Atlanta office of public defender receives grant

The City of Atlanta’s office of the public defender has been chosen to join to the Safety and Justice Challenge, a grant program awarded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to create a more fair and effective local justice system and model reforms for the nation, the city announced.

The chosen sites taking part in the grant program’s Innovation Fund will get technical assistance and financial support of $50,000 each, and are eligible for future funding opportunities, the city said.

The challenge is a national $100 million initiative whose aim is to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails, according to the city’s announcement. Atlanta and the other selected jurisdictions will design and test innovative local justice reforms with the purpose of safely bringing down jail usage and reducing racial and ethnic disparities in their local justice systems.