The Charles Bronfman Prize has named Amy Bach, Founder, Executive Director and President of Measures for Justice, its 2018 recipient. Measures for Justice was the first organization to publicly measure how the entire criminal justice system is performing in all counties across the United States by collecting, analyzing and comparing county-level data.
The Prize has previously addressed issues including education, refugees, medicine, energy and the environment. This is the first time their international panel of judges has weighed in on the criminal justice system.
The Charles Bronfman Prize is an annual award of $100,000 presented to a humanitarian under 50 whose innovative work informed by Jewish values has significantly improved the world. The Prize was founded in 2004 by Ellen Bronfman Hauptman and Stephen Bronfman, together with their spouses, Andrew Hauptman and Claudine Blondin Bronfman, to honor their father, Charles Bronfman, on his 70th birthday.
Bach founded Measures for Justice (MFJ), based in Rochester, NY, in 2011 as a follow-up to her acclaimed book, Ordinary Injustice: How America Holds Court, which demonstrated how well-intentioned prosecutors, judges, and defense attorneys can become so accustomed to patterns of injustice, they no longer see them. She and her team developed a set of measures from arrest to post-conviction, and MFJ began collecting data to answer some basic questions – who’s in jail, for how long, for what crimes – and compared the results across counties.