Philly awards $200k to local organizations to support criminal justice reform 

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The City of Philadelphia recently announced that the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Cluster’s Office of Criminal Justice will award 20 microgrants to community organizations that support criminal justice reform efforts. These grants of up to $10,000 are designed to advance racial equity in the criminal justice system and safely reduce the local jail population. The Criminal Justice Microgrant Fund will be administered by the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia. Resources for this effort are provided by the MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge.

The Criminal Justice Microgrant Fund is supporting organizations that advance criminal justice reform through policy, directly engage Philadelphia’s communities disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system, and provide support services to individuals impacted as a whole.

“From the beginning of our administration, we have worked to end mass incarceration and address systemic racism that causes significant harm to our Black and brown communities,” said Mayor Jim Kenney in a statement. “These grants double down on our commitment to bringing about just and safe reform.”

Twenty community organizations received a combined total of approximately $200,000 in funding, with individual grants ranging from $4,800 to $10,000. The programs being funded include both new and existing efforts ranging from career skill-building, mentorship, and help for returning citizens reconnecting to their communities.

“These grants underscore the importance of the City’s recent realignment of criminal justice reform and public safety work into a holistic approach,” said Erica Atwood, Senior Director for the Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice and Public Safety in a statement.

These grants will be more than one-time investments. Selected organizations will be part of a collective network, coming together to bring about real change in Philadelphia’s criminal justice system. Throughout the grant year, the Office of Criminal Justice will provide networking opportunities, capacity building training sessions, and engagement opportunities through the Safety and Justice Challenge reform effort. The Criminal Justice Microgrant Fund will forge meaningful, lasting partnerships that allow for information sharing and problem-solving and will address the needs of Philadelphia communities.

The following are MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge Criminal Justice microgrant fund  grantees:

Career Wardrobe (dba The Wardrobe)

Redemption Housing

Temple University – Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program

PA Prison Society

The Liberation Foundation

SHOOTERS: Narrative Shift

Unincarcerated Minds

I’m FREE – Females Reentering Empowering Each other Inc.

Students Run Philly Style

The Reawakening Agency

Unsolved Murders in Philadelphia


Women in Dialogue (winD)

Trapdoor Inc.

Philly Audio Diaries of Culture Trust Greater Philadelphia

Dimplez 4 Dayz, Inc.

Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project

First Step Staffing

People Advancing Reintegration, Inc.

New Leash on Life USA