President Bush signed into law the Second Chance Act, which includes several recommendations regarding prisoner reentry suggested by MacArthur grantee the Council of State Governments Justice Center. The law will provide $326 million to develop prisoner reentry initiatives to help reduce recidivism rates and to support a range of programs, including job training and placement, housing, medical care, drug treatment, and mentoring. There are more than 650,000 people released from U.S. prisons and jails each year. In Illinois, about two-thirds of these returning prisoners are convicted of a crime within three years of their release. The Foundation funded research for an influential policy report by the Council, which complements MacArthur’s support for a prisoner re-entry demonstration project in Chicago.
Community & Economic Development
Helping to increase social and economic opportunities for low-income Chicagoans, MacArthur supports the New Communities Program, a comprehensive community revitalization effort in 16 Chicago neighborhoods, as well as communication of its lessons learned to other cities and the field.