Public Welfare Announces New Strategic Framework

Deepening Focus on A Transformative Approach to Justice

Press Release – WASHINGTON DC – Public Welfare Foundation today announced that its new strategic framework will concentrate on catalyzing a transformative approach to justice through investments in organizations advancing criminal justice and youth justice reforms.

For more than 70 years, Public Welfare Foundation has adapted to meet the challenges of changing times. With over 2.3 million people sitting in our nation’s jails and prisons and another 18 million with prior felony convictions, it is time to boldly reimagine our nation’s approach to criminal justice.

“The pervasive reach of our criminal justice system is creating an ever-growing community of system-impacted people, yet effective supports to facilitate their return home remain woefully inadequate,” Public Welfare President and CEO Candice Jones said. “Focusing Public Welfare Foundation’s work to catalyze an approach to justice that is community-led, restorative, and racially-just is a moral imperative that breathes life into our mission.”

As Public Welfare deepens its focus on youth and criminal justice issues, the organization is renewing its commitment to fund innovative solutions earlier in their life cycle. The Foundation will operationalize its investments in target locations, starting in Washington DC, working with communities to drive transformation from multiple angles including policy advocacy, organizing, leadership development, and demonstration projects.

“Focusing our efforts on criminal justice and youth justice reforms will allow Public Welfare to achieve greater impact in the overhaul of the systems that were created to marginalize and contain our nation’s most vulnerable populations,” Jones said. “Leaders exist in the very neighborhoods that we relegate for being riddled with crime and violence.

The Foundation’s current program areas of Workers’ Rights, Criminal Justice and Youth Justice were selected more than a decade ago, and its time-bound Civil Legal Aid special initiative was launched in 2011. As the Foundation moves to deepen its focus on criminal and youth justice, it will transition out of the fields of Workers’ Rights and Civil Legal Aid. The Foundation’s investment in both of these areas has realized strong returns. Public Welfare is proud to have been a part of this important work and is working with grantees and partners to judiciously wind-down these portfolios of work.

Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to advance justice and opportunity for people in need. These efforts honor the Foundation’s core values of racial equity, economic well-being and fundamental fairness for all. The Foundation looks for strategic points where its funds can make a significant difference and improve lives. In its 70-year history, the Foundation has distributed more than $570 million in grants to more than 4,800 organizations.

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