Reentry Month Member Profile: Furnishing a Future

Founded about four years ago, by Steve Greenberg, Furnishing a Future aims to both provide the valuable skill of carpentry for those working towards re-entering society. Along with carpentry, Furnishing a Future provides training on general job readiness skills, job application skills, and a community and network to aid with one’s reentry into society. Steve Greenberg attributes his inspiration for Furnishing a Future to his daughter who got involved in re-entry programming after graduating College. After speaking and working with companies and asking them what would be valuable for them and their workforce, Greenberg developed Furnishing a Future with the aim of proving an employable and va

The Sentencing Project's Women and Life Imprisonment Webinar - July 11th

Thursday, July 11, 2019 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT While men compromise the overwhelming proportion of people in prison for life, the number of women serving life sentences is rising more quickly than it is for men. Nationwide one of every 15 women in prison — nearly 7,000 women — is serving a life or virtual life sentence. The circumstances that lead women to commit violent crimes are often complicated by a history of sexual and/or physical trauma. The Sentencing Project invites you to join us for a conversation around women and life imprisonment. Panelists Ashley Nellis: The Sentencing Project Judy Henderson: National Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls Fellow Roma

The Center for Urban Pedagogy has an Open Call for advocates!

Calling all advocates and organizers! (designers, click here!) CUP is looking for community and advocacy organizations working to address policy issues that would benefit from a visual explanation, and where the lack of understanding of the issue is leading to social injustice. Together, we’ll collaborate with art and design professionals to take on complex problems and break them down into an accessible, culturally appropriate visual tool that you can distribute to your constituents. There are two ways to work with CUP through this open call: Public Access Design projects are short collaborations that result in a visual tool that meets an NYC-based advocate’s organizing needs as they arise.

Helping Incarcerated Individuals Reenter Society

June 24, 2019, Jensen Toussaint - Al Dia For someone who has spent years behind bars, it can be very difficult to re-enter and become reacclimated into society. It can be easy to revert back to the ways that initially caused the individual to become incarcerated, due primarily to be barriers that make reenter so difficult. Recognizing this, judges of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania got together and developed a program to help ex-offenders reintegrate in society. In 2007, they officially launched the Supervision to Aid Reentry (STAR) program. The program targets high-risk offenders coming home to Philadelphia who had served significant federal prison time. It’s an opt-in program, in whic

Reentry Month Member Profile: Center for Literacy

The Center for Literacy began as a volunteer tutoring agency in 1968. Over 50 years later, they still strive to disrupt the cycle of poverty by providing college and career readiness for adults to succeed in post-secondary education, to obtain knowledge-based jobs of the future, and to support the educational attainment of their children. In collaboration with the Office of Adult Education, PA CareerLink and other partners across the Philadelphia, the Center for Literacy works to improve the reading and math skills of adults to help them pass the GED or HiSET, obtain jobs, retain jobs, improve their careers, join vocational trainings or universities and achieve other academic and life goals.

Labeled a murderer for 24 years, Philadelphia man is exonerated

June 24, 2019, Samantha Melamed - The Philadelphia Inquirer It took almost 25 years, but the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office finally conceded that Johnny Berry, who was just 16 when he was arrested in 1994, did not participate in the murder of Leonard Jones, 73, in the city’s Parkside neighborhood. At the initial trial, the DA offered Berry’s co-defendant, Tauheed Lloyd, a deal to testify against Berry. As a result, Lloyd got a 15½- to 37-year sentence, and Berry got life. And in 2008, when Berry received a hearing on his post-conviction appeals, the DA warned Lloyd that recanting could lead to perjury charges or even a new prosecution for murder. But Monday morning, at the Stout Cen

Assistant Crew Leader – PowerCorpsPHL, AmeriCorps Position

June 25, 2019 - PHENND Position Type: AmeriCorps position; six-month to one-year, full-time service term Compensation: $1,720/month pre-tax plus transportation and AmeriCorps benefits Organization Summary EducationWorks engages children and young people by providing high quality educational programs that make the school day whole and reengage disconnected young adults to education and career readiness. From in-school programs to out-of-school time and AmeriCorps service, youth from six years to adulthood are positively impacted by EducationWorks programming. EducationWorks creates Opportunities for Learning and Skills for Life. Launched in September 2013, PowerCorpsPHL is a City of Philadel

Barriers to Re-Entry: Fines, Fees and the Criminalization of Poverty, July 19

June 25, 2019 - PHENND Please join the Philadelphia Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity for their Barriers to Re-Entry: Fines, Fees and the Criminalization of Poverty Event Date: July 19, 2019 Time: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM Location: United Way, 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Description: Criminal court fines and fees are a significant barrier to re-entry for justice-involved individuals. While they exist on the principle that the cost of criminal justice should be shared by those in the system, according the San Francisco’s Financial Justice Project, “Steep fines and fees can be a ‘lose-lose’ for citizens and for government. Research has shown that fines and f

Eastern State is Hiring!

