Taylor Walker, Witness LA, May 17, 2019
On Wednesday, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, through its Arnold Ventures company, announced $17 million in funding to further reduce the nation’s 1.5 million-person prison population, as well as to boost prison data collection and research, to “reorient prison cultures,” to improve prison conditions for those inside, and to improve reentry services for people exiting the prison system.
In the United States, where nearly 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated people are held, one in two adults has experienced the incarceration of an immediate family member.
The nation’s sprawling prison system is one of the most unaccountable, most understudied, and least understood institutions in the nation, according to Arnold Ventures–problems that must be addressed in order to continue the national reform movement with expediency and efficiency.
“We have a moral, political, and fiscal responsibility to fundamentally change our country’s approach to incarceration,” said Jeremy Travis, Executive Vice President of Criminal Justice at Arnold Ventures. “Thanks to significant efforts over decades by advocates, researchers, and practitioners, systematic change has never felt more within reach.”