarcerated leaders, which is a shared priority in our grantmaking.

For COVID relief, we are looking for groups that:

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About Galaxy Gives

Galaxy Gives invests in non-profits, mission driven companies, and media to take down barriers created by structural poverty, oppression, and racism and to maximize opportunity and human flourishing for all.

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