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Funding Available for Organizations Offering High Quality Violence Prevention Services and Supports

City Launches Second Round of Violence Prevention Grants for Community-Based Organizations The Office of Violence Prevention today opened the second cycle of the Targeted Community Investment Grant Program to award microgrants to community-based organizations that offer high-quality violence prevention services and supports. “We are funding grassroot organizations that do exceptional work in the community to stop the violence,” said Theron Pride, Senior Director of Violence Prevention Strategies and Programs. “The Targeted Community Investment Grant Program is an important part of our comprehensive strategy to reduce and prevent gun violence across the city.” The first grant cycle earlier th

U.S. General Services Administration Publishes Guidebook for Economic Success

GSA Consumer Action Handbook U.S. General Services Administration has published a guidebook intended to consolidate information regarding a variety of government and consumer services. The Consumer Action Handbook features topics that affect everyone, such as credit reports, banking information, advice on healthcare, employment, education, and insurance, as well as information on identity theft. It also addresses specific issues, like managing someone else’s finances and gas pump skimming. You’ll also find tips for detecting and reporting scams, throughout the book. Please share out this resource with anyone who may find it valuable! To read the full report, click here.

US Department of Labor and Mathematica Release Report on Reentry Employment Support for Returning Ci

Supporting Reentry Employment and Success: A Summary of the Evidence for Adults and Young Adults For more than a decade, the U.S. Department of Labor has supported a system of reentry services for people who are released from an incarceration facility by committing substantial funding toward programs serving justice-involved youth and adults under the Reentry Employment Opportunities (REO) program. The overarching aim of the REO program is to improve employment outcomes and workforce readiness for the people with prior justice involvement through employment services, case management, and other supportive services, including legal services. Mathematica, with its partner, Social Policy Researc

Christian Stronghold Hosts Second Annual Community Forgiveness and Restoration Program

Group Holds Second 'Forgiveness' Forum at Christian Stronghold Nathaniel Lee - September 24, 2019 The Community Forgiveness and Restoration Program (CFR) met at Christian Stronghold Baptist Church, 4701 Lancaster Ave. in West Philadelphia, to hold its second annual forum Saturday. The event was moderated by WURD radio broadcaster Solomon Jones and consisted of a panel of formerly incarcerated men who shared their stories of redemption and reentry. “I think its something that the community can grab onto. Not because of the politicians or me or anything like that but because of the stories of the brothers that have been through this program,” Jones said. “You have brothers who have talked abou

As Returning Citizens Reenter the Workforce, Will Their Past Be Held Against Them?

After Prison, More Punishment Tracy Jan - September 3, 2019 He had spent 17 of his 46 years behind bars, locked in a pattern of addiction and crime that led to 16 prison terms. Now, Meko Lincoln pushed a cart of cleaning supplies at the reentry house to which he had been paroled in December, determined to provide for his grandchildren in a way he failed to do as a father. “Keep on movin’, don’t stop,” Lincoln sang, grooving to the British R&B group Soul II Soul on his headphones as he emptied trash cans and scrubbed toilets at Amos House. He passed a bulletin board plastered with hiring notices — a line cook, a warehouse worker, a landscaper — all good jobs for someone with a felony record,

Justice Center Webinar: Juvenile Diversion

The Essential Role of Juvenile Diversion In 2016, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention began awarding grants to states seeking to revamp their juvenile diversion policies and practices, with the goal of reducing formal system contact, improving youth outcomes, and reducing racial and ethnic disparities. In this webinar, presenters will share lessons learned from this and other juvenile diversion improvement initiatives, including How to identify and expand the population of youth who can benefit most from diversion services while protecting public safety; What research shows are the key elements of effective juvenile diversion, including clear eligibility criteria, the u

Justice Center Webinar: Youth in the Justice System and Employment

On Track: How Well Are State Preparing Youth in the Juvenile Justice System for Employment In 2019, The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center partnered with the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators to conduct a 50-state survey on the provision of career and technical education and workforce development services for youth in their juvenile justice systems. Findings from the survey, along with recommendations for implementing best practices, are highlighted in the new policy brief “On Track: How Well Are States Preparing Youth in the Juvenile Justice System for Employment?” Join representatives from the CSG Justice Center and the U.S. Department of Education in conversat

