LatinoJustice PRLDEF Announces $1M Grant from Google, and the Formation of a New Justice Reform Collaborative that Will Galvanize Latinos Around the Broken Criminal Justice System


Contact: John Garcia, Director of Communications, 212-739-7513, 917-673-9095 or

NEW YORK – LatinoJustice PRLDEF, with the support of several foundations, will create a Justice Reform Collaborative (find more information about the collaborative here) that seeks to transform public will around criminal justice, policing, and drug policy reform by changing the black/white binary to include the voices of the Latinx community and its leaders. It is the first center in the country dedicated solely to the Latinx community and the broken criminal justice system that focuses on litigation, community engagement, advocacy and policy reform.

Today, has announced that it will support this effort with a $1 million dollar grant, which is the largest single grant to an organization focused on criminal justice reform to the Latinx community. has been committed to racial and criminal justice organizations since they first announced their Racial Justice portfolio in November 2015 and to date they have supported organizations working in this space with nearly $20M in funding.

Maab Ibrahim, Program Manager at shared, “Through’s criminal justice data science grants and skills-based volunteering projects, we have learned how underreported Latinxs are throughout the justice system. We believe that LatinoJustice’s efforts to expand the black/white criminal justice binary are critical steps in reducing the mass incarceration of Latinx communities.”

The grant to LatinoJustice PRLDEF joins Open Philanthropy, the Public Welfare Foundation, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Open Society Foundations, the Hagedorn Foundation, and the Long Island Community Foundation, which have all previously contributed funds to the efforts that will now be consolidated in this Collaborative. The Collaborative will be housed out of LatinoJustice’s headquarters in New York City. The work of the Collaborative is national, extending to our Southeast Regional Office in Orlando, our Satellite Office in Long Island and beyond.

The Collaborative will bring together activists, lawyers, researchers, organizers and those people impacted by the broken criminal justice system.

Among the many goals of the multi-disciplinary center are to support efforts to reduce mass incarceration of Latinx communities via restorative justice policies; change the narrative around criminal justice reform; eliminate the Latino data gap; promote policies to end employment discrimination, and convene national leaders, activists and criminal justice stakeholders to strategically focus on federal and state-based reforms.

Juan Cartagena, LatinoJustice PRLDEF’s President and General Counsel, will oversee the center during its initial formation. “We are thrilled that has joined our philanthropic partners who recognize that there is an urgent need to galvanize Latino leaders, activists, academics and stakeholders in the justice system to acknowledge the intersection of Latinx communities with policing, drug policy and criminal justice reform,” said Cartagena. “The reasons for Latin invisibility in the debate are multilayered but at the core is an overall black-white binary that limits the criminal justice dialogue. Our Justice Reform Collaborative will ensure that we rise to this challenge.”

Eunisses Hernandez , a Policy Coordinator with the Drug Policy Alliance based in California, is a leader in the effort to change the narrative and policies around the justice reform system. She will join a national group that will assist the Collaborative in an advisory capacity. “The creation of the Justice Reform Collaborative is an opportunity for Latinx leaders to shift the white/black binary that dominates the criminal justice and drug policy landscape,” said Ms. Hernandez.”

“Something is terribly wrong with our justice system when Latinos are considered the minority in our free society, but among the most incarcerated people in our country,” said Jason Hernandez. “Walk into our prisons and you will see exactly why Latinos need to get involved in criminal justice reform.” Jason Hernandez is a criminal justice reform advocate from Texas who was also the first Latino to receive clemency from President Obama. He also will be an advisor to the Collaborative.

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