There is generally a lack of data in the criminal justice system. At the national level, for example, there is very little data about police behavior and criminal sentencing. That’s why Google.org is re-upping its commitment to racial justice through its $11.5 million in new grant money to ten racial justice organizations. This comes after Google.org awarded $3 million to organizations working to advance racial justice last year.
In determining to which organizations to provide grant money, Google.org was looking for ones with an “explicit focus on trying to reduce racial disparity in the criminal justice system,” Google.org Principal Justin Steele told TechCrunch. Once Google.org identified those types of organizations, the next step was to determine which ones were most innovative and implemented out-of-the-box techniques and solutions.
“A little over half of the grant is focused on data science and getting transparency into the state of policing and the court system,” Steele said. “The other half is entrepreneurs trying to introduce new models of reform in the criminal justice system.”
The largest grant is going to the Center for Policing Equity, which will receive $5 million to advance its work with police agencies and communities. Other grant recipients are Measures for Justice, a web platform to shed light on how local justice systems operate, the W. Haywood Burns Institute, Impact Justice, JustLeadershipUSA, Defy Ventures, Center for Employment Opportunities, Silicon Valley De-Bug, #cut50 and Code for America.
“The biggest piece of this is the big hook around data science and knowledge generation,” Steele said. “And trying to get rid of racial bias in the criminal justice system.”