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Philadelphia Reentry Coalition’s first awards ceremony celebrated these thriving returning citizens

June 22,2018 By Aviva Tevah Generocity "The Philadelphians we honored yesterday are living proof of what can happen when people have real opportunities, resources and support as they move forward with their lives after incarceration," writes Director Aviva Tevah. For Reentry Awareness Month this year, the Philadelphia Reentry Coalition did something new: On June 21, we held our first-ever Reentry Celebration and Awards Ceremony. With over a hundred member organizations, the coalition includes reentry service providers, government agencies, advocates, academics and others. This event was an opportunity for us to take a break from our normal meetings — often focused on shared barriers in our e

After Prison, Coming Home Can be the Toughest Ordeal of All

June 1, 2018 By Marianne Dodson The Crime Report Prison is often just a stop along the road for individuals who have been struggling with victimization all their lives, says Harvard sociologist Bruce Western. Western, author of the recently released Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison, said he was shocked by the findings of his own research showing the amount of violence many inmates had experienced long before they were incarcerated. “In a world that is so saturated with issues of moral complexity, our criminal justice winds up piling punishment upon people who are the most disadvantaged and have very serious histories of victimization,” Western said. Western, the Daniel and Florence Gu

Philadelphia must stop holding children in adult jails

June 12, 2018 By Michelle Mason and Lauren Fine, for the Inquirer Philly.com When “J” was 16, he was arrested and charged as an adult. Despite his young age, he was sent to an adult jail, as is the current practice for all youths facing adult charges in Philadelphia and as described in detail in a recent Inquirer and Daily News story Over 19 months of pretrial incarceration, before he was convicted of any crime, J was put in solitary confinement on seven separate occasions. The first time, he spent seven days in the hole. On each subsequent trip, he was in isolation for 30 days or more. In all, J spent more than six months in solitary. During that time, he was alone in a cell for 23 hours a

Mayor honors Restorative Justice Guild program graduates

June 25, 2018 By Phillip Jackson Picture by Johann Calhoun The Philadelphia Tribune The Mural Arts of Philadelphia honored the 2018 graduates of its Restorative Justice Guild program at City Hall on Wednesday. The graduates were recognized by Mayor Jim Kenney along with several council members and the executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, Jane Golden. Participants are referred to the program by the Youth Violence Reduction Partnership and the Philadelphia Prison System. The program has a record in reducing recidivism through its duration and the 18 months that follow, with a marginal rate of 15 percent compared with the statewide average of 35 percent. The guild’s current rate of jo

"Clean Slate" Bill Approved by Pennsylvania General Assembly

Groundbreaking Automated Record Sealing with Broad Support Will Help Pennsylvanians Get a Second Chance Today, a "Clean Slate" bill providing for automated sealing of qualified criminal cases (HB 1419) was passed by the PA Senate and will be sent to the Governor's desk. Governor Wolf has pledged to sign the bill, which will make Pennsylvania the first state to seal criminal cases by automated computer processes. The bill enjoyed remarkably broad support, including from legislators and advocacy groups that rarely find common ground. Clean Slate provides for automatic sealing of arrests ending without convictions immediately, summary offense convictions after 10 years, and some misdemeanor con

WeWork Creator Awards: Apply Now

WeWork is the platform for creators. We provide not just workspace, but also community and services that support forward-thinking companies around the world. As the nature of work changes, more and more people are pursuing careers with intention. The Creator Awards is a way for us to support those who are leading the way. Increase your brand's visibility. Get Feedback from the World's top founders, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders. Win funding that could change everything.EndFragment Categories to apply: Performing Arts You’re a musical group, dance troupe, slam poet, aerial silk artist, or other live performer, and you’re interested in sharing your art with our audience. Finalists from th

Meet Our Members: Our Closet

Our Closet is a volunteer-driven non-profit with the mission of providing free clothing to vulnerable Philadelphians and their families throughout Philadelphia. The organization partners with host sites in various neighborhoods on pop-up shops where those in need can obtain clothing in a warm, welcoming, respectful and dignified manner. There are no eligibility requirements or forms to fill out. Our Closet aims to meet this basic need in our community so that shoppers can focus on other issues such as recovery, food security, housing and employment. Our Closet has recently begun piloting a new reentry initiative, partnering with Chester County’s Probation and Parole department to create and

After 14 years in prison, individual fills out his first resume - and hopes

June 12, 2018 By Tommy Rowan Picture by Tommy Rowan The Inquirer It was a sample resumé, and West’s goal that recent day was to build his own, his first, filling it top to bottom with enough skills and accomplishments to persuade a prospective employer to hire him. For a 39-year-old man who walked out of prison on May 3 after doing 14 years for third-degree murder, it would be a challenge — but not one he’d have to face alone. West sat across a table from Joe Robinson, his lifeline, in a rundown church office framed by tarnished stained-glass windows. Over the last three years, as head of the Pennsylvania Prison Society’s mentoring program, Robinson has met with hundreds of ex-offenders whos

