Philadelphia's participation in the MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge (SJC) seeks to advance racial equity in the criminal justice system through collaborative reforms that will safely reduce the local jail population by 58 percent in seven years (from 2015–2022).
Philadelphia’s reform plan includes seven main strategies, each of which includes multiple new initiatives (39 initiatives total):
- Reduce the number of people incarcerated pretrial.
- Create efficiencies in case processing that reduce length of stay.
- Reduce the number of people held in jail on a probation detainer.
- Reduce racial and ethnic disparities across the criminal justice system.
- Reduce the number of people in jail with mental illness.
- Increase cross-system data capacity.
- Foster meaningful community engagement.
Funding for the reform effort is provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. On February 9, 2021, the Foundation announced a $2.275 million grant to the City of Philadelphia. This new grant follows previous grants for $3.5 million in 2016 and $4 million in 2018. The new award will provide continued fiscal support that is critical for Philadelphia's efforts to advance safety and racial equity while reducing the local jail population.
To learn more about the strategies for reform, see the reform plan details.