Offender Reentry Specialist- Behavioral Health and Re-entry Services Division

Volunteers of America Delaware Valley - Trenton, NJ The successful candidate will report to the Program Director and be an integral part of the team. The scope of the job will be outreach, engagement, and assistance to offenders seeking employment, housing, and treatment services. We are looking for someone that will be very proactive and motivated by helping our Clients succeed with their reentry into society. The employee in this position must have a Bachelor's Degree preferably in a Human Services related field or at least 5 years relevant experience. Transferable experience is preferred. Must possess effective written and verbal communication skills, and an ability to interact appropria

Barnes provides showplace for Restorative Justice artists as part of Mural Arts Philly project

By: Peter Crimmins StartFragment The site of the Barnes Foundation on Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway was once the Youth Study Center, a juvenile detention facility widely seen as depressing both architecturally and functionally. “It was bleak and gray,” said Jane Golden, director of Mural Arts Philadelphia. Fifteen years ago, she used to run art programs inside the center. “All the time, I felt my heart was breaking on behalf of the kids,” she said. “I saw great talent and ability.” It was where Russell Craig first entered the criminal justice system, a system he would be in and out of for the better part of the next dozen years. His most recent and — knock wood — last stretch was

Replacement Birth Certificates for Individuals Affected by Opioid Use Disorder

Last month Governor Wolfe declared the heroin and opioid epidemic a statewide emergency; you can read his declaration here. As a result of the Governor’s declaration, the Pennsylvania Department of Vital Records is currently waiving fees for replacement birth certificates for individuals with substance use disorders. In order to be eligible, a person must have been affected by an opioid use disorder and must be financially unable to cover the fee for a birth certificate. Application for a Birth Certificate for an Individual with an Opioid Use Disorder Declaration Fact Sheet

Member Feature: Meet the National Workforce Opportunity Network (NWON)

The National Workforce Opportunity Network (NWON) provides job readiness and career preparedness workshops throughout the Philadelphia region to help businesses meet their staffing needs and to build a skilled workforce. NWON is committed to providing Philadelphians with the career preparedness tools to increase their skills and wages. Our team has met and collaborated with local businesses to identify the skills they need to expand their workforce. We will partner with the local public workforce system in collaboration with the local Workforce Development Board, elected officials, vocation programs, colleges and universities, and grassroots community agencies to identify under served, under

Pan-African Studies Community Education Progam workshop teaches life skills after incarceration

By Ayooluwa Ariyo "While serving a five-year prison sentence, Jeffrey Abramowitz resolved to make the most of his time. He read nearly 1,000 books, including George Orwell’s “1984,” and taught about 50 classes in subjects like political science, business and math. Abramowitz was at the United States Penitentiary, Canaan — a high-security federal prison in Waymart, Pennsylvania — for embezzlement in March 2012. He spent the first two years of his sentence at the Federal Detention Center on Arch Street near 7th. “For so long, I took so much for granted,” Abramowitz said. “As a trial lawyer, I had everything. I had the house, the cars, the family.” “I took the time to really figure out what I w

Strategies for Assessing the Progress of Youth Involved in the Justice System

By Jeffrey A. Butts, Emily Pelletier, and Lila Kazemian "Across the United States, youth justice systems are increasingly turning to the science of adolescent development to inform their intervention approaches and to measure youth success. Scientific knowledge about adolescent development is often expressed through the principles of positive youth development (PYD), a programmatic framework that encourages service providers to concentrate on the ability of all young people to thrive when they experience positive relationships and meaningful activities in supportive and safe environments. Some youth service systems have long relied on PYD principles—e.g., out-of-school-time programs. Youth j

Why Philly DA Krasner could let 180+ juvenile lifers out of prison early

By Samantha Melamed "Philadelphia has sentenced more teens to life in prison with no chance of parole than any other jurisdiction in the world — and that meant it had the largest number to resentence after the U.S. Supreme Court two years ago ruled that its 2012 ban on mandatory life-without-parole sentences for minors must be applied retroactively. As of this week, 127 out of approximately 315 juvenile lifers from Philadelphia have been resentenced. For those whose cases are still in process, the election of District Attorney Larry Krasner appears to have immediately and dramatically changed the outlook. It means new deals are already on the table for 17 who had rejected offers made under t

Father. Son. Cellmates. Generations of Philly Families are Incarcerated Together

"For decades, Philadelphia has grappled with the seemingly intractable scourge of violent crime in its poorest communities, but proposed solutions often have overlooked the root causes. In this story about the epidemic of families in prison together, Samantha Melamed highlights a striking pattern in violent crime — the way it is repeated through generations. That means telling the stories of men who have been responsible for vicious, often unforgivable acts. This article does not attempt to excuse them or to gloss over the pain of those whose lives were forever altered by their crimes. The aim, rather, is to illuminate a public-safety crisis — a cycle of innocent children growing up to be vi

Research Assistant for Justice-Involved Health

Position: Research Assistant for Justice-Involved Health Center: Penn Center for Community Health Workers Principal Investigators: Chethan Bachireddy, Shreya Kangovi Research Protocol Title: Barriers to and facilitators of health for incarcerated individuals with cardiovascular disease risk factors transitioning to the community: A mixed methods study Project Summary: When incarcerated individuals are released to the community, they face substantial challenges related to securing housing, employment, social support, and health care. As a result, former inmates face a risk of death 3.5 times that of the general population, with the greatest risk (12.7 times that of the general population) occ

