Supporting organizations fighting for racial justice
We’re committing an additional $12 million and 10,000 pro bono hours through the Google.org Fellowship to support organizations in the fight for racial justice. This commitment builds on $32 million and 15,000 pro bono hours we have directed since 2015 to support organizations focused on criminal justice reform.
Expanding quality data for a more equitable criminal justice system
People with the skills required to make complex datasets understandable and actionable can be difficult for nonprofits to employ or retain. To address these gaps, we connect Googlers that have a background in fields like engineering, design, or data science with frontline criminal justice organizations through the Google.org Fellowship.
Measuring bias in police behavior
The Center for Policing Equity (CPE) measures bias in policing. In 2017, 10 Google.org Fellows worked with CPE to help create a National Justice Database, the nation’s first database measuring statistics on police behavior, including stops and use of force. In 2020, a new cohort of 14 Google.org Fellows will support CPE as they scale the National Justice Database to bring transparency to even more police departments throughout the country.
Comparing criminal case performance by jurisdiction
Measures for Justice (MFJ) is digitizing and analyzing the performance of the U.S. criminal justice system. We gave MFJ $1.5 million in grants in 2016 to expand its work throughout the country and Google.org Fellows helped MFJ redesign their comparative performance data portal that measures how cases are being handled, from arrest to post-conviction, for counties nationwide. Access to this kind of comparative data has never been available before and is already being used by district attorneys and local leaders to inform policies and advance reform.
Making local jail population data accessible
Previously, the US did not have comprehensive data on how many people are currently in jail. We granted the Vera Institute of Justice $4 million in 2017 and a Google.org Fellowship to help develop the first real-time, publicly accessible local jail dataset in 2019. When COVID-19 infection rates began to rise in the US in 2020, states like Tennessee & Kentucky used Vera’s data to identify and release people who are held pre-trial. Since March 2020, there has been a 25% decrease in the total number of people in jail in the US.
Legal representation and advocacy
In addition to the long-term work of changing systems, we know it is important to support the individuals who are currently being impacted by an unfair and broken criminal justice system.
Creating policy solutions
We first supported the Leadership Conference Education Fund with a $2 million grant to fund their New Era of Public Safety report in 2017, which offers community-centered policy solutions to equip communities and police departments with recommendations and best practices in constitutional and community policing. We’ve recently dedicated another $1 million to help them scale their work to more communities.
Providing legal assistance
We’ve supported the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) since 2015 and their mission to end mass incarceration, and recently renewed our grant support as part of our $12 million commitment. In addition to providing legal assistance to individuals, EJI is working to deepen society’s shared understanding of history. In 2017, we funded EJI’s digital interactive experience, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, which visualizes data on racial violence and the personal stories behind it.