President Preckwinkle Announces Latest Round of Recidivism Reduction Grants

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.