Philly’s Office of Reintegration Services for Ex-Offenders (RISE) ED Ceciley Bradford-Jones has been talking about moving the agency’s office to Center City since the beginning of 2017. Because for the workforce development office tasked with helping returning citizens get back to their lives, she said at the time, its services needed to be part of the centralized services system that includes City Hall, probation, parole, etc.
Of the 2,000 juveniles serving life sentences around the United States, 500 come from Pennsylvania and 300 come directly from here. That means the city has produced 15 percent of the country’s so-called “juvenile-lifers.” The Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project (YSRP) is working to change that.
Philadelphia Reentry Coalition wants to solve for the ‘severe lack of data on returning citizens’ – Generocity Philly
That was before we met Aviva Tevah . Tevah is the coalition’s ambitious young director, a subject matter expert with a stacked criminal justice résumé: Nearly two years working at Rikers with a New York-based reentry nonprofit, another two working with reentrants at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Education, a year with New York Reentry Education Network.
Yet, as much of a humanitarian crisis as mass incarceration is in the United States of America, an equally debilitating crisis is the one that follows. What happens to incarcerated people when they are released from prison? ### “Reentry” is the accepted term for the process of reentering society after incarceration, and Philadelphia is home to hundreds of thousands of returning citizens.
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.