New Leash on Life Program Emphasizes Second Chances

These Dogs Get Second Chances. Just Like Their Caretakers. A stray dog started Norberto “Rob” Rosa on his path to recovery. Mr. Rosa had begun using drugs at age 9. He was labeled a career criminal by 16. “I remember the judge telling me that there was no rehabilitation for me,” he says. After a beloved family member died in 2002 while Mr. Rosa was incarcerated at Pennsylvania’s State Correctional Institution at Graterford, he signed up for an animal service program for inmates. “It was in that prison dog program where I regained my faith and life,” he says. There he met Terp, a black Labrador mix who had been adopted and returned three times. The dog was in danger of being euthanized. “I ha

Sharif Street Reintroduces Bill Focused on Sentencing Reform

A Chance of Freedom? New Bill Could Release 1,000 People Sentenced to Life in PA Prisons Aaron Moselle - September 16, 2019 Tom Schilk didn’t see the tourist he had stripped naked and bound fall from the third floor of his West Philadelphia apartment building. He was in another unit, two floors down. “We heard a bang and we went out front and [Felix] Davila was lying on the pavement. He was really damaged,” said Schilk. This was 1984. Schilk lured Davila to his property with the false promise of a sexual encounter, an improvised ruse to rob him. Schilk left him alone and, suddenly, the 35 year-old teacher from Baton Rouge was dead and no one knew exactly what happened. Schilk tried to hide t

Board of Pardons Debating 9 Sentence Commutations

Should Gov. Wolf Release These 9 Prison Lifers? The Board of Pardons Thinks So Samantha Melamed - September 13, 2019 Since Gov. Tom Wolf took office in 2015, he has commuted the life sentences of 11 men and women. That amounts to just 0.2% of Pennsylvania’s 5,450 prison lifers, who are otherwise ineligible for parole, but it’s still the highest number since Gov. Robert Casey left office nearly 25 years ago. Now, Wolf has nine more individuals to consider for release. The five-member Board of Pardons on Friday recommended those lifers for commutation during a historic marathon hearing for 20 lifers — more cases considered than on any occasion in recent memory, following a push by Lt. Gov. Joh

Board of Parole Set to Meet September 13th to Review Life Sentence Commutations

Thousands are Serving Life Without Parole Sentences in Pennsylvania. A Board of Pardons Hearing Might Begin to Change That. Joshua Vaughn - September 11, 2019 People seeking commutations from life sentences encounter a steep hurdle in the state’s board of pardons. The board will convene on Sept. 13 to review more than 20 cases. On Feb. 13, 1991, Terri-Joell Harper planned to celebrate Valentine’s Day with her boyfriend Donnell Drinks by going out for a night on the town in Philadelphia. Harper was excited to spend the evening with Drinks and looking forward to the future: She had completed the police academy and recently joined the Philadelphia Police Department. Before the night began, Drin

Advocates Pushing for End of Solitary Confinement

Should Prisons Use Solitary Confinement? Advocates Condemn It; Officials Say There is a Need Jillian Atelsek - September 10, 2019 On paper, Chris Kimmenez has every tool you’d think he needs to recover from the ordeal. He’s a former Marine with a hardened shell, a pastor with a deep faith in God’s ability to shepherd him through even the most difficult times, and a practicing psychologist with a nuanced understanding of the brain’s reaction to stress. But it’s been more than 20 years since he was locked in solitary confinement, and he said the nightmares still haven’t stopped. Most inmates in the hole spend 23 hours per day, five days per week, in their cells. On the weekdays, they get an ho

September 17th: Census Champion Training Events All Across Philadelphia

Philadelphia Census Champion Trainings On September 17th, 38 census champion trainings will be held all across Philadelphia to prepare for the upcoming 2020 Census. The 90-minute session is a unique, in-depth training to become a Census Champion; a trusted messenger equipped with the knowledge and tools to accurately and effectively answer questions and raise awareness about the 2020 Census. Philadelphia's Census Champions will become a part of a team that will share critical information to educate the public about the Census through a grassroots, neighbor-to-neighbor strategy. For a full list of locations and times of the various trainings and to register, click here.

