PLSE Hosts: Beyond the Bars - Conquering the Stigma of Criminal Records

When: June 28th, 2018 from 5 to 8:30pm Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE) will host an event to underscore the resilience of the roughly one third of Philadelphians directly impacted by criminal records. The event will include resource tables, a pop-up art exhibit, and a panel discussion highlighting individuals who refuse to be denied by criminal history information. All are invited to learn about the challenges faced those impacted by criminal history information from the experts -- those with lived experience. More information to come at

Why nonprofits need to switch to person-first language immediately

May 21, 2018 By: Valerie Johnson Picture: A. Ricketts Generocity Lately, I’ve noticed a whole lot of nonprofit staff who support marginalized populations or people with a health issue or disability using language that both irritates and frustrates me. It’s a problem that doesn’t just apply to my fellow fundraisers and nonprofit workers but to the general public, and in most cases, it comes from a place of ignorance. People-first language, also called person-first language, is language that avoids conscious or subconscious marginalization or dehumanization when discussing people. People-first language is best known for referring to people with health issues or disabilities, but applies to any

Childhood criminal record won't let daughter care for sick mom

May 23, 2018 By: Ronnie Polaneczky Picture: Melissa McCleery The Inquirer Tuck this tale into the pull-your-hair-‘til-you-scream file. And then say a prayer for Maria Navarro, who has end-stage cancer and deserves to spend as many moments as she has left with her daughter, Sasha. StartFragment As a kid, Sasha (who asks that her last name not be used here) watched her mom weep with worry about how to pay the mortgage on their Kensington home. Sasha’s father had gone AWOL years before, and the family was in constant danger of losing their house. Sasha took to the rough streets outside the front door to help her mom, selling drugs for a year until she was arrested at age 15. “I was young and ig

Why is 1 in 10 of Philly's persons in County jails still confined 'in the hole'?

May 17, 2018 By: Samantha Melamed Picture: Jose F. Moreno The Inquirer It was supposed to be one of the least restrictive forms of incarceration the city has to offer: a six- to 23-month term in a Philadelphia jail, with work release. Then, Cody Carter was caught with a cellphone. For that violation, he said, he spent six months in segregation. That typically means at least 23 hours a day locked in a narrow cell, either in isolation or with a cellmate. “It’s an experience that you can only live to understand. That’s how raw it is,” he said. “Especially the first 45 days were hell: You get nothing, no toiletries but the soap they give you, a dirty towel. It’s just a gruesome experience.” It a

Pennsylvania's newest, most expensive prison is finally ready - and people are dreading it

May 17, 2018 By: Samantha Melamed Picture: David Swanson The Inquirer Years after Pennsylvania’s newest, biggest, and most expensive prison, State Correctional Institution Phoenix, was slated for completion, certificates of occupancy have at long last been issued for the entire $400 million, 3,830-bed complex in Montgomery County. The move from Graterford Prison finally seems imminent. Staff have packed up their offices. And the men currently housed at Graterford, which Phoenix will replace, have been issued two moving boxes each. “All the shops are shut down; the machinery is out. Counselors are living out of boxes in their offices,” said Jorge Cintron Jr., an inmate who has called Graterfo

Community Health Organizer Position with Why Not Prosper, Inc.

Join those passionate about ensuring that women re-entering the community from the criminal justice system have access to health care and supports they need to succeed! We are seeking a candidate who is able to help women in our community use their voices and stories to access the services and supports they need to live a healthy, successful life. This person will connect individuals with health coverage options and support services; will work with those individuals and other to understand the problems, barriers, and other issues people face in accessing services. In addition, this person will support coalition building work to use the stories and experiences of women in re-entry to demand t

A Harvard Sociologist Breaks Down the Moral Failures Plaguing the U.S. Prison System

May 15, 2018 Ashley Hackett Pacific Standard Harvard University sociologist Bruce Western weighs in on the role of prisons in perpetuating human vulnerability. The common narrative reserved for prisons and mass incarceration revolves around one word: retribution. American society as a whole views prisons as places reserved for the most aggressive, dangerous, and malicious citizens whose actions are a product of some innate violent tendency. Prisons seem to reflect that—solitary confinement separates unstable people from their cohorts, beatings and abuse from officers mimic some crimes committed on the "outside." Harvard University researcher Bruce Western's new book, Homeward: Life in the Ye

