- Promoting just and effective sentencing practices
- Combating the criminalization of marginalized populations, eg. people with mental illness, homeless individuals, young people
- Ending the prosecution, sentencing and incarceration of children as adults
- Promoting new approaches to drug policy
- Reducing unnecessary pretrial detention
Fellows receive funding through the following two categories:
- Advocacy Fellowships
Advocacy Fellowships fund outstanding individuals—including lawyers, advocates, grassroots organizers, activist academics, and others with important perspectives—to initiate innovative policy advocacy projects at the local, state, and national levels that will have a measurable impact on one or more of the Open Society Foundations’ U.S. criminal justice priorities. Projects may range from litigation to public education to coalition-building to grassroots mobilization to policy-driven research. Advocacy Fellowships are 18 months in duration, may be implemented in conjunction with a host organization, and fellows are expected to make their projects their full-time work during the term of the fellowship. Projects can begin in the spring or fall of 2013.
- Media Fellowships
Media Fellowships support writers, print and broadcast journalists, bloggers, filmmakers, and other individuals with distinct voices proposing to complete media projects for local, regional and national markets that engage the public and spur debate on one or more of the Open Society Foundations’ U.S. criminal justice priorities. The fellowships aim to mitigate the time, space, and market constraints that often discourage individuals from pursuing important but marginalized, controversial or unpopular issues in a comprehensive manner. Media Fellowships are 12 months in duration, and fellows are expected to make their projects their full-time work during the term of the fellowship. Projects can begin in either the spring or fall of 2013.