A few months ago, my teammates Chris Long, Torrey Smith, and Rodney McLeod sat down with me and many of Philadelphia’s strongest community leaders who have taken it upon themselves to create grassroots organizations dedicated to the betterment of our community. Here’s why you should know about them and how you can join me in supporting them.
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.
Next week, I’ll be visiting our State Capitol along with other NFL players to talk to lawmakers and policymakers about the state of criminal justice reform, with a special emphasis on lobbying for the Clean Slate Act, which I’ve written about here before. Twice before, I’ve joined my fellow football players on trips to Washington, D.C.
Some 60 percent of people released from prison and returning home to Philadelphia will be rearrested again within three years. That’s a revolving door that hurts everyone-from victims of crime to decimated families to communities bereft of working adults to those who are continuously arrested and sent to jail.
Prison rarely changes one’s life for the better. That much we know to be true. The Bureau of Justice Statistics found that about three quarters of former inmates are re-arrested within five years of their parole.
“What would you do if you found yourself fresh out of prison, a social outcast in a strange city, with nowhere to lay your head?” This is the question reentry service organization Redemption Housing is posing in its first ever Day One Challenge , a three-hour immersion into the experience of a person recently released from prison.