Open hiring means getting a job despite having criminal record


No skills tests, no background checks, just a life-saving job at a bakery

When former drug dealer Dion Drew got out of prison, no one would hire him. Then he learned about a bakery that didn’t do background checks, didn’t test skills, didn’t require references. As much as Greyston’s “open hiring” practice helped Drew, it’s also making a difference to the bottom line, says CEO Mike Brady.


This piece was produced by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Philly.com and WHYY/NewsWorks for The Reentry Project, a citywide collaborative news initiative. It is part of an occasional series — across the city and across platforms — on the challenges facing people returning from prison and what can be done about them.

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Quartet plays for inmates at Philadelphia Detention Center

The Philadelphia Orchestra goes to prison — and not for the reason you think

When it comes to getting beyond their usual habitat, the musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra will play for aficionados in Carnegie Hall, or, once in a while, far away in Tokyo or Vienna. One day last month, visiting composer Hannibal Lokumbe took a string quartet of orchestra musicians arguably farther afield – into the Philadelphia Detention Center in Northeast Philly’s Holmesburg section.

Kensington church offers bible study, boxing lessons and alternatives to the street

Fists, faith and Rock Ministries: Kensington’s boxing church under the El

You can hear the man from the stairs. He calls out “Xanny! Percs!” as the El above him pulls away. He is thin, wearing a red sweatshirt. A small tattoo is etched above his left cheek. His corner is Somerset and Kensington, in plain view of a SEPTA Transit Police car across the street.

Philadelphia Reentry Coalition announces #RethinkingReentry Call for Artwork


From the Philadelphia Reentry Coalition:

This June and July, the Philadelphia Reentry Coalition is hosting an exhibit in City Hall and we want to showcase your artwork! The exhibit will feature art created by people who have been incarcerated and experienced reentry firsthand.

All exhibited artwork will be chosen by a group of men and women in reentry from across the city.

More info: philadelphiareentrycoalition.org