Released lifers feeling extraordinary privilege and grave responsibility

Pennsylvania let 70 teen killers out of prison in the last year. Here’s what happened.

These are the first of 517 juvenile lifers in Pennsylvania, the largest such contingent in the nation, to be resentenced and released on parole following a Supreme Court decision that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for minors are unconstitutional. – Samantha Melamed, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News

This week: Lessons from “Women Unshackled,” another juvenile lifer resentenced and last chance to catch art exhibit

This week:

• The crowd at ‘Women Unshackled’ heard from Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris about problems and solutions
• Victim’s family attends alternative justice event
• Prisoner worked to redeem himself in eyes of victim’s family
• You can still catch “Rethinking Reentry Through Art” at Philadelphia City Hall

Read it now: The Reentry Project Weekly: July 28, 2017

Subscribe for free: The Reentry Project Weekly

Prisoner worked to redeem himself in eyes of victim’s family

After ‘powerful’ hearing 3 decades later, juvenile lifer Songster eligible for parole

To see the juvenile lifer Kempis Songster, a man of 45, graying at the beard, seeking the mercy of a judge Monday at his resentencing for a crime committed decades ago drove home the pain of what the victim’s father lost the day two teenage runaways killed his son in a fortified crack house in Southwest Philadelphia.

Victim’s family attends alternative justice event

Supporters of juvenile lifer gather for a ‘community resentencing’

On the eve of a hearing that will determine whether Kempis “Ghani” Songster will be freed after serving nearly 30 years for murder, supporters gathered to consider an alternate view of justice and accountability. – Kristin E. Holmes, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News

Update: Philadelphia Judge Rules To Reduce Sentencing For Juvenile Lifer

Rapper raises money to fund music classes for incarcerated youth

Chill Moody will help raise money for music classes for Philly juvenile inmates

Proceeds from Thursday’s show at Boot & Saddle with go toward the music nonprofit Beyond the Bars. Local rapper Chill Moody will headline a benefit show tomorrow night at the South Philly venue Boot & Saddle. Proceeds from the concert will go toward Beyond the Bars, a nonprofit that aims to increase music education resources for incarcerated juveniles in Philadelphia.

People sentenced just after turning 18 are appealing Pa.’s mandatory life sentences

In Philly courts, whether they’ll die in prison comes down to their birthday

Juvenile lifers are getting a chance at release under a Supreme Court decision that their sentences were illegal. Now, appeals by 18-, 19- and 20-year-old lifers who say they, too, should get relief have begun to reach the state’s highest court.