Criminal justice reform is the set of interventions aimed at improving the criminal justice system in a variety of ways. Most effective altruism work in this area is focused on the United States, but posts about other areas of the world are also welcome.
Crime can be costly to society, and incarceration can also be costly: to the government that funds prisons, and to the individuals whose freedoms are curtailed. Criminal justice reform focuses on improving the criminal justice and prison systems to reduce these imprisonment costs.
Criminal justice reform is particularly promising in the United States. It is also unusually tractable, due to the adverse US fiscal situation and the confluence of liberal and conservative interest in this area. For these reasons, Open Philanthropy considers criminal justice reform a promising intervention, and has funded several charities working in this space.
Open Philanthropy (2014) Criminal justice reform, Open Philanthropy, May 12.
Sempere, Nuño (2022) A critical review of Open Philanthropy’s bet on criminal justice reform, Effective Altruism Forum, June 16.
Open Philanthropy (2016) Criminal justice reform, Open Philanthropy.