We have agreed to a major partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts and GiveWell as part of our work on criminal justice reform. Good Ventures will provide $3 million to support and expand the work of Pew’s Public Safety Performance Project (PSPP), which aims “to advance data-driven, fiscally sound policies and practices in the criminal and juvenile justice systems that protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and control corrections costs” through technical assistance to states, research and public education, and promotion of nontraditional alliances and collaboration around smart criminal justice policies.
We see this partnership as an important step on multiple fronts:
- Criminal justice reform is a current focus area for us, and PSPP appears to be one of the most prominent and effective organizations working toward change on this front. Funding and following its work represents an opportunity for both impact and learning.
- We are also interested in developing a relationship with Pew as a whole. We believe Pew will be a valuable resource as we continue to explore policy-oriented philanthropy. Based on conversations with Pew representatives, we see supporting PSPP as one of the best ways to support Pew as a whole.
- Finally, the process of establishing this partnership has itself been a valuable learning opportunity. With PSPP’s help, we have conducted a brief review of PSPP’s track record, which was our first attempt to assess the track record of a U.S.-policy-focused organization and taught us a fair amount about the criminal justice reform space. We have also dealt with new challenges around how to balance our goal of transparency with the goal of having maximal impact; when working on policy, there can be particular tension between these, and we have established an agreement regarding public discussion of PSPP that may serve as a guide to future grant agreements.
- GiveWell: Report on PSPP
- Good Ventures Blog: Partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts
- GiveWell: Report on Criminal Justice Reform
- GiveWell: Summary of a Conversation with Grant Tennille
- GiveWell: Summary of a Conversation with Jay Neal
- GiveWell: Summary of a Conversation with Adam Gelb
- (Update) Summary of a Conversation with the Pew Charitable Trusts (February 2015)