Music program inside Graterford needs funding; raises reform questions

Americans want fewer prisoners. What’s art have to do with it? – Generocity Philly

A unique year-old pilot music program inside Pennsylvania’s largest prison needs funding to keep going. Its early success and relationship with the state offers a look inside our appetite for – and the limits of – a new kind of criminal justice reform.

Coalition sends workers to factory with industry-recognized certificates earned in jail

What works: In rural Tennessee, ex-offenders get a second chance and a new career

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.

Activists launch efforts to raise community money for bail

Can a Philly community bail fund fix our criminal-justice system?

The Philly Community Bail Fund is an effort that’s part protest against a cash-bail system they say unfairly penalizes the poor, and part stopgap until a more permanent change can be made. – Samantha Melamed, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News

Business leaders surveyed on hiring formerly incarcerated people

What Philly-area CEOs think about hiring ex-inmates

Some firms believe in – and are willing to – give the formerly incarcerated a second chance. At other firms, restrictions mandated by clients or other associations forbid the practice. – Jane M. Von Bergen, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News

Inside-Out Prison Exchange celebrates 20 years

How a Temple professor and a prison inmate started an international movement

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange, which started with Temple University classes held in a Philadelphia county jail, has endured for two decades, expanded to about 150 correctional institutions and taught a total of 30,000 “inside” and “outside” students. – Samantha Melamed, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News

New Leash on Life teaches inmates to train unadoptable dogs, giving both a better future

Training For A Better Life – The Philadelphia Citizen

Prison rarely changes one’s life for the better. That much we know to be true. The Bureau of Justice Statistics found that about three quarters of former inmates are re-arrested within five years of their parole.