About a year ago, Darryl Booker got a voucher. Booker is 57 and has a chronic heart condition that takes him in and out of the hospital and makes physical activity, including walking up stairs, nearly impossible. When he was released in 2015, “I didn’t have no one,” he says.
This June and July, the Philadelphia Reentry Coalition is hosting an exhibit in City Hall and we want to showcase your artwork! The exhibit will feature art created by people who have been incarcerated and experienced reentry firsthand.
All exhibited artwork will be chosen by a group of men and women in reentry from across the city.
More info: philadelphiareentrycoalition.org
Reentry providers, like most other social service organizations, have an experience problem. That’s to say, the folks who put together programs for people coming home from prison largely can’t understand what their constituents truly need because they haven’t experienced reentry themselves. (On a higher level, this also applies to policymakers.)
Philadelphia Reentry Coalition wants to solve for the ‘severe lack of data on returning citizens’ – Generocity Philly
That was before we met Aviva Tevah . Tevah is the coalition’s ambitious young director, a subject matter expert with a stacked criminal justice résumé: Nearly two years working at Rikers with a New York-based reentry nonprofit, another two working with reentrants at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Education, a year with New York Reentry Education Network.
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.
To be sure, many people coming from prison will return to a life of crime. That’s been the experience of career prosecutor George Parry, now a criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia. “I’m sure there are people who make a mistake and go to prison and change their lives,” he said.