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Deadline: April 6, 2015

Better Government Competition

Pioneer Institute’s Better Government Competition is a citizens’ ideas contest that seeks out and rewards innovative solutions to public sector problems, with different focus areas each year. The 2015 competition aims to reform America’s troubled criminal justice system. Pioneer seeks to reexamine policies that have driven mass incarceration and resulted in significant fiscal and human costs. Competitive proposals will include creative approaches to reducing the state and federal prison population, reducing recidivism, and addressing racial disparities in the criminal and juvenile justice systems. The Institute seeks ideas that make government more effective and efficient, protect individual liberties and make our communities safer.

Potential areas for applicants to consider:

  • Improving reentry services and reducing the collateral consequences of a criminal record, including ways to eliminate discrimination against individuals with certain prior convictions and improve probation and parole policies.
  • Curtailing prison population growth, including sentencing reform, effective alternatives to incarceration such as drug courts, and incentives for prison population reduction and cost control in corrections.
  • Improving law enforcement, including community programs, predictive policing, nuisance abatement, and data-driven enforcement and risk assessment.
  • Promoting channels through which to reduce juvenile delinquency and truancy in school, including reform of inappropriately harsh sentencing laws for youth offenders and youth-oriented community programs.
  • Reforming the legal code to address racial disparities in the criminal justice system, including revisions to policies that disproportionately impact people of color.
  • Other ideas are welcome, as the above are illustrative, meant to stimulate applicants’ thinking.

Amount: The Competition grand prize winner receives $10,000; four runners-up receive $1,000 each, and other proposals receive special recognition.

Eligibility: Individuals and agencies.

Link: http://bgc.pioneerinstitute.org/enter-the-better-government-competition/

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