Philly receives grants for criminal justice reform, clean energy education

Pat Loeb
October 28, 2018 - 12:04 am

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Last week was a banner week for Philadelphia, in terms of winning grants for big projects.

The Philadelphia Energy Authority received a $1.25 million award from the United States Department of Energy to develop the nation's first Clean Energy Program of Study for high school students.

PEA's executive director, Emily Schapira, says 100 students will be trained over the course of the three year grant.

“Students will ultimately be able to opt in to the program in 10th grade and will be prepared for careers in clean energy and energy efficiency, or to move forward with an apprenticeship in the building trades," she said.

Also announced this week, a $4 million grant from the McArthur Foundation for the city's criminal justice reform effort.

Julie Wertheimer, the senior director of Criminal justice Reform Strategies and Programs, says in addition to continuing to reduce the jail population, the city will use the grant to reduce racial disparities in the justice system.

“We really want to take a deep dive into our racial and ethnic disparity data at every point in the justice system and look at all of our work through a racial equity lens and figure out which is helping address disparities or how we alter implementation to better address disparities.”

The city has set a new goal to reduce the prison population by 50 percent in the next two years.