Non-profit

Accountable Justice Project

Type:

Criminal Justice Advocacy Group

Formation:

2016

Executive Director:

Rob Smith

Project of:

Proteus Fund

Related Organization(s):

The Justice Collaborative

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The Accountable Justice Project was created as a project of Proteus Fund to fund Rob Smith’s criminal justice research and advocacy for reduced sentences and charges for criminals under the guise of criminal justice reform. 1

Background

The Accountable Justice Project was founded in 2016 as a project of Proteus Fund using a $350,000 grant from Good Ventures Foundation directed by Open Philanthropy Project. 2 The Open Philanthropy Project reported that the grant was to be used to hire employees to publish alleged misconduct performed by elected officials and “change the behavior” of prosecutors. 3

The Accountable Justice Project advocates for prosecutors to reduce the severity of their charges and sentences given and for prosecutors to be withdrawn from any criminal justice policymaking. It also campaigns for media organizations to promote its allegations of misconduct performed by prosecutors to increase support for its advocacy. 4

The Accountable Justice Project engages in criminal justice advocacy  by requesting national media organizations promote the idea there is widespread prosecutorial misconduct. 5

Advocacy

The Accountable Justice Project opposes the use of the phrase “tough-on-crime” to describe criminal justice policies and initiatives. It advocates for reducing incarceration rates under the guise of public safety. 6

The Accountable Justice Project’s advocacy encourages individuals to vote for district attorneys that seek to reduce punishments and to encourage legislators to impeach judicial officials. 7

In addition to promoting reduced punishments, the Accountable Justice Project advocates for law schools to promote criminal justice policies where the severity of charges given and the severity of sentences are reduced. 8

Funding

Accountable Justice Project was founded as a project of Proteus Fund, using a $350,000 grant from Good Ventures Foundation, which serves as a pass-through donor organization for left-wing funders. The grant was made based on a recommendation from the Open Philanthropy Project, a left-of-center donor advised fund that is a partner organization of Good Ventures Foundation. 9 10 11

The Justice Collaborative was reported to host the Accountable Justice Project starting in 2017. 12 In 2017 and 2018, The Justice Collaborative received $3.1 million from its parent organization the Tides Center. 13 14 It is an advocacy organization that campaigns to promote media reporting to condemn prosecutors for not reducing sentences and charges as well as condemning prosecutors for implementing bail, fines, and recommending probation where it argues they are excessive. 15

Leadership

Rob Smith is the executive director of the Accountable Justice Project as well as executive director of The Justice Collaborative. 16 From 2012 to 2015, Smith was an assistant professor of law at the University of North Carolina. 17

References

  1. Accountable Justice Project – General Support.” Open Philanthropy, March 11, 2022. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/grants/accountable-justice-project-general-support/.
  2. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990PF). Good Ventures Foundation. 2016. Part XV.
  3. “Accountable Justice Project – General Support.” Open Philanthropy, March 11, 2022. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/grants/accountable-justice-project-general-support/.
  4. “Accountable Justice Project – General Support.” Open Philanthropy, March 11, 2022. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/grants/accountable-justice-project-general-support/.
  5. “Accountable Justice Project – General Support.” Open Philanthropy, March 11, 2022. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/grants/accountable-justice-project-general-support/.
  6. “Accountable Justice Project – General Support.” Open Philanthropy, March 11, 2022. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/grants/accountable-justice-project-general-support/.
  7. “Accountable Justice Project – General Support.” Open Philanthropy, March 11, 2022. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/grants/accountable-justice-project-general-support/.
  8. “Accountable Justice Project – General Support.” Open Philanthropy, March 11, 2022. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/grants/accountable-justice-project-general-support/.
  9. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990PF). Good Ventures Foundation. 2016. Part XV.
  10. Ludwig, Hayden. “Philanthropy or Cupidity? #MeToo and Greed in Silicon Valley.” Capital Research Center, May 28, 2018. https://capitalresearch.org/article/philanthropy-or-cupidity-metoo-and-greed-in-silicon-valley/.
  11. “Accountable Justice Project – General Support.” Open Philanthropy, March 11, 2022. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/grants/accountable-justice-project-general-support/
  12. “The Justice Collaborative – General Support (2017).” Good Ventures, November 4, 2020. https://www.goodventures.org/our-portfolio/grants/the-justice-collaborative-general-support-2017/.
  13. “The Justice Collaborative – General Support (2017).” Good Ventures, November 4, 2020. https://www.goodventures.org/our-portfolio/grants/the-justice-collaborative-general-support-2017/.
  14. “The Justice Collaborative – General Support (2018).” Good Ventures, November 4, 2020. https://www.goodventures.org/our-portfolio/grants/the-justice-collaborative-general-support-2018/.
  15. “21 Principles for the 21st Century Prosecutor.” Brennan Center for Justice. Accessed April 27, 2024. https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/policy-solutions/21-principles-21st-century-prosecutor.
  16. “Accountable Justice Project – General Support.” Open Philanthropy, March 11, 2022. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/grants/accountable-justice-project-general-support/.
  17. “Robert Smith.” LinkedIn. Accessed April 27, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-smith-74439911/.
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