Social Justice

We improve the lives of America's youth through innovative approaches to criminal-justice reform and the integration of immigrants.
Social Justice

New York City has become a national laboratory for criminal-justice reform, having drawn widespread attention for jailing teenage inmates on violence-plagued Rikers Island.  We’ve set out to help dismantle this broken system and show that a new way of responding to crime is possible. Kaplan’s Youth Justice Program focuses on innovations targeted to divert, re-route, and support the success of youth and young adults.

Over the past decade, the Fund has made the successful integration of America’s foreign-born population a priority.  Working with partners across the nation, our Immigration Program has identified promising ways to support the integration of the 42 million foreign-born individuals who call the United States home, allowing them to thrive while contributing to the country’s civic, cultural, and economic vibrancy.

Recent News

David Muhammed on Youth Justice

David Muhammed, a 2017 JMK Innovation Prize Awardee, writes about the desperately needed paradigm shift in the administration of youth justice in Juvenile Justice Information Exchange.
Click here to read more: Local Restorative Justice Could Be Best Kind of Diversion for Youth

Grantee Bob Libal Named 15 People Changing the Nonprofit World

Bob Libal of Grassroots Leadership, one of our recent Social Justice Grantees, was named one of the “15 More People Changing the Nonprofit World” by

Read the full article here: 15 More People Changing the Nonprofit World


Gina Clayton, 2015 Awardee of The J.M.K. Innovation Prize and Founder of the Essie Justice Group, was awarded the Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize – the highest prize offered by an American college for social justice work.

Read the full article: Grinnell College Awards Grinnell Prize to Gina Clayton, Founder of Essie Justice Group

Let Them Learn While They Serve

Kaplan Grantee Bard Prison Initiative, of Bard College, mentioned in New York Times Article “Let Prisoners Learn While They Serve.”

Read the article here: Let Prisoners Learn While They Serve – The New York Times

Safe Hands

Crain’s explains how Alan Shapiro started Terra Firma, a Kaplan grantee, which provides medical and legal services to immigrants in need. Safe Hands