Video: Former prisoners and local artists discuss incarceration and gender

The following video shares stories collected at the RELEASE: Town Hall for Gender Justice and Mass Incarceration on Wednesday March 25, 2015.
Leeway Foundation and Bread & Roses Community Fund present RELEASE, an exhibition and program series that explores the intersection of gender justice and mass incarceration. On view from February 26 to June 30, RELEASE provides shared spaces for women, transgender, and gender non-conforming survivors of the prison industrial complex, as well as local artists, cultural producers, and activists to critically reflect and build power for change.
For more information on the exhibit and programming, please visit: leeway.org

PA House votes on allowing those convicted of drug distribution to receive public benefits

Insider: the Practical Case for Helping Ex-Cons – Philadelphia Magazine

Monday, the House could vote to ban some drug felons from public benefits for life. You should care. Here’s why. (Editor’s note: This is an opinion column from a Citified insider.) If you’ve never been to prison, it can be easy to dismiss the plight of those who have.

Felony convictions may longer bar people from working with elderly

Suit aims to end ban on elder-care work after felony

Nearly 20 years ago, drug addiction derailed the life of an experienced licensed practical nurse, now 60 and living drug-free in Philadelphia’s Mayfair section. “I thank the police department for likely saving my life the night they arrested me,” she wrote in legal papers. “During my time in prison, I decided I was done with drugs.”

Pennsylvania inmates with mental illness no longer subject to solitary confinement

Deal aims to end solitary confinement for seriously mentally ill prisoners in Pa.

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has reached a settlement with the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania requiring sweeping reforms in the care of inmates with serious mental illness in the state’s prison system. Inmates with serious mental illness or intellectual disabilities no longer will be subject to solitary confinement, according to the terms of the settlement, reached late Monday.

Transitioning to life after incarceration in Philadelphia

The struggle with life in Philly, after serving time in prison

Leroy “Beyah” Edney was 11 the first time he got locked up. Edney was at a Philadelphia rec center when an argument with another kid turned violent. It didn’t turn out so well for the other kid. Edney spent six months at a juvenile detention center as a result.

Video: Decarcerate PA and Art Factory give context to current prison system

The first video in this series, EVOLUTIONS explains the facts and figures and the history of the prison industrial complex, and why Decarcerate PA wants the system to change. // A collaborative production by Art Factory, PhillyCAM, Decarcerate PA.

This summer, Art Factory collaborated with Decarcerate PA and PhillyCAM for six weeks to make three short stop-motion videos to help people realize the grand actuality of the Prison Industrial Complex. PhillyCAM was gracious enough to let us use their equipment and their space while we planned, filmed, recorded and edited our 3 videos. Decarcerate PA helped us clear up the clouds by telling us more about what they do as well as the political and community results and consequences of mass incarceration. We hope that these pieces will shed light on the current situation, and inspire people to join the movement to stop the prison industry and reinvest in the community.