The Pittsburgh Foundation

End Mass Incarceration Equity and Social Justice

1HOOD MEDIA works to build liberated communities through art, education and social justice.
1HOOD MEDIA works to build liberated communities through art, education and social justice.

According the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), since 1980, the federal prison population has increased by almost 790% and there are nearly two million people in jail and prison today, far outpacing population growth and crime. Locally, the Allegheny County Jail population grew a reported 70% over the prior two decades even as crime decreased, and racial disparities have been persistent. Black residents consistently comprise over 60% of the jail population despite making up just 13% of Allegheny County residents. Notably, roughly 80% of people in jail have not been convicted of a crime. Moreover, Black residents in the City of Pittsburgh were involved in 61% of use-of-force incidents in 2020 despite being just 22% of  the city's population. We also recognize that the perspectives and experiences of those most impacted by mass incarceration have often been excluded from systems-driven conversations about the criminal legal system.  However, true racial justice will not be achieved without their leadership. 

People most impacted by overincarceration, over-policing and police violence must be at the center of creating solutions to the problem of mass incarceration. Through our grantmaking, we seek to uplift and provide resources for systems-change efforts that are community-led -- especially work led by people who are Black, low-income, have a disability, are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated. 

Because this is an emergent area of work for our Foundation and because we believe that resources will be needed to imagine and test solutions that do not yet exist, we do not have additional eligibility criteria at this time. Our grantmaking in this area will be responsive for the next several years. Where appropriate, we will convene organizations that have received grants to understand the ecosystem of organizations working on this issue, share learnings and develop recommendations for future investments. 

Spring grant cycle Feb. 26, 2024 by 5 p.m.
(for funding decision by June 6.)
Fall grant cycle July 11, 2024 by 5 p.m.
(for funding decision by Oct 30.)

Grant Guidelines   How to apply

Michelle McMurray CONTACT: 
Michelle McMurray
Vice President, Program and Community Engagement
mcmurraym [at] (mcmurraym[at]pghfdn[dot]org)

Tika Good


Tika Good
Program Associate
goodc [at] (goodc[at]pghfdn[dot]org)

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