Grant Opportunities for Recidivism Reduction Programs–Ranging From $10K to $100K

An Important Announcement for the Social and Criminal Justice Community: The Cook County Justice Advisory Council is currently accepting applications for its FY 2015/2016 Recidivism Reduction Grants. The purpose of the grants is to help fund agencies that will assist the County in reducing the recidivism rate for individuals released from the Cook County Jail by offering clients programming related to health, housing, education, employment, and/or prostitution diversion.

Last year the Justice Advisory Council awarded grants to  Inspiration Corporation, which teaches food service skills, WestCare Illinois, which provides substance abuse and mental health counseling, and even the Cook County Housing Authority, which runs a virtual high school for youth in the criminal justice system, and other organizations.

Among these recipients, St. Leonard’s Adult High School received $24K and uses the grant to fund GED classes. Gem Canada, a 52 year-old participant in the program, had this to say: “For so long, I have put off accomplishing things. I always wanted my high school diploma. I always regretted dropping out of high school, and my life went in a different direction […] So this is something that I really wanted to acquire and finish.” Read and see more about this story here on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight page.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of these grant is the range of funding levels.

The JAC is offering:

  • three (3) Demonstration Grants awarded in the amount of $100,000,
  • one (1) Demonstration Grant targeting Prostitution Diversion awarded in the amount of $100,000,
  • ten (10) Demonstration Grants in the amount of $24,000,
  • and six (6) “Mini-Seed” Grants in the amount of $10,000.

The six mini-seed grants of $10K might be particularly attractive for smaller programs that have fewer opportunities for funding.

All proposal submissions are due on Friday, March 6, 2015 at 10:00AM. Submission details are available at the Cook County website. Late proposals will not be accepted.

For any additional inquiries please contact Kevin Casey from the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer at 312.603.6830 or at

Please share this information with organizations and individuals who might benefit from this opportunity.

The following are instructions for accessing the RFP:

Step 1: Go to

Step 2: Click on “Procurement Opportunity Postings/ Vendor Registration”

Step 3: Click on “ View Cook County procurement opportunities”

Step 4:

-Search for “Bid Number:  1553-14328” for Demonstration Grants($100,000)

-Search for “Bid Number: 1553-14327” for Prostitution Diversion Demonstration Grants ($100,000)

-Search for “Bid Number: 1553-14329” for Demonstration Grants ($24,000)

-Search for “Bid Number: 1553-14330” for “Mini-Seed” Grants ($10,000)

**While searching for the appropriate bid opportunity, you will at some time be prompted to “Login” or create a vendor registration.


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