The Charles Koch Foundation has a given a grant of up to $2.2 million to the University of Pennsylvania Law School for research on ways to improve fairness in the criminal justice system.
The funding will go to the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the law school. The center focuses on whether the rights of disadvantaged populations are adequately protected when they interact with the criminal justice system.
One study last year of hundreds of thousands of criminal cases in Philadelphia and Houston found criminal defendants who couldn't make cash bail were more likely to plead guilty and become trapped in a cycle of criminal conduct.
The billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch made a fortune in petrochemicals and manufacturing with Koch Industries, a company based in Wichita, Kan. Democrats have criticized their extensive political giving, claiming it distorts the legislative process.