Yet, as much of a humanitarian crisis as mass incarceration is in the United States of America, an equally debilitating crisis is the one that follows. What happens to incarcerated people when they are released from prison? ### “Reentry” is the accepted term for the process of reentering society after incarceration, and Philadelphia is home to hundreds of thousands of returning citizens.
For the month of February, a Philadelphia man will live in an open air mock jail cell. At night he’ll sleep in a body bag. During the day he’ll speak and listen to anyone who steps up to the bars. Visitors will find a thin, deep-eyed man who at 42 years is neither young nor old, radiating love.
Chris Catona used to spray down sewage for 14 cents an hour on the grounds of SCI Graterford. It was a good gig, his first real one at the state prison, and a big step up from the scraps he could earn doing more general labor inside its walls.
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.