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We will support strategies to reorient the justice system in ways that minimize barriers to successful reintegration — for those involved in and impacted by crime.

As a society, we pay little attention to helping people who have been harmed by crime get back on track. We also place such significant obstacles in the way of people with convictions that it can be nearly impossible for them to find jobs, housing, and fully participate in civic life. And we barely recognize that others impacted by criminal behavior, such as children who witness violence, have also suffered.

We're supporting efforts to redesign our justice system in ways that not only provide a path to opportunity for those in the justice system, but also help communities and those harmed by crime heal and flourish. To that end, we aim to remove policy barriers to reintegration — such as housing, voting, and job restrictions, as well as excessive fines and fees — for people who have served their time and made amends, so they can access and fully contribute to society. We’re making significant investments in reforming fines and fees that punish poverty. In the future, we’ll work to remove the barriers that victims face and connect them with resources they need to be made whole.

Image: Courtesy of Phoebe Jones and The Fortune Society

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Number of Americans who have a criminal record, often for minor crimes
Amount of economic loss due to barriers to employment
Rate of unemployment for people who were formerly incarcerated, worse than unemployment during the Great Depression
Number of restrictions on jobs, housing, voting, education, and other rights for formerly incarcerated people


Arnold Ventures funds projects to understand problems and identify policy solutions.

Map of the U.S. made of Arnold Ventures icons