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Grant will support city outreach to Baltimore’s ex-offenders

A grant from the City Accelerator Initiative will help Baltimore promote community engagement among the recently incarcerated.

The initiative, funded by the Citi Foundation and the nonprofit Living Cities, provides funding to promote innovation in local government. Baltimore is one of five cities in the program’s second cohort, and each will receive up to $170,000, the initiative announced Tuesday.

The city will use the money to continue its efforts to encourage those leaving incarceration and their families to engage in community and neighborhood associations and community relations councils, said Angela C. Johnese, director of the Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice, in a pitch video the city submitted to City Accelerator.

The funds will also help the city measure the effectiveness of its engagement strategies, Johnese said.

The city’s ultimate goal is to work with ex-offenders to develop strategies to reduce violent crime in the city and to improve re-entry services to help ex-offenders get back on their feet.

“In order to make our communities safer and effectively reduce recidivism, we need to be able to partner with people who are rejoining society and support them on their path to success,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. “Thanks to Living Cities and the Citi Foundation, we’ll be able to adopt best practices in engaging this vitally important population.”