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Pennsylvania to Close Retreat Prison Facility

Pennsylvania Plans to Close Another Prison Marc Levy - August 28, 2019 Pennsylvania prison officials are planning to close another prison, as the inmate population continues to decline and prison costs rise, lawmakers and union officials said Wednesday. Prison officials briefed lawmakers and Retreat state prison staff in northeastern Pennsylvania about their plans to close the facility but have not released details to the public. Two Luzerne County Democrats, Sen. John Yudichak and Rep. Gerald Mullery, whose districts include Retreat, said they would fight the closure. Both lawmakers said that closing the facility, as well as the separate planned closure of a nearby state institution for the

Success Beyond The Bars Symposium - September 21st

Community Forgiveness and Restoration Symposium Community Forgiveness & Restoration will be hosting a symposium titled, Success Beyond the Bars that will focus on probation/parole, job opportunities, and criminal justice reform. Hosted by radio personality, Solomon Jones, the event will feature community leaders, returning citizens, state reps, and senators partaking in panel discussion. The event is free to attend. Refreshments will be served from 8am - 8:30am. 9am - 12pm September 21st, 2019 Christian Stronghold 4701 Lancaster Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19131 The Community Forgiveness and Restoration Initiative is an assembly of clergy, community leaders and members, and rehabilitated and tra

Philadelphia and Mural Arts Double Job Numbers of Same-Day Pay Program

Expansion of Philly Same-Day Pay Program Doubles Job Numbers Pat Loeb - August 27, 2019 "Philadelphia has expanded an effort to reduce panhandling by offering low-barrier employment, and dozens of people are lining up every morning for a chance to get one of the jobs. The expansion has doubled the number of jobs and raised the program's goals. The jobs are awarded by lottery Monday through Thursday mornings in Love Park. Ten people are selected to work with Mural Arts Philadelphia in a continuation of a pilot project that started in April and has already completed a major project in Suburban Station. Another 10 people are now being selected for jobs with the city's Community Life Improvement

ACLU Seeking Consultants for 2019-2020 - Deadline September 13th

Incarcerated Women’s Working Group: Seeking Consultants for 2019-2020 The Working Group is looking to hire two formerly incarcerated women to serve as consultants. Consultants will work 4-5 hours per month over a period of 9-10 months, starting in early Fall 2019. Consultants will receive $1,000 for their work. They will also be reimbursed for their transportation costs. Consultants will work with Working Group facilitators and members to: Plan agendas for our meetings Facilitate our meetings Stay in contact with Working Group members between meetings Follow-up on “to do” items between meetings Consultants must be available to attend Working Group meetings every other month from October to J

Philadelphia Reentry Coalition Training Series Recap: Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships

As part of our monthly training series, Philadelphia Reentry Coalition hosted a training by researchers from Drexel, Temple, and the PA Department of Corrections earlier this month. The training focused on the best practices involved in building and sustaining effective relationships between researchers and practitioners. Below is a summary of some of the key takeaways from the training. The Philadelphia Reentry Coalition is a group of 115 Philadelphia agencies and organizations committed to reducing recidivism. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive alerts regarding our future training sessions and much more! Strengthening Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships August 14th, 2019 Dr. Ajima O

Philadelphia Jails Commit to Releasing All Returning Citizens with Their Belongings

After Inquirer Probe, Philly Jails Will Release Prisoners Earlier and with All of Their Belongings Pranshu Verma - August 26, 2019 "Two weeks after an Inquirer investigation revealed that the Philadelphia Department of Prisons released nearly three-quarters of people from jail without their IDs, cash, or phones, the department has announced it will allow incarcerated people to be discharged earlier in the evening and with all of their belongings. “Anyone released after the close of their facility’s Cashier’s Office will now receive their property at their facility,” Prison Commissioner Blanche Carney wrote in a letter to the editor published Monday in The Inquirer. In Philadelphia’s jail sys

Prison Policy Initiative Finds That People Who Are Jailed Have Much Higher Rates of Social, Economic

