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The criteria that GiveWell uses to evaluate charities—evidence of effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, transparency, and room for more funding—are useful in thinking through the options. And while none of GiveWell’s top charities work in the United States, Open Philanthropy Project (which was incubated at GiveWell and split off in 2017) has given extensive grants within criminal justice reform and makes suggestions to individual donors for where to give.
To be clear, I still agree with Peter Singer’s point that money often goes further outside of the United States, especially with regard to meeting basic needs like shelter and medical care.
I still believe that donors in wealthy countries should not look away from global poverty. But we also have opportunities to reduce huge amounts of suffering right down the street, at a relatively low cost.
Beyond that, we have a clear opportunity to push back on long-standing injustice and inequity in how people are treated in our criminal justice system. Back in 1964, then-attorney general Robert F. Kennedy testified, “The rich man and the poor man do not receive equal justice in our courts. And in no area is this more evident than in the matter of bail.” Supporting those who are fighting for a better system in the United States is a worthy cause.
Read the source article on effective altruism close to home by Stephanie Wykstra at Stanford Social Innovation Review