JMLF works to replace a broken, prison-centered, discriminatory justice system
through healing, justice, and trust-based relationships with grass-roots organizations.
The John M. Lloyd Foundation (JMLF) is a small family foundation based in Los Angeles, CA. We fund organizations working to address the incarceration crisis in Los Angeles and the state of California. Primarily the foundation supports grassroots organizations led by and for those most impacted by incarceration.
The foundation places a high value on being flexible to meet the needs of the field and to have the capacity to support new and innovative approaches. The values that primarily guide us are:
- Trust-based relationships
The people most impacted by the crisis of incarceration are the ones to develop solutions. The foundation prioritizes funding organizations led by and for those most impacted, i.e. communities of color, people who are or have been incarcerated or those with loved ones who are or have been incarcerated. To ensure our grantmaking is guided by the wisdom and experience of those most impacted, our board includes people who are either formerly incarcerated or whose loved ones have been incarcerated.
Trauma-informed solutions are centered in healing justice. True safety and justice require society to value the health and well-being of each human being, each family, and each community. JMLF supports organizations that are leading the field in integrating healing justice within all facets of programming and internal operations.
Incarceration in the US is rooted in racism. JMLF recognizes the deep-seated racism at the core of the incarceration crisis and consequentially strives to support organizations and strategies that intentionally focus on deconstructing the racism that roots the incarceration crisis.
The people most impacted by the crisis of incarceration are the ones to develop solutions.
Smaller, grassroots organizations are most in need of support. JMLF mainly supports organizations that do not have easy access to larger funders and do not have large or high-level development teams.
Foundation support must nurture trusting relationships. JMLF endeavors to limit onerous proposal applications and reporting, in order for our partners to focus their energy on ending the incarceration crisis. We believe in trust-based relational partnerships. Such relationships are fostered in conversations, so JMLF does not require formal written proposals year after year, and reporting is conducted through informal conversations.
The learning journey never ends. In 2013 JMLF began its transition from funding HIV/AIDS policy and advocacy to a focus on the criminal legal system with a learning journey. Years later, the foundation continues to deepen our understanding of the criminal legal system – its roots, its extended impact on individuals, families, and communities, how it can be addressed, and how it can be replaced with healing justice-based systems. Our grantee partners are leaders in the field. Their expertise enlightens, guides, and inspires us on this journey.
The Mary Lloyd Estrin Leadership Award
Mary Lloyd Estrin was John M. Lloyd’s sister, a founding director of the John M. Lloyd Foundation, and highly instrumental in the development and growth of the foundation. She was also a life-long advocate for human rights and social justice.
Mary’s spirit was mighty and audacious. She was never one to mince words and had a profound capacity to cut to the core of any issue, but she did so with impeccable wit. Mary held a deep reverence for learning and humor. And beneath everything else was her sensitive heart, a foundation of vulnerability and authenticity. Mary’s empathy and compassion towards those who have been incarcerated and struggle to return to their community helped JMLF clarify our vision of justice.
Mary prized strong leadership within the social justice movements she supported. She possessed steely strength and resiliency, and valued the same in others. She saw tenacious resolve, humor, and optimism as key components of effective leadership.
In 2020 Mary passed away after a long battle with cancer and COPD. In 2021 the JMLF board launched the Mary Lloyd Estrin Leadership Award in her honor to provide support for formerly incarcerated leaders in the movement.
JMLF launched the Mary Lloyd Estrin Leadership Award to support leaders impacted by incarceration.
The first two awards have supported the National Life Without Parole Leadership Council to hold their first in-person retreats. Comprised of 12 formerly incarcerated people from around the US who had received life without parole (LWOP) sentences, the Leadership Council is working to change culture and policy to end LWOP sentences. The opportunity to meet in person allowed the Council to deepen relationships and heal.
In keeping with the foundation’s high regard for flexibility, future awards will be used to support leaders who have been impacted by incarceration utilizing a variety of strategies. There is no application for this award.
JMLF currently supports these nonprofit organizations working to end mass incarceration in Los Angeles County.
California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance (CIYJA)
California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance (CIYJA) is a statewide immigrant youth-led alliance that focuses on placing immigrant youth in advocacy and policy delegations in order to ensure pro-immigrant policies go beyond legalization, and shed light on how the criminalization of immigrants varies based on identity.
Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB)
CURB: Californians United for a Responsible Budget – for a statewide coalition of 75 organizations that reduces the number of people in prisons and jails, shrinking the imprisonment system, and shifting public spending from corrections and policing to human services.
JMLF has previously supported these organizations.
California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP)
The California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) is a grassroots organization, with members inside and outside prison, that challenges the institutional violence imposed on women, transgender people, and communities of color by the prison industrial complex.
The Emergent Fund helps move quick resources with no strings attached to communities that were and continue to be under attack by federal policies and priorities – immigrants, women, Muslim and Arab-American communities, Black people, Indigenous communities, LGBTQ communities, and all people of color.
History and Board
John M. Lloyd established JMLF in 1991. For the next 23 years we supported local and, eventually, national and global groups working to end the AIDS pandemic. We’d entered the field at a tipping point in the U.S. As we watched, a broad movement began to win over entrenched cultural fears and systemic discrimination.
In 2014 we recognized another issue with critical momentum: replacing a broken, prison-centered, discriminatory criminal justice system. A strong kinship exists between this opportunity and our early work on HIV/AIDS. Once again, we reject a system that isolates, stigmatizes, and fails the people it’s charged with healing; and work toward supporting people in their communities. We want our culture and policies to change so people no longer look the other way—so they respond as if the life of their own child, friend, partner or loved one is directly involved.
You may access our archived HIV/AIDS-focused website for more information.
John Lloyd created JMLF to seek solutions to the AIDS epidemic. He believed medical knowledge existed to alleviate the crisis, but he also saw that a lack of wisdom, compassion and common sense were barriers to decisive action. He responded by putting his own energy and money to work for people living with AIDS.
As a boy growing up in Libertyville, Illinois, John said he wanted to leave the world a better place than he found it. He sought to reverse the root causes of problems rather than just treating their symptoms. He worked at an inner-city community housing project. He taught meditation techniques. He graduated from Taft School and the University of Illinois, and worked as a commodities broker and investment manager. In 1990, he married Heidi Mage.
Early in 1991, John passed away due to complications of AIDS. He had lived out his own wisdom, compassion and common sense, always with a sense of humor. He dedicated everything he had to making a positive impact on his world.
We remember John with love and are energized to carry his legacy forward.
Trish Devine Karlin
Zoë Lloyd Foxley
Heidi Mage Lloyd