Ceremony honors “Women Working for a Change”

Philly women graduating from prisons of their pasts

Ivy Johnson spent 18 years in prison for killing someone in a fight and every day that death weighs on her. “To make amends I have to save another life,” she said. It wasn’t long ago that Johnson graduated from a 10-week program, Women Working for A Change,” that teaches women who have been in prison about self-esteem, active listening, healthy relationships and job preparation.


Graduation with Mothers in Charge

The fifth cohort of the Mothers in Charge “Women Working for a Change” program graduated during a ceremony Tuesday at the R2L Restaurant at Liberty Place in Center City Philadelphia. The program serves women returning to their communities after incarceration.is a Philadelphia based-violence prevention, education and intervention organization.

Reentry Stories: Returning citizens share their experiences

The Reentry Project and partnering news organizations set up “story booths” during two recent events in Philadelphia, and invited returning citizens to share their experiences with our community.

Staffers and volunteers from PhillyCam filmed while WHYY recorded audio. Reentry Project staffers helped interview participants. This short video was produced and edited by WHYY, with some help from PhillyCam.

These recording were captured after our recent panel discussion – “If These Walls Could Talk: Solving Reentry and Recidivism” – and at the Breaking Down Walls conference a few days earlier.

Until we host more story booths, you can also share your experiences and ideas with the community by leaving a message on our voicemail line. <Give it a try now.>

This week: Read, listen and get back with us

This week:

Women in reentry, oldest teen lifer, new statewide efforts, getting out the vote, telling us your story — and more.

Read it now: The Reentry Project Weekly: May 21, 2017

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Thank you, The Reentry Project

Audio: The Reentry Project joins discussion on women and reentry

Reentry Project editor Jean Friedman-Rudovsky participated in the discussion Wednesday when WHYY’s Radio Times addressed women and reentry. Listen now:

From Radio Times:

Experiencing poverty, domestic abuse and sexual violence as a child lead SUSAN BURTON down a long, dark road of emotional despair. Then, after the hit-and-run incident that killed her five-year-old son, Burton turned to drugs as a way to cope with her pain. But, it wasn’t until she entered the California prison system and spent nearly two decades behind bars until she finally received drug treatment and therapy. In this hour, Marty talks with Burton about her memoir, Becoming Ms. Burton which she coauthored with Cari Lynn that tells Burton’s story of prison, recovery and creating A New Way of Life—a nonprofit that supports formerly incarcerated women. MARIE GOTTSCHALK, professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, and JEAN FRIEDMAN-RUDOVSKY project editor of The Reentry Project, discuss resources available to women in prison and difficult challenges they face when reentering into society.