Eastern State’s new mission-centered project Hidden Lives Illuminated culminates at the end of the summer. Two years in the making, this is a free month long event featuring animated films made by incarcerated artists projected on to the façade of ESPHS nightly. Hidden Lives Illuminated Program Ambassadors (Temporary, Part-Time) Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site (ESPHS) seeks outgoing, engaging and passionate people for the position of Program Ambassador. Program Ambassadors serve as the face of Hidden Lives Illuminated, a month long summer event featuring animated films made by incarcerated artists projected on to the façade of ESPHS nightly. A detailed description for the position a

Reentry Month Member Profile: The Petey Greene Program

On any given week day, you’ll likely see students in bright green t-shirts in classrooms of four of Philadelphia’s correctional facilities: Camden County, Federal Detention Center, Philadelphia Department of Prisons, and SCI Chester. Students from four colleges in Philly volunteer weekly as tutors as part of The Petey Greene Program, a nonprofit organization that works to support the academic achievements of incarcerated folks. I have personally been involved for the past two years while at Penn, and it has easily been the most rewarding and transformative experience I’ve had during my college years. The relationships that we are able to form with our incarcerated students are enriching and


June 5, 2019, Roxanne Patel Shepelavy - The Citizen The Citizen's Executive Editor Roxanne Patel Shepelavy reports on how Philly won $1 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies for a Juvenile Justice Hub proposed by city cops. Could it become a national model of reform? For any of the 4,000 young people arrested in Philadelphia last year, the scenario went something like this: They were taken to the local police precinct, fingerprinted, put into a holding cell with other juveniles or sometimes adults, and made to wait with little communication—sometimes hours, while the police checked for outstanding warrants, contacted guardians and made decisions about whether to press charges. Half the time,

YSRP receives Impact100 Philadelphia's $100,000 Core Mission grant

(Joanna Visser Adjoian, Co-Director, and Cameron Holmes, Reentry Supervisor, present to Impact100 Philadelphia's members on June 3, 2019.) "YSRP is profoundly grateful to the engaged membership, 398 women strong, of Impact100 Philadelphia that vetted our proposal, visited us in person, and voted to support our work at their June 3rd annual meeting. Impact100 Philadelphia is a collective giving organization that engages women in philanthropy and supports organizations across the Philadelphia region with high-impact grants. YSRP is one of five grant recipients. We are humbled by our company of grantees: Education Law Center, Musicopia, Neighborhood Gardens Trust and Prevention Point Philadelph

Reentry Month Member Profile: Graduate! Philadelphia

Anthony Johnson knows a thing or two about dreams. A College Success Advisor at Graduate! Philadelphia, Johnson spends his days helping returning citizens fulfill their goal of obtaining a college degree. For him, a typical day includes reaching out to clients and local universities to support formerly incarcerated folks on their path to graduation. Johnson began working for Graduate! Philadelphia, a non-profit that aims to help adults receive college degrees, in 2016. However, he has over twenty years of experience working as an educator in the reentry community. In 1995, he founded the Dream Field Academy, an organization that connects formerly incarcerated folks return to civilian life by

Root and Rebuild Launched National ‘Fair Chance Housing’ Toolbox

A NATIONAL KNOW-YOUR-RIGHTS TOOLKIT FOR ACCESSING HOUSING WITH A RECORD What is “Fair Chance Housing”? To us, Fair Chance Housing means that people with criminal records should not have to experience additional barriers to accessing housing because of their record. Every person deserves a safe, affordable place to live. It also means that landlords’ policies must follow federal, state and local laws that protect people from unlawful discrimination because of their race, color, ethnicity, gender, disability, or family status and laws that regulate background checks. What is the purpose of this national Fair Chance Housing toolbox? You will find powerful materials for educating yourself and yo

Event Tonight! Intro to Financial Literacy Seminar for Returning Citizens

Join PCFU at the Parkway Central Library at 1901 Vine Street on Thursday, June 20 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Come get the tools to manage your finances and make yourself financially successful. Get tips on Savings Practices Understand Spending Habits Learn about Credit and Identity Protection

The last death-row inmate at Eastern State Penitentiary returns after 50 years in prison

June 6, 2019, Samantha Melamed - The Philadelphia Inquirer The last time that Samuel Barlow visited Eastern State Penitentiary, he arrived surrounded by six or seven guards — an escort designed, as he understood it, to make other inmates view him as dangerous. At the time, he was just a teenager, but he and a co-defendant would become the last death-row inmates at Philadelphia’s infamous prison, built to inspire penitence in 1829 and shuttered in 1970. “They would go to extremes to make you feel like you were on death row. It didn’t feel like it to me,” Barlow, 68, recalled. “I couldn’t envision sitting in the electric chair, frying. ... As a kid, you can’t even see to next week half the tim

Philadelphia OIC is hiring a President & CEO!

KEY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES The President & CEO will oversee direct reports and other staff, interns and volunteers. During fund raising efforts, he/she/they will spend a majority of her/his/their time leading Philadelphia OIC into its next phase of growth through developing and cultivating funds that sustain the organization’s operations as well as completes the remaining planned capital renovations. Leadership: With Philadelphia OIC’s values in mind, the President & CEO leads the organization in the implementation of the mission, vision, financial goals and overall strategic plan. Resource Development: The President & CEO leads, develops and oversees all fundraising activities and inco

How probation and parole violations are filling Pennsylvania prisons, bloating budgets

June 18, 2019, Samantha Melamed - The Philadelphia Inquirer Pennsylvania’s $2.6 billion correctional system now holds more than 48,000 people in state prisons and halfway houses — a figure that is more than triple what it was 30 years ago, even though the crime rate fell by more than a third over that same period. A new analysis by the Council of State Governments’ Justice Center, with support from Arnold Ventures, points to a hidden driver filling those prison cells: thousands of people returning to prison on parole violations each year. As of 2017, 54 percent of prison admissions in Pennsylvania were for supervision violations; the individuals returning on violations make up 16 percent of

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