Recognizing that far too many Cook County residents who are released from jail or prison return to detention, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today announced that Cook County’s Justice Advisory Council (JAC) will award $1.2 million in grants aimed at reducing recidivism.
These grants, the latest made under Preckwinkle’s administration, award $200,000 over two years to six local non-profit organizations that provide employment, education, health and housing services.
Grants to reduce recidivism have been used to support the goal of reducing the jail population.
“These awards remove barriers and create paths to avoid re-involvement with the criminal justice system,” President Preckwinkle said. “These resources support organizations that directly address the needs of returning residents. Helping these individuals stabilizes our most troubled communities.”
The Cook County Board of Commissioners approved the grants at its meeting today. Implementation of the grants will be monitored by the JAC.
Recipients of the grants were determined via a competitive Request for Proposals process. The Justice Advisory Council led the process, with input from representatives of the Public Defender, the State’s Attorney, Cook County Health and Hospitals System and the County’s Probation Department.
The awardees and programs in line for the $200,000 grants are:
- LAF will continue its successful juvenile expungement program building on recent legislative improvements championed by the Preckwinkle administration.
- Respond Now will provide a rapid housing program in the South Suburbs, meeting homeless clients where they are. Supportive services are provided including SNAP, CountyCare, transportation and wraparound services to support employment.
- Growing Home will provide a transitional job program in the expanding field of urban farming. The program includes hands-on agricultural training work, classroom instruction and case management.
- Felix Foundation will house people with severe and persistent mental illness who face homelessness. Once stabilized and engaged, the residents will be ready to move into permanent supportive housing.
- McDermott Center (DBA Haymarket Center) will fund a 24-hour drop-in center, serving women involved with prostitution. The center provides residential treatment, recovery coaches who remain connected with their clients for a year and therapy.
- Centers for New Horizon will serve adults who need workforce skills, trauma therapy, wellness education, and individual and group therapy. Intensive services including counseling, case management and wrap-around services will be provided for each cohort.
Since President Preckwinkle took office, the County has distributed public safety grants of more than $12.8 million dollars to community-based organizations for recidivism reduction, violence prevention and reduction, and restorative justice. An additional $2.08 million will be invested in communities over two years and distributed later this year.