Dignity and Power Now — JusticeLA Campaign

Dignity and Power Now
Award Date:
To support the JusticeLA campaign.

The Open Philanthropy Project recommended a grant of $500,000 to Dignity and Power Now to support its work on the JusticeLA campaign. The campaign is a coalition of organizations opposed to the planned construction of two new jail facilities in Los Angeles county, which currently contains the largest jail system in the country, with an average daily inmate population of approximately 17,000.{footnote_1} JusticeLA estimates that the jail plan as put forward by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors will cost $3.4 billion and exacerbate harms caused by overincarceration. The campaign therefore intends to build public opposition to the jail plan, and has called for a moratorium on all new jail construction and expansion until more independent reviews have been conducted on voter priorities, the impact of current criminal justice reforms on jail populations, and alternatives to incarceration.

Dignity and Power Now is a co-founding organization of the JusticeLA campaign, and its founder, Patrisse Cullors, is a co-chair of the campaign. Open Philanthropy previously supported Dignity and Power Now with a grant recommendation in June 2017, which funded a convening of community stakeholders opposed to the L.A. jail plan. As a result of this convening, numerous community groups decided to re-launch and expand the JusticeLA campaign. Dignity and Power Now will allocate funds in accordance with the executive committee’s campaign plan, which includes using funding for hiring lead staff and organizers, hosting meetings, and providing re-grants to other JusticeLA organizations.

Open Philanthropy's Program Officer for Criminal Justice Reform, Chloe Cockburn, is excited to support this project due to the potential decarceration impact, as well as the opportunity to increase both the quality and level of community leadership on criminal justice reform issues in Los Angeles. Open Philanthropy's rationale for funding this campaign is similar in many ways to the #CLOSERikers campaign in New York City, which it haswritten about in more detail on this page.

This grant falls within Open Philanthropy's work on criminal justice reform.

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