Arrest, Release, Repeat: How Police and Jails Are Misused to Respond to Social Problems "Police and jails are supposed to promote public safety. Increasingly, however, law enforcement is called upon to respond punitively to medical and economic problems unrelated to public safety issues. As a result, local jails are filled with people who need medical care and social services, many of whom cycle in and out of jail without ever receiving the help they need. Conversations about this problem are becoming more frequent, but until now, these conversations have been missing three fundamental data points: how many people go to jail each year, how many return, and which underlying problems fuel this

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Seeks New Workforce Development Manager

PHS Looking to Hire Workforce Development Manager The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) advances the well-being of the Philadelphia region by creating healthier living environments, building deeper connections between people, and increasing access to fresh food and economic opportunity. Together with the City and community-based organizations, PHS works to transform Philadelphia’s vacant land into neighborhood assets by building and managing a network of local contractors and community groups to stabilize, clean, green and maintain vacant lots in Philadelphia. To further grow economic opportunities, PHS leads pre and post-release training programs for returning citizens and places suc

Funding Available for Organizations Creating Safe Space and/or Organizing Capacity for Immigrant Com

Immigrant Communities Safe & Thriving The Alfred and Mary Douty Foundation is inviting proposals for its 2019 RFP, the focus of which is Immigrant Communities Safe & Thriving. Under the RFP, grants of $20,000 per year over three years will be awarded to organizations located in the Pennsylvania counties of Philadelphia and Montgomery working to create safe spaces for and/or strengthen the capacity of local immigrant communities to thrive. To be eligible, applicants must be tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code or have a fiscal sponsor with such status; serve Montgomery and/or Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania; and have an annual budget of no more than $1 million

Funding Available for Groups Working to Advance Social and Environmental Justice

Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program The Ben and Jerry’s Foundation is inviting applications for its Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program. Through the program, grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded to nonprofit community-based groups in the United States working to advance social and environmental justice and support sustainable and just food systems. The foundation prioritizes the types of activities and strategies an organization uses for creating social change rather than on the specific issues the organization is addressing. Priority strategies identified by the foundation include: community and ally outreach; leadership development; constituent empowerment and de

Funding Available For Groups Working to End the Use of Money Bail, Transform Pretrial Justice, and B

Borealis Philanthropy Invites Applications for the Spark Justice Fund The Spark Justice Fund is a donor collaborative at Borealis Philanthropy that supports grassroots organizing and advocacy groups working to end the use of money bail in the criminal justice system, transform pretrial justice, and build power in communities most impacted by incarceration in the United States. To advance this mission, the fund is inviting LOIs from innovative grassroots organizing and advocacy groups that work authentically with constituencies most impacted by mass incarceration (particularly those groups led by individuals directly impacted by the system); demonstrate a clear power-building and leadership-d

Bianca van Heydoorn and Aviva Tevah Appointed to City’s New Office of Reentry Partnerships

Bianca van Heydoorn and Aviva Tevah Appointed to City’s New Office of Reentry Partnerships Sabrina Vourvoulias - August 19, 2019 "Bianca van Heydoorn, until recently part of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University, and Aviva Tevah, from the Philadelphia Reentry Coalition, will serve as senior director and director of policy and planning, respectively, for a newly created Office of Reentry Partnerships. Mayor Jim Kenney made the announcement today, saying the new office will be responsible for the development of a comprehensive reentry strategy for the city of Philadelphia. It will consolidate staff from the Office of Re-Integration Services (RISE) and Office

Philadelphia to Open New Office to Support Returning Citizens

Philadelphia Creates a New City Office to Support People Returning from Prison Pat Loeb - August 19, 2019 "Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is creating a new city office to coordinate services for formerly incarcerated people who are returning to the community. The Office of Reentry Partnerships will be led by Bianca van Heydoorn, currently at Temple University. She'll report to the Deputy Managing Director for Criminal Justice and Public Safety, Vanessa Garrett Harley. "One big part of the violence prevention strategy is re-entry, because the majority of the shootings and homicides that are done in the city are done by people with a criminal record," Harley said. "And so, you want to get to th

