Juvenile lifer released, finds himself surrounded by unfamiliar devices

Locked up 40 years for a murder his brother confessed to, Kevin Brinkley returns home, to a changed world

When Kevin Brinkley was locked up four decades ago at the age of 15, he had never heard of such a thing as a mobile phone. On Thursday morning, as he stepped blinking into the daylight outside of the State Correctional Institution-Forest, he was surrounded by the unfamiliar devices.

Norwegian delegation visits five Pennsylvania prisons

From Norway, Pennsylvania’s prisons appear cruel and unusual

As metal gates swung open and then shut behind him, Are Høidal, the warden of Norway’s Halden prison, peered down the long, echoing main corridor of the State Correctional Institution-Chester, a medium-security prison a half-hour outside Philadelphia. Coming from what has been called the world’s most humane prison, Høidal said practices here in Pennsylvania can at times seem unaccountably harsh.

Released lifers feeling extraordinary privilege and grave responsibility

Pennsylvania let 70 teen killers out of prison in the last year. Here’s what happened.

These are the first of 517 juvenile lifers in Pennsylvania, the largest such contingent in the nation, to be resentenced and released on parole following a Supreme Court decision that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for minors are unconstitutional. – Samantha Melamed, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News

This week: Lessons from “Women Unshackled,” another juvenile lifer resentenced and last chance to catch art exhibit

This week:

• The crowd at ‘Women Unshackled’ heard from Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris about problems and solutions
• Victim’s family attends alternative justice event
• Prisoner worked to redeem himself in eyes of victim’s family
• You can still catch “Rethinking Reentry Through Art” at Philadelphia City Hall

Read it now: The Reentry Project Weekly: July 28, 2017

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Prisoner worked to redeem himself in eyes of victim’s family

After ‘powerful’ hearing 3 decades later, juvenile lifer Songster eligible for parole

To see the juvenile lifer Kempis Songster, a man of 45, graying at the beard, seeking the mercy of a judge Monday at his resentencing for a crime committed decades ago drove home the pain of what the victim’s father lost the day two teenage runaways killed his son in a fortified crack house in Southwest Philadelphia.

Victim’s family attends alternative justice event

Supporters of juvenile lifer gather for a ‘community resentencing’

On the eve of a hearing that will determine whether Kempis “Ghani” Songster will be freed after serving nearly 30 years for murder, supporters gathered to consider an alternate view of justice and accountability. – Kristin E. Holmes, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News

Update: Philadelphia Judge Rules To Reduce Sentencing For Juvenile Lifer