PROJECTCatalyst Grant Program

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  • The Catalyst Team

  • The Urban Institute and the Microsoft Justice Reform Initiative are collaborating on the Catalyst Grant Program to provide organizations funding and technical assistance for local projects to use data and technology to advance racial equity and reform in the adult criminal legal system.

    To receive announcements about future rounds of the Catalyst Grant Program and similar funding opportunities from other funders, please sign up through this form.

    The Problem

    Racism and racial biases are deeply embedded in the criminal legal system, leading to disproportionate harm to communities of color. People of color, particularly Black people, experience arrests and vehicle and pedestrian stops at higher rates than white people. Moreover, Black people are detained at higher rates than white people and incarcerated for longer periods. Even brief stays in prison or jail can result in lost employment and housing, burdensome fines and fees, and destabilized family relationships. Legal system involvement exacerbates existing challenges for many people of color and contributes to a compounding cycle that criminalizes them.

    Our Effort

    The Catalyst Grant Program supports local organizations across the country in using data and technology to inform and improve policies and practices that advance racial equity in prevention, policing, and prosecution. Each organization receives funds to cover project costs, project implementation assistance from Urban, peer learning opportunities, and access to Microsoft technology and related support.

    Read about lessons from grantees' experiences in the Catalyst Grant Program Insights collection.

    The map below shows grantee locations. To find out more about these local organizations, use the site navigation to explore the cohorts for each year:

    Research Areas Crime, justice, and safety Neighborhoods, cities, and metros
    Cities Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Birmingham-Hoover, AL Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Champaign-Urbana, IL Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Flagstaff, AZ Harrisonburg, VA Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN Lansing-East Lansing, MI Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Madison, WI Memphis, TN-MS-AR Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI New Orleans-Metairie, LA New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Pittsburgh, PA Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, CA San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA Trenton-Princeton, NJ Tucson, AZ Tulsa, OK San Juan-Bayamón-Caguas, PR
    Tags Alternatives to incarceration Black/African American communities Community data use Community engagement Community public safety investment Courts and sentencing Crime and justice analytics Data and technology capacity of nonprofits Gun violence Human trafficking Latinx communities Mass incarceration Native populations Policing and community safety Race and equity in grantmaking Race, gender, class, and ethnicity Racial and ethnic disparities in criminal justice Structural racism in research, data, and technology Victims of crime Women and girls
    Policy Centers Justice Policy Center Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center