Mar 11, 2020 · 3 min read

CZI Announces $3.5 Million in Anticipated Grant Support for Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Led Research Collaboration


The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) today announced an anticipated $3.5 million in grant support to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office for a research collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania to examine the short and long-term impacts of prosecutorial discretion on individuals, families, and communities affected by the criminal justice system in Philadelphia. In direct collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania, and with joint financial support from Arnold Ventures and CZI, the District Attorney’s office will evaluate how specific prosecutor policies and practices influence incarceration rates, community safety, and other criminal justice metrics. Arnold Ventures also pledged approximately $3.5 million to support this research collaboration over its three-year duration.

A growing number of prosecutors across the country are increasing transparency and accountability to the communities they serve and reducing overreliance on incarceration while increasing long-term community safety and health. This research effort aims to strengthen the connection of the capacity-building efforts of the Philadelphia DAO with the world-class researchers and empiricists at the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Criminology.

The collaboration builds on earlier work with the Philadelphia DA’s office focused on assessing how information technology and data systems are meeting community and prosecutors’ needs. The DA’s office has already developed and launched a public-facing dashboard that enables the community to monitor important criminal justice system outcomes in real-time. 

Today’s announcement includes a $1.5 million CZI grant to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office in 2020, and anticipates subsequent CZI grants to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office based on project requirements; it is expected the total funding from CZI over the course of the three-year project will be approximately $3.5 million.

CZI’s criminal justice reform program strives to accelerate a transformation in the American justice system that centers community health and safety, with people who have been directly impacted – crime survivors, presently and formerly incarcerated persons, along with their families and communities – in the lead. CZI’s work focuses on three key areas within criminal justice: transforming prosecution, expanding opportunities for impacted people, and strengthening the broader reform movement.

Contact us at to learn more about work, funding opportunities, and partnerships.


About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Founded by Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in 2015, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease, to improving education, to reforming the criminal justice system. Across three core Initiative focus areas of Science, Education, and Justice & Opportunity, we’re pairing engineering with grant-making, impact investing, and policy and advocacy work to help build an inclusive, just and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit

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