Susan Burton is the founding Executive Director of A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project, which operates homes and programs in South L.A. for women recently released from prison. She explains how she turned her life around after prison and addiction and then went on to help others do the same.
North Philadelphia resident Debra Wilson has donned various forms of attire to signify where she was in life. Her first was the military camouflage of a drill sergeant. Her next was the uniform of a prison inmate. On Wednesday, Wilson joined 11 other women in royal blue caps and gowns for the fourth annual Women Working for a Change graduation ceremony.
Christina Wall spent 19 months at Riverside Correctional Facility for a first-degree felony. While she was in prison, she met with many different organizations that promised to help her re-enter society when she’d done her time. When she got out in June of 2015, Wall, a first-time inmate originally from New Jersey, tried to get in contact with all of these groups.
From a small room in Center City, radio activist Vanessa Graber wants to broadcast the realities of post-prison life to thousands of Philadelphians. Next week, PhillyCam, the public-access media nonprofit, will launch WPPM 106.5. It’s one of three new radio stations created following a grassroots push to carve out more slots on FM dials across the country.
Maybe, in principle, employers might believe in giving someone fresh out of prison a second chance by offering that person a job. But . . . How do they figure out who is actually dangerous? How do they make sense of the tangled government document that is a criminal record?
It may have been her pronounced underbite that kept Sparky from getting adopted. But now, the mixed-breed rescue is about to become a service dog. New Leash on Life, which pairs adoptable shelter dogs with prison inmates, just received a $10,000 grant earmarked for female prisoners from The Transition Network, a group of professional women, through its fund at The Philadelphia Foundation, the group announced.