Mayor to Create New Office of Focusing on Reentry

Kenney to Create New Office Focusing On Reentry Michael D'Onofrio - August 19, 2019 "Philadelphia is setting up a new office to rework and unify services for the formerly incarcerated as a newly released report found the city’s reentry efforts were “fragmented and siloed.” The Philadelphia Reentry Coalition noted in its report, Philadelphia’s Reentry Services Landscape, the city had a “solid foundation of reentry services … to build on to improve reentry outcomes.” Mayor Jim Kenney intends to consolidate some of those reentry services under a new office — the Office of Reentry Partnerships — this month. “This new office represents a renewed commitment by my administration to take a hard look

Philly Takes New Efforts to Halt Recidivism

New City Agency to Oversee Philly’s ‘Fragmented’ Reentry for Returning Citizens Avi Wolfman-Arent - August 19, 2019 "Philadelphia thinks its new Office of Reentry Partnerships will fix a “fragmented” approach to helping those returning from prison or jail. The new office, unveiled Monday, will oversee the patchwork of government agencies and nonprofits that work with the estimated 25,000 formerly incarcerated people who return to Philadelphia each year. “This new office represents a renewed commitment by my administration to take a hard look at what we can do differently to better support the formerly incarcerated,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement. It will consolidate employees who work

Mayor Announces New Office of Reentry Partnerships

Mayor Announces the Creation of Office of Reentry Partnerships Mike Dunn - August 19, 2019 Mayor Kenney today announced the creation of the Office of Reentry Partnerships, which will be responsible for the development and implementation of a comprehensive reentry strategy for the City. “This new office represents a renewed commitment by our Administration to take a hard look at what we can do differently to better support the formerly incarcerated,” said Mayor Kenney. “We know that breaking the cycle of recidivism will strengthen neighborhoods, help us decrease our city’s pervasive poverty rate, and improve the quality of life for all Philadelphians.” This announcement coincides with the re

Reentry Coalition and Temple Release In Depth Report on State of Reentry Services Across Philadelphi

Reentry Coalition Releases Report on the Landscape of Reentry Services in Philadelphia The Philadelphia Reentry Coalition has released our long awaited report, “Philadelphia’s Reentry Services Landscape.” This report, co-authored by Temple University’s Department of Criminal Justice, is a comprehensive survey of more than 100 programs that serve people with criminal justice system involvement. The report reflects our strategic objectives of increasing the availability of data about reentry in Philadelphia and allocating resources to better match services to needs. The report’s findings suggest there are large gaps in Philadelphia’s reentry services, and indicate a clear need to align fragme

JEVS Human Services Wins Top Prize in the Minds That Move Us Challenge

JEVS Wins Top Prize During Minds That Move Us' Career Pathways Festival Earlier this month, JEVS Human Services attended the Career Pathways Festival in Miami, Florida, where ten teams from around the country pitched innovative education and training models that create social equity and economic mobility for youth and adult learners. The annual festival is hosted by Minds That Move Us, an organization that seeks to engage the bright minds of public/private partners in order to examine the current education and training gaps within their communities and then create models that can be scaled and replicated within various industries. JEVS was advocating on behalf of their Pathways to Prosperity

Transformation Yoga Project Highlighted by KYW

Matt Engler Credits Mindfulness, Yoga for Helping Turn His Life Around Hadas Kuznits - August 18, 2019 An unconventional instructor led a yoga and meditation class on the grounds of Eastern State Penitentiary this weekend. Matt Engler says he first learned to meditate at Graterford Prison, now SCI Phoenix, where he was serving 20 years for home invasion robbery. "There was a book. The book was, Bo Lozoff “We're All Doing Time” and this book seemed to kind of just keep reappearing in my life," he said. Eventually, Engler says he started teaching meditation to his fellow prison inmates and when Transformation Yoga Project offered yoga trainings. "A staff member actually asked well, would you w

Funding Available for Organizations to Address Employment of Women Affected by the Opioid Epidemic

[Apply Now] Re-Employment Support and Training for the Opioid Related Epidemic Grant Program The U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau is seeking applications for the Re-Employment Support and Training for the Opioid Related Epidemic (RESTORE) Grant Program, which provides funding to directly address the employment needs of women affected by the opioid crisis and combat its impact in some of the hardest hit areas of the country. Applicants must show how they will establish and/or build on cooperative relationships among service providers and key stakeholders from community-based and nonprofit organizations, state and federal workforce development systems, public health and substance addi

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