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Local Anti-Gang Funding Gets a Boost

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Local Anti-Gang Funding Gets a Boost

Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip (right) and U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (left) announced the grant. (WBEZ/Sam Hudzik)

More money is on the table for anti-gang programs in Northern Illinois. The Department of Justice plans to hand-out $2 million for enforcement and prevention in the area. U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald says helping recently-released prisoners stay away from gangs is key to the effort.

FITZGERALD: Every time someone walks through that door and they don’t rejoin a gang, that’s a success and we don’t have to spend money on law enforcement. That’s a lot cheaper than housing someone for 15 years. So I think it’s important. It’s not going to cure it all in one shot-no one’s going to say that-but it’s important that we do a comprehensive effort.

Fitzgerald says some of the money will go to community groups that help released prisoners find jobs. The Department of Justice could not say when the checks would actually be delivered. Illinois U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama asked the department to include Chicago in the grant program several months ago. The senators noted a string of gang-related murders this year.

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