City Council today passed a substitute ordinance amending the 2015 Annual Appropriation Ordinance for Fund 925 grants, which includes more than three quarters of a million dollars in federal funding that will allow the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) to support the Bridges to Pathways juvenile justice program.
“Providing youth with the necessary tools and resources following incarceration will ensure they are on the path to a successful future,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Education and job opportunities give these young people the second chance they deserve, but also reduce recidivism, making it less likely for ex-offenders to recommit offenses.”
The $877,000 grant will provide online high school education or GED preparation, paid work experience, Social Emotional Learning/Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and mentoring to transition youth. Sub-recipient organizations include Central States SER and SGA Youth and Family Services.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Illinois Department of Human Services, will provide funding through a 2015 Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration (STED) - Bridges to Pathways Grant.
Mayor Emanuel has made it a priority to expand programs to assist previously incarcerated individuals. City Council approved a measure put forward by Mayor Emanuel in 2013 to increase job opportunities for ex-offenders by expanding an ordinance to allow the City to contract with additional businesses that aid ex-offenders in their transition back to society by providing them with job training career opportunities.
Mayor Emanuel also expanded the largest ex-offender program through the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). The CTA Apprenticeship Program provides valuable job skills and training to ex-offenders, increasing self-sufficiency for hard-to-employ individuals while providing CTA with additional resources to enhance the customer experience with cleaner buses and trains.
More information on the City of Chicago’s ex-offender reentry initiatives is available here.
Information on the CTA’s Apprenticeship Program is available here.