CHICAGO - Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton announced $45 million in funding for the Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) program will be dedicated to community organizations that serve to protect neighborhoods most impacted by economic disinvestment, violence, and the war on drugs.
The funds, managed by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA), is the latest round of grants making $40.5 million available for organizations that provide services within the five priority funding areas: civil legal aid, economic development, re-entry from the criminal justice system, violence prevention, and youth development.
In addition, $4.5 million is available for capacity-building grants to help small organizations expand, according to a news release from the governors' office.
"As we launch applications for the second round of R3 grants, I know our recipients will keep transforming lives with their work, and in turn transform our cities and state. Because when we reinvest in the potential of our people, we invite the economic activity that creates resiliency," Pritzker said. "When we renew hope in communities historically left out, we inspire the next generation to pursue a brighter future. And in public service, that is our obligation."
Created by the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act - signed into law in 2019 - the R3 program is funded using 25% of adult-use cannabis tax revenue. According to the release, R3 is a key component of the Pritzker-Stratton administration’s commitment to equity and repairing the severe harms caused by the failed war on drugs, which disproportionately hurt communities of color.
"R3 epitomizes one of the key tenets of restorative justice, that the wisdom is in the room," said Stratton. "Solutions to the challenges that our neighborhoods face can be found in those very communities, and R3 seeks to invest in organizations that have the closest ties to the communities they serve."
The release states that areas eligible for funding were identified using community-level data on gun injury, child poverty, unemployment, and state prison commitments and returns, combined with disproportionately impacted areas identified by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).
Organizations interested in applying for funding can review the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) at R3.Illinois.gov.
According ot the release, of the available funds, 75% will be dedicated to organizations that have been in operation for less than five years, or have a budget of less than $2 million. To improve small organizations’ access to state funds, ICJIA offers an online, self-guided technical assistance course. ICJIA will also offer several online webinars to provide guidance about specific components of the application for R3 funds.
"As we work to distribute this next round of funding, we continue to prioritize equity-centered grant making and ensure much-needed resources are distributed fairly and efficiently," said ICJIA Acting Executing Director Delrice Adams. "We also recognize our responsibility to provide technical assistance to build community and organizational capacity within small organizations, not only to apply for and access grant funding, but also to manage those funds successfully in alignment with the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act. Technical assistance is crucial to local programs working to achieve their goals."
For more information, go to www.icjia.state.il.us.