The Reentry Project wins national journalism award for community engagement

May 18, 2018 The Reentry Project The Reentry Project — a solutions-oriented reporting collaborative focused on reducing recidivism in Philadelphia — took top Community Engagement honors in the APME Awards for 2018 which were announced Monday. The honor was granted “For leveraging innovative partnerships across news organizations, and creating a project of stunning breadth and clear engagement with the community,” according to APME, adding: “The journalism was exceptionally strong; the infographic especially impressive.” “The annual contest honors excellence and innovation in journalism, and reflects the Associated Press Media Editors’ mission of fostering newsroom leaders, empowering journal

Need Interns? Contact Pathways to Justice Careers

Pathways To Justice Careers is looking for opportunities that will provide their young people with a summer internship opportunity ‘shadowing’ a professional. Their young people are available to work from Monday through Thursday, for a total of 20 hours a week. The entire summer experience, usually, takes six weeks with the young people starting July 2 and ending in the middle of August. Interested parties should contact Raymond Jones at

Q&A about CPS Criteria and CPS Employment Opportunities

Posted May 21, 2018 What is a Certified Peer Specialist? A Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) is a person who is willing to self-identify as a person with a serious behavioral health disorder (mental illness, or co-occurring disorder) with lived experiences. To be certified, the person must have received specific training in the role, functions and skills of the Certified Peer Specialist position. The purpose of a Certified Peer Specialist is to support others in their recovery process. This relationship between peers is characterized by mutual trust and respect, sharing of experiences, learning about the recovery process, supporting the peer in multiple settings, achieving goals and moving tow

This is what it’s like to give birth while incarcerated

May 22, 2018 Ivanie Cedeno Generocity May is reentry and criminal justice month of Generocity’s 2018 editorial calendar, and on Mother’s Day, we were reminded us of all the hidden work mothers do for their kids. So this week, we want to highlight the challenges of all of the moms who could not spend the holiday with their children because they are in prison. Maternity Care Coalition (MCC) is a nonprofit that supports mothers in communities with high rates of infant mortality, high health disparities, high rates of poverty and changing immigration patterns. It also provides services to mothers residing in Riverside Correctional Facility in Northeast Philadelphia through its 30-year-old MOMobi

Jails are replacing visits with video calls—everyone hates it

May 14, 2018 ARS Technica When Rebecca Parr visited her nephew Justin Harker recently at the Knox County Jail in Tennessee, she didn't get the opportunity to see him face to face—or even through glass. Instead, she was ushered into a cramped, crowded room for a "video visitation." She talked to him on a telephone handset while watching a grainy video feed of his face. "I have experienced prison visitation a lot in my life," she told Ars—her father spent some time in prison when she was a child. "This was the most dehumanizing and impersonal that I've ever experienced. I've visited through glass before and that broke my heart when that happened. This was even worse." On the kiosks Parr and Ha

Open Positions with First Step Staffing

First Step Staffing has job openings for a Regional Account Executive, Job Coach, and an On the Job Training Coordinator. First Step Staffing is the largest nonprofit light-industrial staffing agency in the United States. Founded in 2007 in Atlanta, First Step currently employs 1,000 individuals, and is on a mission to provide a path out of homelessness through work experience. First Step is a financially independent and self-sufficient social enterprise. For more information, please visit their website. Position Listing for Regional Account Executive Position Listing for Job Coach Position Listing for On the Job Training Coordinator

Rethinking Restrictive Housing: Lessons from Five U.S. Jail and Prison Systems

May 1, 2018 Justice Center, The Council of State Governments This publication from the Vera Institute of Justice’s Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative highlights findings on how five corrections agencies across the country use restrictive housing. In recent years, the practice of restrictive housing (otherwise known as solitary confinement or segregation) in U.S. prisons and jails has been the subject of increased scrutiny from researchers, advocates, policymakers, media, and the government agencies responsible for people who are incarcerated. Originally intended to manage people who committed violence within jails and prisons, restrictive housing has become a common tool for respond

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