Good Ventures awarded a grant of $100,000 over one year to the Florida State University Project on Accountable Justice, via the Florida State University Foundation. This grant is part of the Open Philanthropy Project’s ongoing exploration of criminal justice reform as a potential focus area.
The Florida State University Project on Accountable Justice (PAJ) aims to "advance public safety through evidence-based practices and policies in Florida and beyond."
PAJ was recommended to us by Steve Teles, a political science professor at Johns Hopkins who has written about the philanthropic origins of the conservative legal movement and has been working with us as a consultant. Early in our explorations of criminal justice reform, we were looking for giving opportunities, and Professor Teles interviewed PAJ and recommended that we fund them. This grant is based largely on Professor Teles' recommendation.
The basic reasoning for this grant is that PAJ has a strong and well-connected leader, which makes the organization well positioned to promote criminal justice reform in Florida, which represents nearly 7 percent of the total U.S. prison population. PAJ’s chairman, Allison DeFoor, has played many roles inside and outside of the Florida criminal justice system, and according to Steve Teles, DeFoor is well-positioned to make progress on this issue. Additionally, PAJ has limited funding from other sources: their 2015 fiscal year revenue, excluding this grant, is projected at $122,300.