PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Office for Criminal Justice (OCJ) announced grantees for its John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge (SJC) Criminal Justice Microgrant Fund.

The Microgrant Fund of $225,000 is the second part of a larger allocation received by the City of Philadelphia to address criminal justice reform and the rising prison population in Philadelphia and nationwide. Furthermore, the funds aim to explore the disproportionate impact of the criminal legal system on certain racial and ethnic communities and to address these inequities directly.

The SJC Microgrant Fund aims to fund programs that:

  1. Develop new and creative approaches to criminal justice reform in Philadelphia.
  2. Engage communities disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system in the reform effort.
  3. Provide services to individuals who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system.
  4. Are BIPOC-led organizations seeking general operating support.

The Fund provides resources to community-based organizations doing innovative work around criminal justice reform. Up to 50 percent of the award can be used by grantees to increase organizational capacity. Grants were funded in the following categories:

  • Sustainability grants support existing initiatives.
  • Innovation grants support new projects and unique approaches.

The City funded the following organizations with this round of funding:

  • Philadelphia Youth Basketball
  • Sisters Returning Home
  • First Step Staffing
  • PAR-Recycle Works
  • Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project (YSRP)
  • 215 People’s Alliance Education Fund
  • Elevation Project
  • Klean Kensington
  • Healing Communities PA
  • Mentor Leaders Produce Mentor Leaders
  • TechCORE2 Nonprofit Corporation
  • Trapdoor, Inc.
  • Dimplez 4 Dayz, Inc.
  • The Reawakening Agency
  • Education Culture Opportunities Foundation

The funding cycle will run from November 1 2022 – Oct 31, 2023. All grantees join the SJC microgrant community, a network of agencies who are consulted for community input and participation in ongoing system reform efforts.