There are hundreds of social service programs and organizations in Chicago, but only a handful of them focus on helping 18-to-24 year old men in neighborhoods on the South and West sides. That’s a problem because that demographic is the group that’s driven the number of shootings and murders in Chicago to a level not seen in two decades.
In the Cook County Jail, Sheriff Tom Dart has been trying to help young men who have been locked up with everything from mental health care to anger management to job readiness. A year-old program called SAVE offers inmates counseling and training on the inside, and then connects them with social service organizations on the outside.
That second piece of the equation is tough since so few organizations cater to young ex-offenders.
Morning Shift talks to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart about the challenges to getting 18-to-24 year-old men who have committed crimes to turn over a new leaf, both inside the jail and after they are released.