Three Madison-area agencies received nearly $60,000 worth of grants to address systemic racial inequities in the criminal justice system.

Mentoring Positives will receive $15,000 for programming enhancements, Families Back to the Table, Inc. will receive $15,000 to help families having “difficulties with life circumstances” and Today Not Tomorrow, Inc. will receive $27,500 to expand family support services, according to a Dec. 5 county news release.

The agencies have been selected to receive the Tamara D. Grigsby Office of Equity and Inclusion’s 2019 Partners in Equity (PIE) – Racial Equity and Social Justice (RESJ) Grants, Dane County officials announced last week.

“Dane County is honored to partner with this year’s grant recipients and support their work to address racial inequities in the community,” county executive Joe Parisi said. “By partnering together, we can ensure opportunity for all and help Dane County residents reach their full potential.”

State Representative and Dane County Board Supervisor Shelia Stubbs said in the news release the grants “will continue to foster partnerships with programs that continue to address the daunting racial disparities that exist in this county.”

Funding for Mentoring Positives will be used to “design and evaluate enhancements” to programming for youths referred by the Neighborhood Intervention Program.

“These youth have had exposure to the juvenile justice system and will take classes to help earn high school credits, meet court-ordered community service requests, and/or earn a ‘Positive Path’ degree from the organization to recognize their hard work,” according to the news release.

Funding for Families Back to the Table, Inc. will assist families in jeopardy of out-of-home placement, having children placed in foster care or coming into contact with the criminal justice system. The program will “provide family support groups, offer nutrition education, encourage attendance at local events and community meetings, and host weekly discussions with participants,” according to the news release. The organization will also work with families on communication skills, conflict resolution, gang prevention and career development.

Funding for Today Not Tomorrow, Inc. will be used to expand programming with clients at ARC Community Services and the ARC Maternity and Infant Care Program, and help expand parenting support-related services to incarcerated women.

“The organization is designed to improve lifespan health disparities by offering community based programming and early intervention through an infant mental health and trauma informed lens,” according to the news release.

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