Chris Catona used to spray down sewage for 14 cents an hour on the grounds of SCI Graterford. It was a good gig, his first real one at the state prison, and a big step up from the scraps he could earn doing more general labor inside its walls.
Christina Wall spent 19 months at Riverside Correctional Facility for a first-degree felony. While she was in prison, she met with many different organizations that promised to help her re-enter society when she’d done her time. When she got out in June of 2015, Wall, a first-time inmate originally from New Jersey, tried to get in contact with all of these groups.
After a five-year stint in prison, Kevin King stepped back into Baltimore with one goal: starting his life anew. The 52-year-old got linked up with the Living Classrooms Foundation, which helps put ex-offenders in touch with job opportunities, and he was eager to take on any work that came his way.
The Philadelphia chapter of the Online News Association will host an info session at 7 p.m. on January 25th with the Philadelphia Reentry Reporting Collaborative.
(Admission is free. Attendees must be 21+. Map.)
The Philadelphia Reentry Reporting Collaborative is a citywide journalism effort, supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, which addresses the issues of prisoner reentry in the Philadelphia regi
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.
On a recent December morning, Ceciley Bradford-Jones takes a seat in a circle of foldout chairs filled with people who are experts when it comes to prison; they’ve lived behind bars. Bradford-Jones, the new executive director of RISE, the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Re-integration Services, has been on the job for a couple months.