OIC of America celebrates first anniversary of its re-entry program

June 9, 2018 By Ayana Jones The Philadelphia Tribune As an ex-offender, Kasim Ward is thankful for the opportunity to have a second chance. The 20-year-old is currently tapping into OIC of Americas, Inc.’s re-entry program named SOAR (Skills and Opportunities for Achievement and Responsibility). Through its affiliate network, OICA aims to reduce recidivism by helping formerly incarcerated young adults between the ages of 18 to 24 successfully transition back into their communities. “I appreciate the whole idea of reentry,” Ward said, as he spoke during an event held Friday afternoon to mark Re-entry Month and celebrate SOAR’s first year anniversary. “I learned from my mistakes. I made some m

MOMobile Managed Care Advocate II (Case Manager)

Description: Maternity Care Coalition seeks a Case Manager responsible for providing culturally sensitive home visiting, health education and case management services to pregnant and newly parenting women including: assessment, referral, follow-up, monitoring and emotional support. Qualified candidates will have knowledge of maternal child health or other community health issues; experience providing services in a community setting; and excellent communication skills. Valid driver’s license required and Bachelor’s degree in social work, public health or related field preferred. Bilingual candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. Professional Level: Entry level Minimum Degree Required: 2

Bridge to Opportunities: How One Probation Agency Developed a Program Designed to Connect Probatione

The Rand Corporation This report is one component of a larger RAND project aimed at addressing income inequalities faced by workers with criminal records. Given the labor market challenges faced by people with criminal convictions, it can be challenging for probation agencies to help their clients find jobs, let alone earn living wages. This report summarizes findings from a descriptive case study of one program focused on the construction industry intended to improve the earning potential of individuals on probation in Sacramento County, California. Using a qualitative approach, the authors provide an understanding of how the program evolved; describe how program activities are delivered; i

A Prison-Reform Bill Passed the House 360–59. It’ll Probably Die in the Senate.

June 6, 2018 By Michael Tanner Picture by Lucy Nicholson The National Review Imagine legislation that was drafted with the help of presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and, unsurprisingly, supported by President Trump himself. Imagine that this same bill is supported by such stalwarts of “The Resistance” as the Urban League and the Equal Justice Initiative, and also backed by prominent conservative groups such as FreedomWorks and the Faith and Freedom Coalition. The Koch brothers and Grover Norquist are advocates, and so is liberal commentator Vann Jones. In fact, imagine a bill so bipartisan that it passed even this deeply divided House on a 360–59 vote. That legislation would be the “FIRS

Is the "First Step Act" Real Reform? Congress and criminal justice, a scorecard

May 22, 2018 By Justin George The Marshall Project The First Step Act, which passed the House of Representatives Tuesday, has been a hot-button topic for Congress. It addresses the dire need for rehabilitative services in the federal prison system, proves there is strong bipartisan support for at least modest criminal justice reform and underscores a strategic debate that has split the Democratic Party. What is the First Step Act? The bill, sponsored by Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat, and Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican, seeks to add educational and vocational training and mental health treatment in federal prison. It earmarks $50 million a year over five years to expand these

The $580 Co-pay: In prison, seeing the doctor can cost up to a month's salary

May 30, 2018 Beth Schwartzapfel The Marshall Project For those in the outside world accustomed to paying $25 or more at every doctor’s visit, the idea of prisoners paying $2 to $8 to see a doctor seems nominal. Forty-two states plus the federal Bureau of Prisons charge a co-pay, according to the Prison Policy Initiative, a criminal justice think tank. When you’re making pennies an hour, or nothing at all, a small co-pay can be the equivalent of hundreds of dollars. Illinois lawmakers want to change that in their state. They voted last week to eliminate the $5 co-pay the state’s prisons have been charging for years. “When you’re denied your liberty, medical care is part of the deal. If you ne

They’re Out of Prison. Can They Stay Out of the Hospital?

May 29, 2018 By Patricia Leigh Brown Picture by Jason Henry The New York Times SAN FRANCISCO — The night Ronald Sanders turned his life around, he had been smoking crack for two days in a tiny, airless room. His infant son, Isaiah, was breathing in the fumes. “His chest was beating really hard,” Mr. Sanders recalled. “So I pray: ‘If my son makes it through the night, that’s it.’” Mr. Sanders quit using drugs and stopped cycling in and out of prison more than two decades ago. He is now a community health worker who helps people getting out of prison deal with a host of medical, psychiatric and substance abuse disorders. As the country tries to shrink its aging prison population, the inmates b

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