Amy Bach Wins 2018
Charles Bronfman Prize.
NEW YORK, Sept 5 - Amy Bach, Founder, Executive Director, and President of Measures for Justice (MFJ) was today awarded the Charles Bronfman Prize for 2018.
The Charles Bronfman Prize is an annual award of $100,000 presented to a humanitarian under the age of 50 whose innovative work, informed by Jewish values, has significantly improved the world. It was created by Charles Bronfman’s children as a surprise 70th birthday present in 2004.
“Amy’s work revealed a gaping hole in our criminal justice system, and she developed an ingenious method for filling it,” Bronfman said. “She epitomizes the concern for social justice and entrepreneurial spirit that the Prize recognizes. I am delighted the judges selected Amy.”
“I am honored to be recognized by the Charles Bronfman Prize, which will go a long way toward bringing to light the importance of open data and criminal justice data collection at the county level,” Bach said. 

Bach, a graduate of Stanford Law School, became interested in the criminal justice system when she wrote her award-winning book, Ordinary Injustice: How America Holds Court, which demonstrated how well-intentioned prosecutors, judges, and defense attorneys can become so inured to patterns of problems, they no longer see them. With seed money and a fellowship from Echoing Green, she founded Measures for Justice in 2011 to develop a set of measures to track the justice system from arrest to post-conviction.

MFJ began collecting, cleaning, and coding county-level data to answer some basic questions—who’s in jail, for how long, for what crimes—and compared the results across counties. Last May—after six years of work—MFJ released six states’ worth of data online—available to anyone—that can be broken down by race and ethnicity, sex, indigent status, and age. MFJ will continue to release data sets and is now on its way to measuring all 50 states. 

“Mistakes are being made in the justice system,” declared Dan Meridor, former Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister of Israel, who was a Prize judge. “Amy has found a way to help correct this.”

As Ellen Bronfman, Charles Bronfman’s daughter and a Prize founder, noted, “‘Justice, justice you shall pursue’ is a central tenet of Judaism. Amy puts this exhortation to practical, meaningful work, which stands to benefit millions of Americans and provide a worldwide model.”
Amy founded Measures for Justice, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, in 2011. It has been funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Ballmer Group, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the William H. Donner Foundation, the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Echoing Green,, the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, the Open Society FoundationsPershing Square Foundation, and the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance

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