Community Grantee Hero

While major cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago have begun to reduce their use of prison and jail, small cities and rural counties across the country are deepening their reliance on mass incarceration. To spark and sustain reform beyond the biggest cities, In Our Backyards is proud to announce its inaugural round of grants to community-based and statewide organizations committed to reducing incarceration rates and resisting unnecessary jail expansion in small and rural communities. The initial cohort spans seven states, and includes sixteen organizations undertaking individual and collaborative projects. Explore the map below to learn about the grantees and their work to end mass incarceration where it begins—in all of our backyards.

Community Grants Map

The Vera Institute’s In Our Backyards initiative is driven by the realization that if we do not respond to the shifting geography of incarceration, national gains made toward reversing mass incarceration could be totally eroded by deepening problems in small cities and rural communities across the country. Explore the map and meet the advocates, researchers and organizers leading vital work in small and rural America.