Holiday Gift Donations to Criminal Justice Charities

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FEMA - 42740 - Toys for Tots donation in Texas.jpg

Members of FEMA
and the Galveston Police Department Blue Knights organizing donations for the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots program. (Texas City, 2009)

If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping yet, and you or that someone special is passionate about criminal justice, you might consider making an applicable gift donation in someone’s name.

Last year we wrote a similar post outlining several admirable non-profit organizations you could contribute to. We’re doing the same this year, selecting just a few charities whose missions reflect the careers and disciplines that is passionate about.

We’ve selected some organizations highly-ranked by Charity Navigator ( which, according to its website, has developed “an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 6,000 of America’s best-known and some lesser known, but worthy, charities.” Its rating system takes into consideration financial health (including the % of funds it actually allocates to its programs), accountability and transparency. (Note we are not advocating that this is the only source to consult when researching charities).

Equal Justice Initiative

The Equal Justice Initiative provides legal counsel to impoverished individuals (including juvenile defendants and those who have been racially profiled, wrongfully convicted or treated unjustly in other ways).

Concerns of Police Survivors

Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) supports and offers resources/programs to families and co-workers of slain law enforcement officers.

Manhattan Policy Institute Network

The Manhattan Policy Institute Network conducts and publishes research (on a variety of issues, from policing, crime and homeland security to healthcare, education, race and the legal system) in order to generate ideas and discussion “that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility.”

International Relief Teams

International Relief Teams provides medical and non-medical services as part of short and long-term relief programs to victims of disasters, neglect and poverty.

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is the country’s leading non-profit organization for assisting families and law enforcement on cases related to missing children, as well as child victimization and sexual exploitation.

Puppies Behind Bars

Puppies Behind Bars facilitates a program for prison inmates to live and train dogs to serve either as law enforcement explosive detection canines or service dogs for wounded veterans. “As the puppies mature into well-loved, well-behaved dogs, their raisers learn what it means to contribute to society rather than take from it,” states PBB’s website.

Of course it’s impossible to name every organization—there are so many out there promoting justice, public service and security, relief and rehabilitation. Let this list be a launch pad to research charities in your area or nationally/internationally.  If the particular organization does not offer the option of making a donation in someone’s name, you can easily make your own gift certificate that says you were thinking of that special someone when you contributed to a worthy cause.