Criminal Justice

LJAF’s Criminal Justice Initiative aims to advance community safety and the values of equity, fairness, effectiveness, and racial justice. In the coming years, we will explore opportunities to accelerate progress in five key policy domains: Policing, Pretrial Justice, Community Supervision, Prisons, and Reintegration. We work with teams of experts from inside and outside the criminal justice field to conduct research, build evidence, create tools for practitioners, and partner with local jurisdictions to pilot and test new policies and practices.

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LJAF’s investments in K-12 education seek to advance the portfolio model of school governance. This alternative structure separates school oversight from campus operations. It is based on policies that promote a decentralized administration and more school choice for families as well as increased flexibility and accountability for leaders and educators. We believe that schools and school systems that prioritize these principles can address systemic inequities and improve educational outcomes.

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Evidence-Based Policy

LJAF develops and supports initiatives that encourage governments and nonprofit organizations to help build the evidence base for social interventions and to consider reliable evidence as one of the primary factors in their decisions. The goal is to ensure that limited resources are spent wisely on programs that produce meaningful, lasting improvements in people’s lives. We promote new government and philanthropic funding models that emphasize the use of evidence, facilitate strategic partnerships to accelerate progress, and support efforts to expand access to privacy-protected data.

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Research Integrity

LJAF’s Research Integrity initiative aims to improve the reliability and validity of scientific research across fields that inform governmental policy, philanthropic endeavors, and individual decision making. When research is accurate, thorough, and accessible, it can have tremendously beneficial consequences for individuals and society. However, when research is flawed or hidden from public view, there is potential for great harm.

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The United States spends more on health care, as a percentage of its economy, than any other nation. However, this high spending does not produce better health outcomes. The Health Care team’s objective is to contain health care costs for families, businesses, and governments.

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Sustainable Public Finance

State and local governments are responsible for managing billions in taxpayer dollars each year, yet many do not adopt long-term, sustainable budgets. In some areas, this has led to structural deficits and fiscal crises. Policymakers are running out of money to pay for critical services that communities need today because they are paying off costs racked up decades ago. LJAF’s Sustainable Public Finance initiative works to promote fiscal sustainability and the effective oversight of public funds. We are funding efforts to help governments evaluate the impact of tax policies and design public pension systems that are affordable, sustainable, and secure.

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