The Illinois General Assembly passed legislation this session that would make it legal for adults 21 and older to purchase and use cannabis. Built into legalization is a program called the Restore, Reinvest and Renew Program, or R3. [The Program was previously called Restoring Our Communities (ROC).]
The R3 Program drives 25% of cannabis tax revenue to fund strategies that focus on violence prevention, re-entry and health services to areas across the state that our objectively found to be acutely suffering from the horrors of violence, bolstered by concentrated disinvestment.
R3 Program Board:
The R3 Board will oversee, provide guidance to and develop a structure for administering R3. The R3 Board will designate R3 Area boundaries, identifying jurisdictions eligible for funding based on state data indicating highest need communities (highest rates of gun injury, unemployment, child poverty and commitments to and returns from state prison).
The R3 Board will guide both planning and implementation activities of R3 grantees. Additionally, the R3 Board will develop a performance measurement system and a process for ongoing monitoring and evaluation of R3 programs, deliver an annual report to the General Assembly and the Governor, and facilitate the provision of technical assistance to R3 grant applicants or grantees who may need capacity building support.
Funding & Grants:
The R3 Board will approve the distribution of resources from 25% of cannabis revenues and make awards based on the likelihood that the R3 grantee plans will achieve outcomes related to gun injury rates, unemployment, child poverty and commitments to and returns from state prison. Planning activities will include an assessment of the needs and assets of grantee communities and the identification of the issue or problems to be addressed related to the social determinants and sustainable violence reduction. Implementation activities will include programming with a basis in evidence or best practice research to both address the identified issues and support the identified community assets. R3 grantees will set aside a percentage of the total grant for core program capacity to support effective implementation such as dedicated staff at the community level; data collection, monitoring and evaluation; and engagement in training and technical assistance.
The R3 Program share very similar functions to the SAFE Act, a spending plan that the Illinois Justice Project helped to develop. Illinois Justice Project helped to provide support for both plans, and as such both the R3 Program and the SAFE Act attacked disinvestment patterns and sought to reduce violence through the following principles:
Implement a public health approach that addresses root causes that rebuild communities.
Apply best practices & capacity building for groups with community relationships that drive success.
Target highest need communities for maximum impact.
Coordinate all relevant services and capacity building while building long term sustainability.
Empower directly impacted voices through community input.
Invest in performance measurement & accountability for continual growth and improvement.