Consumer Protection Symposium Hosted by Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity

Register for Consumer Protection: Predatory and Wealth-Stripping Practices Targeting our Neighborhoods Please join the Office of Economic Mobility and Opportunity for the next installment in their “Economic Mobility: Earn, Keep, Grow” series where we will examine threats facing consumers from the marketplace that can prevent them from preserving or building wealth, including "we buy homes for cash" schemes and reverse mortgages. Many of these threats specifically target low-income communities through relentless ad campaigns and "bandit" flyers and signage. Experts from Community Legal Services, the City of Philadelphia, and the Reinvestment Fund will be on hand to talk about these kinds of w

A New Era for the PA Board of Pardons?

A Record 21 Lifers Are Up for Commutation in Pa. Does This Presage a New Era for the Board of Pardons? Samantha Melamed September 10, 2019 James Inge, a man who’d been convicted of a 1975 robbery and killing, had invited the lieutenant governor to the State Correctional Institution Graterford to meet the other lifers and talk about the possibility that commutation — the lone, narrow path to freedom for those sentenced to life in prison in Pennsylvania — was once again within reach. The year was 1988, and that lieutenant governor, Mark Singel, would oversee the release of just 27 of the state’s lifers before one of them, Reginald McFadden, went on a violent crime spree that left three people

PowerCorpsPHL Seeks to Connect Members of Their Cohort with Other Workforce Development Programs

PowerCorpsPHL started orientation for their Fall cohort this past Tuesday and had a record-shattering turnout given our historical trends. They expect to whittle that number down throughout our orientation phase between now and September 19th but given early indications, will very likely have 10-20 solid candidates that they will not have the capacity to take and who have otherwise completed all steps asked of them to make it into PowerCorpsPHL. As a result, they are looking to support them in connecting with other opportunities and are looking for your help. PowerCorpsPHL would like to make some warm hand offs for these folks over the next two weeks. Are you currently recruiting? Do you kno

New Risk Assessment Tool for PA Cases Comes Under Continued Fire

A New Risk Assessment Tool for Sentencing in PA Criminal Cases—Reform or More Harm? | Opinion Laurel Gift - September 7, 2019 On September 5, 2019, the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing adopted a Sentence Risk Assessment Instrument that has been subject to harsh criticism and lacks public approval. After years of consideration, the commission has now acted to make the criminal sentencing system more unfair and no more reliable than a coin flip. I have seen first-hand, both as a prosecutor and now as a defense attorney, the challenges our courts face in issuing criminal sentences, and reforms are badly needed to assist Pennsylvania’s judges. Unfortunately, the commission has now acted to

Essay: Detained, But Not Deterred

Detained, But Not Deterred Derek Cain - September 5, 2019 "Contrary to a lot of negative stories you read about people not having both parents or coming from a broken home, I had a very loving family and upbringing. I was fortunate to have both parents in the home and three siblings. My parents raised me to believe that I would always have options. They also taught me that there would always be consequences for whatever decisions I made. Growing up, I had friends who were involved in drug activities and always had large amounts of money. I was never interested in taking part in that because I had a decent job. As time went on, I had my first child, my wife was a full-time nursing student, an

Hear From Baker Industries About the Philadelphia Fair Chance Hiring Incentive

Looking for Job-Ready, Motivated Entry-Level Workers? Join Baker Industries for a working lunch with their partners and hear about their innovative approach to creating opportunity in Kensington by tapping into diverse, local talent that’s often overlooked. Hear how they are meeting the hiring needs of Philadelphia manufacturers with workers from their job-readiness program. Based on trauma-informed principles, Baker Industries intensive job-readiness program uses evidence-based strategies and the creative arts to teach critical thinking skills and increase self-worth leading to motivated, job-ready workers. Date & Time Wednesday, October 9, 2019 11:30 am to 1:00pm Location 3630 I Street, Su

District Attorney Office Launches Resource Hub Intended to Help Returning Citizens

DAO Launches One Stop Job & Resource Hub Bringing Together Employers & Services Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner on Wednesday announced the creation of the One Stop Job and Resource Hub (The Hub) to provide Philadelphians with access to employers, trauma-informed professionals, victim services, housing options, and social services. The Hub will offer support for returning citizens, people whose loved ones are in the criminal justice system, crime victims, & all Philly residents The Hub will be held in a different part of the city on the first Thursday of every month, starting tomorrow. “The mission of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is to seek justice for everyone, su

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