Class-action lawsuit calls policy “cruel and unconstitutional”

Suit: A federal jail in Philly is stopping kids from seeing their dads

When Allen Woods’ son turned 6 recently, Woods couldn’t wish him a happy birthday in person, give him a hug, or marvel at how tall he’d grown. He had to send a card in the mail.

Prison reform advocate wants to increase civic engagement among formerly incarcerated voters

Returning citizens need political representation and Bill Cobb has a plan to make it happen – Generocity Philly

Bill Cobb is rather jovial for someone who has had his livelihood compromised by the criminal justice system for two decades. But don’t be fooled by his chipper spirit: It’s taken time and energy for the prison reform advocate to get to this point, and he means business.

Critics concerned assessment tool could consider proxies for race and socioeconomic status

Can Philly’s new technology predict recidivism without being racist?

A tool to help predict whether someone who’s been arrested will reoffend does not factor in race. But it could consider convictions. So you’ve just been arrested. Welcome to Philadelphia’s criminal justice system.

Criminal justice world divided on risk-assessment tools

How computers are predicting crime – and potentially impacting your future

For about eight years, Philadelphia’s probation and parole department has used a computer algorithm to rate the riskiness of nearly every offender it oversees. But officials there won’t say what factors the tool weighs, raising questions about transparency. The city plans to create a similar risk assessment tool for use in bail decisions.

Lancaster model reduces recidivism rate to 15 percent

Lancaster’s life-training boot camp keeps people from returning to prison

After nearly two decades in prison, Isaac Rivera was ready to remake himself. The 41-year-old from Lancaster served time after a 1997 arrest on assault and rape charges, but he felt that his violent past was behind him – if only he could find a way to jump-start his reinvention.

But what about those facing barriers to education?

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?