One of the trickiest parts of rejoining the outside world after spending time in the criminal justice system is finding work. As the Generocity jobs board has grown, we’ve increasingly recognized the bit role that we can play in contributing to a solution.
And according to a recent American Civil Liberties Union report, 75 percent of formerly incarcerated people struggle with employment a year after release. In a city with an estimated population of 1.5 million, that means at least 187,500 Philadelphians in this group could be struggling with employment.
Sitting at her kitchen table in Chester, in her moments of deepest despair, Dayna Chandler, 33, began this calculation: Maybe her three children would be better off if she were dead. A former bank teller, she had a criminal conviction for theft, had been in prison and hadn’t been able to keep a job for four years, not with that record, even though it was only a misdemeanor.
WINCHESTER, TENNESSEE – Scott Crago says everyone deserves a second chance. That goes for ex-criminals fresh out of jail. Crago has heard all the tales of heartbreak in rural Tennessee – absent daddies, grannies raising babies, mamas dying young, drinking, drugs and what that all means for folks locked up in the Franklin County jail.
The briefcases lay on the South Philadelphia street, abandoned, one neatly leaning against the other like a couple of downed dominoes. At first, Jeffrey Branch, 53, thought someone got robbed. Nope, he told himself. Not touching those. He took another look.
In 1984, Sydney ‘Trek’ Mckenzie’s middle school class assembled to listen to Geraldine Ferraro, a vice presidential candidate, speak to a crowd in Allentown, Pennsylvania. This simple class trip, organized by Mckenzie’s teacher, was a moment that changed his life. It was the moment that he realized the power in politics.