Google.org, a charitable division of Google is donating $11.5 million to 10 organizations studying racial justice, according to TechCrunch. Google officials hope the money will produce statistics regarding police behavior and criminal sentencing. Last year, it donated $3 million to several other organizations who are involved in the study of racial justice.
In light of the recent discussions regarding racial bias in the criminal justice system, Google is hoping the grant will make changes. “A little over half of the grant is focused on data science and getting transparency into the state of policing and the court system,” said Justin Steele, Google.org Principal in an interview with TechCrunch. The other half is entrepreneurs trying to introduce new models of reform in the criminal justice system.”
Google is working to find organizations that have original ideas likely to produce results. The Center for Policing Equity is receiving $5 million of the grant to continue its research on relationships between police forces and their communities. They specialize in, “understanding disparate impact and police use of force, evaluating immigration policy enforcement, achieving organizational equity, and examining juvenile justice.”
Last year, it conducted a study with the help of the Austin Police Department to measure fairness amongst its officers. The Center for Policing Equity has also been working to create the National Justice Database, which keeps track of the use of force by police officers as well as several other statistics.
The other half of the grant is going to organizations with unique approaches to the study of race and the justice system. The W. Haywood Burns Institute for Juvenile Justice Fairness & Equity, for example, works to improve relationships between youth and the justice system. It provides training for law enforcement, prosecutors, indigent defenders that will inform them of how to properly handle situations regarding race. It also offers a two-three year on-site Intensive Site Engagement program that studies data within a jurisdiction and tries to “divert youth from the justice system before they are ever processed.”
The other organizations receiving money include; Measure for Justice, Impact Justice, JustLeadershipUSA, Defy Ventures, Center for Employment Opportunities, Silicon Valley De-Bug, #cut50 and Code for America.
Google.org was founded in October 2005 with the intentions of using its platform to help fund programs and organizations that make a difference in the world. According to its website, it donates $100 million in grants, 200,000 hours of time and $1 billion in products every year.