Colleges shouldn’t ask about applicants’ criminal histories, but most in Philly do – Generocity Philly
Ban the box and Clean Slate initiatives have gained statewide traction in recent months as means to eliminate barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated folks. But what about those folks facing barriers to education?
Tanya Curtis’ path to re-entry from prison last year looked suspiciously like a dead-end road. She was broke, for one thing. She didn’t have a high school diploma or GED. She had a history of addiction, drug dealing, petty crime.
Still struggling herself to find housing, Bartley wants to ask other women returning from prison, ‘What do you need to thrive back in your community?’ Faith Bartley wants a home to call her own. Not just a rented room, but somewhere that can take her away from the community that she’s known all her life.
Political commentator and activist Van Jones’ We Rise Tour made a stop at The Fillmore Thursday night to lift the spirits of the City of Brotherly Love and to talk about the problem of mass incarceration. Through a partnership with RocNation, an entertainment company started by rapper JAY-Z, Jones on July 6 began a 14-city tour starting in Los Angeles.
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Way up in Northeastern Pennsylvania near the New York state border, SCI Waymart houses the state’s most seriously mentally ill prisoners – those serving time while suffering with schizophrenia, major depression and other disorders. If you go through the metal detectors and down a winding series of hot, echoing hallways in the Wayne County prison, eventually, you’ll find a classroom.
Artwork by recently released prisoners is now on display inside Philadelphia City Hall. The hallways on its second and fourth floors are lined with paintings and sculptures by people who had been in prison – from amateurs wielding felt pens to trained artists with a studio practice.