Training Webinars for Community Health Workers

Community Health Workers (CHWs) for the CMMI project are required to complete a 16-module training curriculum, each presented as an interactive webinar. All 16 recorded webinars and corresponding PowerPoint presentations can be found here. Below are the titles of the modules for your convenience. Module 1: Introduction to the Community Health Worker Model Module 2: Health Care for the Homeless 101: An Introduction for CHWs in the CMMI Project Module 3: Health and Public Health Module 5: Improving CHW-Client Relationships Module 6: Community Health Worker Regional Outreach and Engagement Model Module 7: Helping People to Change: A Speed Date with Motivational Interviewing Module 8: Process an

Network of Neighbors Trauma Responder Training

DBHIDS Event Community Behavioral Health 801 Market Street 1154A Philadelphia, PA 19107 21 March 2018, 08:30am — 23 March 2018, 01:00pm This 2.5-day training will equip attendees to support individuals and communities after incidents of violence and trauma. The two trainings included are: Psychological First Aid (PFA): an evidence-informed approach for assisting children, adolescents, adults, and families in the aftermath of disaster and terrorism, and Post Traumatic Stress Management (PTSM): a community-based acute trauma response intervention to be utilized after incidents of violence and trauma. These interventions are designed to foster the natural, human tendency to group together

Emerging Leader Fellowship

"The Stoneleigh Emerging Leader Fellowship cultivates the next generation of leaders advancing systems change to improve the lives of vulnerable youth. The Emerging Leader Fellowship is a two-year, hands-on learning opportunity for early career professionals in Philadelphia. Fellows work collaboratively with a host organization to execute discrete projects that simultaneously advance the mission of the organization and enhance Fellows’ skills. These projects focus on improving policies and practices in juvenile justice, child welfare, education, and health. Emerging Leader Fellows come from diverse educational backgrounds, such as law, social work, public administration, and education. All p

A Mass Incarceration Mystery: Why are black imprisonment rates going down? Four theories

"One of the most damning features of the U.S. criminal justice system is its vast racial inequity. Black people in this country are imprisoned at more than 5 times the rate of whites; one in 10 black children has a parent behind bars, compared with about one in 60 white kids, according to the Stanford Center on Poverty & Inequality. The crisis has persisted for so long that it has nearly become an accepted norm. So it may come as a surprise to learn that for the last 15 years, racial disparities in the American prison system have actually been on the decline, according to a Marshall Project analysis of yearly reports by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Rep

Are Individuals with a Criminal Record Fit to Be Lawyers? Increasingly, the Answer Is Yes

By Elizabeth Olson "Tarra Simmons, a former drug addict who had been incarcerated twice, earned a law degree with honors. Then she went through a moral character and fitness review to become a licensed lawyer in Washington State, where she lives. The licensing panel voted to block her from taking the bar licensing exam. While the committee’s rationale is under seal, it likely had something to do with the fact that she had committed felonies and gone bankrupt. Ms. Simmons, 40, has appealed the ruling successfully. “At first, I was afraid that appealing would mean they were going to shame me in public,” she said. “I did have problems, but I overcame them. This was the gateway to practice, and

Environmental Programs Grow a Better Prison System

GreenBiz By Sarah Hicks The Prison Policy Initiative creates a yearly pie chart that details the makeup of the U.S. prison system. In 2017, 2.3 million U.S. citizens were imprisoned in 5,961 facilities nationwide, ranging from Indian Country jails to federal and state prisons. About a quarter were imprisoned for nonviolent drug crimes (including 7,200 youth), and 16,000 for nonviolent immigration charges. Following their incarceration, a staggering portion of these inmates will then get caught in “jail churn,” officially known as recidivism. Many of those released from the prison system come right back. Being confined with other criminals for years at a time creates psychological damage and

Top Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform, 2017

"This policy brief from the Sentencing Project describes key reforms from 2017 that were designed to reduce the scale of incarceration and lessen the impact of the collateral consequences of a felony conviction. The report outlines senate bills and state reforms enacted by lawmakers, highlighting the following topics: specific sentencing reforms aimed at reducing the number of people in prison; addressing racial disparities in the criminal justice system; raising the age of juvenile accountability for young defendants; expansion of public assistance for people with felony drug convictions; and fair chance practices, such as access to secondary education, employment programs, and housing." Re

Disrupting the Cycle: Reimagining the Prosecutor’s Role in Reentry

"This report from the NYU Center on the Administration of Criminal Law provides concrete recommendations that prosecutors can implement in order to focus on reentry and target the risk of recidivism. The report focuses on reforms that prosecutors can implement at both the “front end” and “back end” of the process, including considering how prosecutorial discretion at various stages of a criminal case can impact defendants’ risk of recidivism and how to prepare for an incarcerated individual’s eventual reentry to their community. Other reforms discussed include how a prosecutor can use his or her power to engage diverse groups of stakeholders in outreach and education initiatives." Read full

Incentivizing Employers to Hire Ex-Offenders: What Policies Are Most Effective?

From a new RAND Corporation report: "An estimated 64.6 million Americans (25 percent of the population) have a criminal record; of those, 19.8 million have at least one felony criminal conviction. Evidence indicates that ex-offenders have substantially lower probabilities of being hired than members of other disadvantaged groups — such as welfare recipients, high school dropouts, unemployed people, and those with "spotty" work histories — who do not have a criminal record. When ex-offenders experience poor economic outcomes, they are more likely to engage in criminal activity, which further affects their job and earnings growth and the standard of living for their families, friends, and wide

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