Helen Ubiñas checks in with Colwin Williams

Taking stock of life outside of prison during National Reentry Week

I can’t help but smile while Colwin Williams talks about wanting a speed bump on the West Philly street where he and his family just moved. There are a lot of children in the neighborhood, including his own 2-year-old, Aisha. That was part of the attraction to the place.

Join us for our first community event. It’s free!

The Reentry Project — in partnership with WURD, the Philadelphia Media Network and WHYY — will be holding our first community event soon:

If These Walls Could Talk: Solving Reentry and Recidivism

This unique event assembles voices from both sides of the prison system to candidly discuss the challenges that make reentry such a difficult hurdle. Our ultimate goal? Finding and replicating solutions that work.


• Leon King II – Former Philadelphia Prisons Commissioner
• Reuben Jones – Co-Founder and Executive Director of Frontline Dads
• Valerie Todd-Listman – Mothers In Charge, Group Facilitator in the Philadelphia Prisons
• Emma Restrepo – Freelance journalist and host at ElZol radio

Moderator – Solomon Jones, Morning Host at WURD Radio

DATE AND TIME: Monday, May 8, 2017, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

LOCATION: African American Museum in Philadelphia
701 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (View Map)

Register for free now: If These Walls Could Talk: Solving Reentry and Recidivism


Free event May 6th —– Breaking Down Walls: From Prison to Power

Join Mural Arts Philadelphia and the Penn School of Social Policy & Practice’s Goldring Reentry Initiative on Saturday, May 6 at International House Philadelphia for Breaking Down Walls: From Prison to Power—an afternoon symposium about humanizing criminal justice systems.

This event is part of Voices, a Mural Arts project supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Hear the voices of people directly impacted by these systems and explore pathways from incarceration to activism. Connect with people and organizations during our resource fair. Then build a plan to respond to local criminal justice issues through dialogue and civic action!

This event will feature the Philadelphia premiere of Rikers: An American Jail, a PBS documentary from Bill Moyers that brings you face to face with men and women who have endured incarceration at Rikers Island. In addition, there will be a panel on reform issues within the county jail system, moderated by Baz Dreisinger, author of Incarceration Nations; a presentation from the Philadelphia Reentry Think Tank; and a keynote address by Shaka Senghor, author of Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison, and a leading voice in criminal justice reform.

This event is free to the public. Refreshments will be provided.
Four CEUs can be offered to Pennsylvania Licensed Social Workers.  To request CEUs, email PennGRI@sp2.upenn.edu with their full name by April 28th.

View the schedule and RSVP here: Breaking Down Walls: From Prison to Power

One: A brownie makes the difference in the neighborhood

Ten things you should know about open hiring

Ten more things you should know about Greyston Bakery and its open hiring process: (Just to review, the Yonkers supplier of brownies to Ben & Jerry’s and Whole Foods skips background checks, skill tests, resumes and references. Applicants put their names on a list and are called when there are openings.

This post is related to yesterday’s report: No skills tests, no background checks, just a life-saving job at a bakery

This piece was produced by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Philly.com and WHYY/NewsWorks for The Reentry Project, a citywide collaborative news initiative. It is part of an occasional series — across the city and across platforms — on the challenges facing people returning from prison and what can be done about them.

The Philadelphia InquirerPhilly Daily NewsPhilly Dotcom