Grant to Launch Youth Futures Initiatives

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Contact: Dunni T. Cosey Gay
Tel: (312) 833-8973


Link to Document

Youth Futures Will Serve Nearly 400 At-Risk and Juvenile Justice-Involved Young People. The Initiative Focuses Primarily on the Neighborhoods of East Garfield Park, Englewood, South Chicago, Roseland, and Other High-Crime, High-Poverty Communities.

  The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) receives a $1.46 million grant from Vera Institute of Justice to provide nearly 400 juvenile offenders, ages 16 and over, with a widespread set of services to help participants reach educational success either through graduation or diploma equivalency; or through occupational training and support to improve long-term employability.

According to a report released by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission well over 50 percent of youth leaving the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice will be re-incarcerated in juvenile facilities, with even more later re-incarcerated as an adult. The commission also found that the youth were not adequately prepared for reentry. Youth need to be linked to needed services while on parole.

“Involvement in the juvenile justice system is highly correlated with negative outcomes for youth as they become adults, Youth Futures provides a comprehensive intervention that can set our youth on a different course,” said Karin M. Norington-Reaves, CEO of The Partnership. “With opportunities for skill development, academic advancement, occupational training and one-on-one mentoring, participants will be poised to make different choices and improve their lives.”

There are over 8,000 youth who have recently been involved in the juvenile justice system living in the neighborhoods being targeted by this project. With more initiatives like Youth Futures, Chicago is working to strengthen its local capacity for serving justice-involved youth and creating a model to be replicated in other communities across the country.

The Partnership is leading the multi-site program initiative Youth Futures in collaboration with four community-based organizations, Metropolitan Family Services, Central States SER, Phalanx Family Services and Aunt Martha’s Youth Service Center. Funding from the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) supports this project Vera Institute of Justice oversees the administration of the 33-month grant.

Additional partners include the Cook County Juvenile Probation and Court Services of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, Juvenile Intervention and Support Center, Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, Chicago Public Schools Student Outreach and Re-engagement Centers. If you’d like to get involved with Youth Futures, contact


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