By her estimate, Stacey Wilson has spent more than a week of her life traveling to and from prisons to visit her son Derron, who is serving 7-and-a-half to 15 years for attempted murder. He formerly was imprisoned at Graterford and Camp Hill, and she visited as often as twice a week.
A man who spent 25 years in prison for a rape and murder that a jury concluded he didn’t commit, Anthony Wright was emotional and tearful, elated and optimistic. Bitter, he was not. “I worship a merciful God and he forgives,” Wright, 44, said at a news conference Wednesday, a day after he was acquitted at retrial in the 1991 death of a 77-year-old Nicetown woman.
At 44, Matthew Slaughter has seen a lot, and not much of it in an academic setting. He grew up in North Philadelphia’s Richard Allen Homes and became a father when he was 14. Arrested before his 20th birthday for a 1990 murder in North Philadelphia, he was sentenced in 1992 to life in prison.
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?
(Photo by Tony Abraham) In Philadelphia, a recent $3.5 million MacArthur Foundation grant aims to reduce the city’s staggeringly high prison population by 34 percent. Meanwhile, the Commonwealth is pursuing an innovative new funding strategy to cut recidivism rates while protecting taxpayers’ coinpurses.
When El Sawyer was 17 years old, he was sentenced to 8 years in Graterford prison for a drug-related shooting. At night, he lay awake in his cell, in fear of a rotating string of cellmates in the bunk above him, thinking about what went on in the prison-the stabbings, killings, suicide, depression, and anger.