And according to a recent American Civil Liberties Union report, 75 percent of formerly incarcerated people struggle with employment a year after release. In a city with an estimated population of 1.5 million, that means at least 187,500 Philadelphians in this group could be struggling with employment.
On Saturday evening, with a blanket of fresh snow transforming the face of Philly, three Philadelphia Assembled collaborators and A Blade of Grass fellows Black Quantum Futurism and Reentry Think Tank discussed art and societal transformations.
Anthony Hirschbuhl was first arrested when he was 16 for possession of marijuana. He then spent more than a decade in and out of correctional facilities for various parole violations. Now 28, Hirschbuhl is involved with the Goldring Reentry Initiative, a program within the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice.
Criminal Justice Bloc. 79 likes · 11 talking about this. SP2’s CJB seeks to increase awareness and promote action around the numerous intersecting issues that relate to the criminal justice system.
Facebook Event page with RSVP and more info: Art, Activism and Conversation with PHL’s Reentry Think Tank
Reporters Laura Deutch and Paul Cherashore speak with Aviva Tevah from the Reentry Coalition to learn about the city’s initiatives to connect reentry services and how returning citizens from the Reentry Think Tank are taking an active role in advocating for increased support and coordination. Faith Bartley and Aaron Crump from the Think Tank share their perspectives on the support they have received as returning citizens and Think Tank members.
PhillyCAM Voices is a new community news show highlighting political, cultural and civic events in Philadelphia and is dedicating its March show to reentry awareness.
The series features stories about the Reentry Coalition, Think Tank, ex-offender employment through Community Empowerment and Community Learning Center, housing with Why Not Prosper and stories of fathers reuniting with their children at The Center for Returning Citizens.
You can watch full 30-minutes PhillyCAM Voices programs on Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m.
Reentry providers, like most other social service organizations, have an experience problem. That’s to say, the folks who put together programs for people coming home from prison largely can’t understand what their constituents truly need because they haven’t experienced reentry themselves. (On a higher level, this also applies to policymakers.)