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.
Since being sentenced to two to four years in state prison for violating his probation, Meek Mill has become the face of prison reform in Philadelphia and has received support from some of the biggest names in entertainment, including the king of hip-hop, Jay-Z.
To get our minds around the problem of mass incarceration, we often resort to numbers . About 2.3 million in prison nationwide. Seven million when we include the “correctional supervision” of probation and parole. That’s our city five times over, a population greater than most states, a number that not even the police regimes of China and Russia can touch.
Sitting at her kitchen table in Chester, in her moments of deepest despair, Dayna Chandler, 33, began this calculation: Maybe her three children would be better off if she were dead. A former bank teller, she had a criminal conviction for theft, had been in prison and hadn’t been able to keep a job for four years, not with that record, even though it was only a misdemeanor.
Listen 29:15 This story also can be experienced as a radio documentary. To listen, click the play button above or download the podcast of this special Nov. 27, 2017 episode of WHYY’s NewsWorks Tonight on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. The story was reported and produced by Katie Colaneri, edited by Sandra Clark and Eugene Sonn.
On average, Kenneth Dupree of Dupree Funeral Home at 28th and Diamond streets sees one to two victims of gun violence a year. Bruce Talbert says Talbert Funeral Parlor at 22nd near Lehigh has received 10 so far. The services for the victims that both men preside over have all been young people, usually in their early 20s.