Free event today: Breaking Down Walls: From Prison to Power

Join Mural Arts Philadelphia and the Penn School of Social Policy & Practice’s Goldring Reentry Initiative today, Saturday, May 6 at International House Philadelphia for Breaking Down Walls: From Prison to Power—an afternoon symposium about humanizing criminal justice systems.

This event is part of Voices, a Mural Arts project supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Hear the voices of people directly impacted by these systems and explore pathways from incarceration to activism. Connect with people and organizations during our resource fair. Then build a plan to respond to local criminal justice issues through dialogue and civic action!

This event will feature the Philadelphia premiere of Rikers: An American Jail, a PBS documentary from Bill Moyers that brings you face to face with men and women who have endured incarceration at Rikers Island. In addition, there will be a panel on reform issues within the county jail system, moderated by Baz Dreisinger, author of Incarceration Nations; a presentation from the Philadelphia Reentry Think Tank; and a keynote address by Shaka Senghor, author of Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison, and a leading voice in criminal justice reform.

This event is free to the public. Refreshments will be provided.
Four CEUs can be offered to Pennsylvania Licensed Social Workers.  To request CEUs, email with their full name by April 28th.

View the schedule and RSVP here: Breaking Down Walls: From Prison to Power

Employment status is key predictor of recidivism

Reporter Noah Levinson spoke with Steve Blackburn, from X-Offenders for Community Empowerment and Jeffrey Abramowitz, from Community Learning Center of Philadelphia to discuss the challenges that returning citizens face when seeking employment.

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.

Mural Arts Program curates public art installation about criminal justice reform

Philly’s Mural Arts reaches out to prisoners as it shapes installation on criminal justice

Next summer, Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program will create a public art installation about criminal justice reform called “Voices.” Until then, it will foster discussions and workshops focused on solutions to the problems of mass incaceration. The first workshop took place Wednesday afternoon at Graterford prison, a maximum security state correctional institute in Montgomery County.


Whose voices are you hearing?



New Mural Arts project brings the voices of those most impacted by mass incarceration to the forefront

Which country has the highest number of incarcerated people per capita?

It’s us.

The United States is the world leader in incarcerating its citizens, imprisoning 2.3 million people per year. The U.S. has 4.4 percent of the world’s population and 22 percent of the world’s prisoners.

robyn-buseman-headshotThe stunning numbers tell a dismal story: Decimated communities, a poorly trained workforce, and large segments of the population marginalized and left behind. This is a failure, magnified on a nationwide scale. It is a failure of our culture of incarceration, a culture that does not provide space for treatment and rehabilitation.

But we can take steps to ignite change in this system.

Continue reading Whose voices are you hearing?