At sunrise on a cold Saturday, while most families were still enjoying their extra time to snooze, Nekia Pressley and her children gathered in her Dodge minivan for their regular trip to Graterford prison. Pressley, 38, lives with three of her children in the Hunting Park section of the city – Yani, 17; Dimeen, 13; and Darwish, 10.
Lakeside school teaches using trauma-informed techniques
Since being sentenced to two to four years in state prison for violating his probation, Meek Mill has become the face of prison reform in Philadelphia and has received support from some of the biggest names in entertainment, including the king of hip-hop, Jay-Z.
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.
After learning about a 6-year-old autistic student who was put in handcuffs for biting his aide in 2013, Phoenixville parent Blake Emmanuel took action. Before she was through, a bipartisan legislative commission had investigated harsh disciplinary practices in schools and concluded that they negatively affect all students, but that children of color and those with disabilities are disproportionately affected.
The study found that in schools with law enforcement, “discipline responsibilities tend to be shifted away from teachers, administrators, and other school staff to the [school police officers].” On average, the data shows a 12 percent increase in reporting “non-serious violent crime” in schools with police officers compared to those without.