Jailed at 19, man freed more than two decades later

After hearing, inmate imprisoned 24 years released

Shaurn Thomas, 43, was exonerated Tuesday morning after the District Attorney’s Office agreed with his lawyers that the evidence against him did not support his 1993 conviction for a 1990 murder.. – Chris Palmer, Will Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News

Read one of the authors’ thoughts on the story:

For Shaurn Thomas, faith triumphed over 24 years of injustice

Shaurn Thomas refuses to be bitter about the Philadelphia cops and prosecutors who took 24 years of his life for a murder he didn’t commit. That’s a remarkable testament to his faith, and the faith of those around him. – Will Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News

Reentry Stories: Returning citizens share their experiences

The Reentry Project and partnering news organizations set up “story booths” during two recent events in Philadelphia, and invited returning citizens to share their experiences with our community.

Staffers from PhillyCam recorded and produced this video while WHYY recorded audio and our staffers interviewed partcipants.

These recording were captured after our recent panel discussion – “If These Walls Could Talk: Solving Reentry and Recidivism” – and at the Breaking Down Walls conference a few days earlier.

Until we host more story booths, you can also share your experiences and ideas with the community by leaving a message on our voicemail line. <Give it a try now.>

This week: Read, listen and get back with us

This week:

Women in reentry, oldest teen lifer, new statewide efforts, getting out the vote, telling us your story — and more.

Read it now: The Reentry Project Weekly: May 21, 2017

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Thank you, The Reentry Project

Philadelphia’s oldest teen lifer won’t seek parole

Philly’s oldest juvenile lifer resentenced, but is it too late?

“I was arrested in Philadelphia at the age of 15. I was in jail quite a few years,” said Joe Ligon, who recently turned 80 in prison. He’s eligible for parole – but will he apply after decades in an institution?

The Reentry Project wants to hear from you!

Have you or someone you know faced challenges transitioning from prison back into the community? Do you have an idea on how to solve those challenges?

Call our voicemail line at (215) 821-9790 and tell us your story.

We will share some of these stories with visitors to this site. So, please do not say your phone number or state any other confidential information.

Caller ID reveals your number to our editors but we won’t publish it.

Any phone will do but sound quality will be better if you could use a land line rather than mobile phone.

Thank you!

Audio: The Reentry Project joins discussion on women and reentry

Reentry Project editor Jean Friedman-Rudovsky participated in the discussion Wednesday when WHYY’s Radio Times addressed women and reentry. Listen now:

From Radio Times:

Experiencing poverty, domestic abuse and sexual violence as a child lead SUSAN BURTON down a long, dark road of emotional despair. Then, after the hit-and-run incident that killed her five-year-old son, Burton turned to drugs as a way to cope with her pain. But, it wasn’t until she entered the California prison system and spent nearly two decades behind bars until she finally received drug treatment and therapy. In this hour, Marty talks with Burton about her memoir, Becoming Ms. Burton which she coauthored with Cari Lynn that tells Burton’s story of prison, recovery and creating A New Way of Life—a nonprofit that supports formerly incarcerated women. MARIE GOTTSCHALK, professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, and JEAN FRIEDMAN-RUDOVSKY project editor of The Reentry Project, discuss resources available to women in prison and difficult challenges they face when reentering into society.