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March 19, 2019 | Featured, News

Arnold Ventures’ new community of practice seeks to accelerate pretrial research and reform

 New York, New York – Today, Arnold Ventures announced the launch of a new grant-funded community dedicated to reducing unjust and unnecessary pretrial detention. As an Arnold Ventures grantee, the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG) will join the National Partnership for Pretrial Justice (www.pretrialpartnership.org), a group of more than two dozen research, technical assistance, policy, and advocacy organizations that will work to advance pretrial justice nationally and in more than 35 states across the country.

Arnold Ventures supports ISLG in a Data and Transparency Initiative with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office (DA). As part of the National Partnership, the work and learnings of the project will be shared with other organizations seeking pretrial justice to more directly inform scholarship, practice, and policy.

“We are grateful for Arnold Ventures’ support in this important initiative,” said Michael Jacobson, ISLG’s Executive Director. “Data-driven decision-making is a cornerstone of DA Gonzalez’s Justice 2020, and this initiative will help the Office build a sustainable foundation for monitoring and evaluating progress on these and other key reforms.”

The Data and Transparency Initiative aims to help the Brooklyn DA’s Office advance a culture of data-driven decision-making and accountability through a number of activities, including a study of factors that drive outcomes at key decision points. To lay a foundation for this study, as well as other monitoring  and evaluation efforts related to Justice 2020, ISLG began with a comprehensive diagnostic of existing data and analytical capacity, and is currently working with the Office to implement recommendations for improving upon it.

“Our pretrial justice system is fundamentally broken.  Presumption of innocence is a core American value and yet thousands of people are unjustly held in jails across the country simply because they can’t afford to pay bail,” said James Cadogan, Vice President of Criminal Justice at Arnold Ventures. “This problem was not created in isolation and it cannot be solved that way either. We hope that by supporting a diverse group of leading criminal justice reform researchers, practitioners, thinkers, and institutions, we’re able to disrupt the status quo and achieve our goal of eliminating unnecessary and unjust pretrial detention.”

The ISLG  team is excited to work alongside other National Partnership for Pretrial Justice members committed to reforming and advancing pretrial justice across the country. For a complete list of members and more details about the National Partnership, please visit www.pretrialpartnership.org.

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About the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance

The Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG) is a nonpartisan research and policy institute within the City University of New York (CUNY). The Institute’s mission is to work with government and non-government organizations to improve systems to produce better results worthy of public investment and trust. We aim to advance data-driven approaches that influence policy and operations and that support work in diverse communities. In short, we help government—and organizations connected to it—do better. We focus on working with cities and states because they are ideal laboratories for developing new approaches to longstanding social problems, and are ripe with opportunities and momentum for real, sustainable change. For more information, please visit islg.cuny.edu.

 About Arnold Ventures

Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. Founded by Laura and John Arnold in 2010, Arnold Ventures’ core mission is to improve lives by investing in evidence-based solutions that maximize opportunity and minimize injustice. More information about Arnold Venture’s work is available at www.arnoldventures.org.