Expunging arrest records in Philly

By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
It can seem as if the Philadelphia region hosts an expo every weekend – on dogs, firearms, or furniture, to name a few – but this might have been a new one: (Full article…)

Once Called Ex-Cons, Philadelphia ‘Returning Citizens’ Begin Six Weeks of Reintegration

By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia officials are in the process of changing the term “ex-offender” to “returning citizen” in the city’s official documents and programs.  The aim is to (Full article…)

U.S. Department of Federal Bureau of Prison: Monday Morning Highlights January 2014: 

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Opinion: N.J. ‘Ban the Box’ act provides opportunity for job seekers with criminal past

By Daniel Meara

For a time, it appeared this year’s lame-duck session of the New Jersey Legislature would help set in motion the lives of many whose past is denying them a future. (Full article….)

Mayor Nutter Signs Executive Order; Legislation Introduced to Help ‘Returning Citizens’

October 24, 2013– Mayor Michael A. Nutter asked Councilman W. Wilson Goode, Jr. to introduce on behalf of the Administration an ordinance amending The Philadelphia Code by replacing the term “ex-offender” with the term “returning citizen”.  Mayor Nutter also signed an Executive Order re-naming the Office of Re-integration Services for Ex-Offenders (R.I.S.E.) to simply, the Office of Re-integration Services (R.I.S.E.) in order to comply with the ordinance.(Full article….)

A Business Model that Brings Jobs, Health, Services and Joy to the Hardest Hit Communities

Want proof that the goals of business and the needs of the most vulnerable can align? Meet Jeff Brown, fourth-generation grocer and owner of the 10-store ShopRite regional chain based in Philadelphia. By mixing old-fashioned customer service with innovative new approaches, Brown is chipping away at the nation’s jobs challenge, starting in the communities hardest-hit by the financial crisis. (Full article….)

Halfway-house system on radar of Pa. corrections chief

HARRISBURG – At 6-foot-3, with the broad build of the collegiate offensive lineman he once was, John Wetzel rarely slips into a room unnoticed.

But a few weeks ago, Wetzel, now in his third year as Pennsylvania’s secretary of corrections, made an unannounced stop at a halfway house near the Capitol and went unrecognized by the facility’s director. (Full article….)

Philadelphia Schools Closing While A New $400 Million Prison Is Under Construction: Could It Be Worse Than It Sounds?

Is there a a way to justify closing 23 Philadelphia public schools and laying off potentially thousands of teachers in order to build a new $400 million prison complex for Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections (DOC)? (Full article….)

State Reforms Reducing Collateral Consequences for People with Criminal Records: 2011-2012 Legislative Round-Up1

Over the past forty years the prison population in the United States has skyrocketed 600% and the number of Americans with felony convictions has grown to 19.8 million adults or 8.6% of the adult population.2 According to the National Employment Law Project (NELP), an estimated 65 million Americans have a criminal record.3 Although it might be reasonable to assume that individuals who have completed their sentences are free from conviction-related constraints,4 according to Attorney General Eric Holder, the American Bar Association (ABA) has identified over 38,000 penalties, called collateral consequences that can impact people long after they complete their criminal sentence.5 (Full article: StateCollateralConsequencesLegislativeRoundupSept2012)

Corbett signs prison-reform plan into law

HARRISBURG – Gov. Corbett signed into law Thursday sweeping prison-reform legislation aimed at reducing recidivism and lowering the skyrocketing cost of housing the state’s inmates. (Full article….)

N.J.’s alternatives to juvenile incarceration are dropping rates

The number of juveniles jailed across New Jersey in the last eight years declined significantly, saving the state millions of dollars, according to a report released Wednesday by a nonprofit children’s public policy and advocacy group. (Full article….)

‘Million-Dollar Blocks’ Map Incarceration’s Costs

In many neighborhoods, hard truths about day-to-day life — like violent streets or crumbling schools — are readily apparent to residents, but less obvious to city and state officials. (Full article….)

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