The Dallas City Council approved up to $500,000 in housing and job training support for people leaving prison in what a supporter called a first step toward reimagining public safety, the Dallas Morning News reports. The council’s unanimous vote will use state grant money to try to reduce recidivism, an effort that includes a two-year contract with the Regional Black Contractors Association of North Texas Inc.
Dallas was recently a test site for a prison reentry pilot program backed by the White House called “Safe Streets and Second Chances.” The Charles Koch Foundation pumped $4 million into the 15-month initiative, which seeks to measure how to reduce recidivism and lower costs by providing former offenders with tailored services to help them stay clean. It launched in spring 2018. The program’s leader, Carrie Pettus-Davis, a criminal justice researcher and an assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis, said the city was well ahead of the curve on providing reentry services for its large ex-offender population.