Wolf, Shapiro Tout Program to Help Prisoners Re-Enter Society

State officials are launching the first statewide council to help former prison inmates navigate the challenges of finding housing, work and health care as they adjust to life outside bars. Gov. Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Monday announced the creation of the Pennsylvania Reentry Council, which aims to stop the trend of inmates being freed from prison, committing new crimes and heading back to jail. About two-thirds of convicts nationally end up re-incarcerated at some point after being released, officials said.

Pennsylvania Stepping Up Initiative to Tackle Mental Illness in County Jails

"Pennsylvania became the third state to launch a statewide Stepping Up Initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in county jails, joining Ohio and California on April 4.“Every single meeting that I have with law enforcement, the number one issue that comes up is about people with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system,” Wetzel said. “That’s why I’m excited about the Stepping Up Initiative, which takes a data-driven approach to solving this problem and addressing the needs of the individual at the local level.” Click here to read the full article.

Where Some of the Most Housing-Challenged Philadelphians Find Help

BY Jean Friedman-Rudovsky, on NextCity, "Finding stable, affordable housing is rarely easy, no matter who you are. Doing so after years behind bars can be nearly impossible. Between 70 and 90 percent of people returning from prison move in with a family member or loved one, according to Carrie Pettus-Davis, a leading reentry expert and the director of the Institute for Advancing Justice Research and Innovation, a criminal justice think tank at Washington University in St. Louis. That’s mainly because of the numerous obstacles returning citizens face in finding their own home, ranging from financial hurdles to laws restricting where people with certain criminal histories can live, to issues o

Criminal Justice Reform Must Include Education, Training

A new report from CLASP, Reconnecting Justice: Lessons Learned and the Agenda Ahead, lifts up the strong connections between education, jobs, and criminal justice. Continuing the discussion from CLASP’s Reconnecting Justice forum last fall, the report outlines our agenda for moving forward in the current political climate, where uncertainty surrounds criminal justice reform.While bipartisan support for criminal justice reform has gained momentum over the past decade, the coordinated focus on education and training for people involved in the justice system is more recent. This is partially attributable to the widely cited RAND correctional education study found correctional education and tra

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