It’s a new era of accountability for Philadelphia’s criminal justice collective – and for the 25,000 individuals who return to the city from prison and jail every year. On Wednesday, March 14, members of the Philadelphia Reentry Coalition (PRC) gathered at the Office of the District Attorney for its quarterly stakeholder meeting.
One of the trickiest parts of rejoining the outside world after spending time in the criminal justice system is finding work. As the Generocity jobs board has grown, we’ve increasingly recognized the bit role that we can play in contributing to a solution.
And according to a recent American Civil Liberties Union report, 75 percent of formerly incarcerated people struggle with employment a year after release. In a city with an estimated population of 1.5 million, that means at least 187,500 Philadelphians in this group could be struggling with employment.
On Saturday evening, with a blanket of fresh snow transforming the face of Philly, three Philadelphia Assembled collaborators and A Blade of Grass fellows Black Quantum Futurism and Reentry Think Tank discussed art and societal transformations.
Philly’s Office of Reintegration Services for Ex-Offenders (RISE) ED Ceciley Bradford-Jones has been talking about moving the agency’s office to Center City since the beginning of 2017. Because for the workforce development office tasked with helping returning citizens get back to their lives, she said at the time, its services needed to be part of the centralized services system that includes City Hall, probation, parole, etc.
A unique year-old pilot music program inside Pennsylvania’s largest prison needs funding to keep going. Its early success and relationship with the state offers a look inside our appetite for – and the limits of – a new kind of criminal justice reform.