PHILADELPHIA — Councilman Kenyatta Johnson today introduced a resolution officially recognizing June as Re-entry Awareness Month. The Resolution was co-sponsored by Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., and approved unanimously by Council. The Resolution aims to highlight the work of over 100 governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations in the Philadelphia Reentry Coalition, which collaborate to reduce recidivism and support the estimated 30,000 people who return to Philadelphia from jail and prison each year. The work of these organizations and the Mayor’s Office of Re-Integration Services (R.I.S.E.) is part of national efforts to raise awareness of re-entry’s importance, such as the U.S. Justice Department’s announcement of the inaugural National Re-entry Week in April, 2016.
“We are glad to be joining cities across the country in recognizing June as Reentry Awareness Month. We must do more than pay lip service to second chances,” said Councilman Johnson. “We must help break down barriers to employment, education, housing, and other basic human needs, so that returning citizens have a real chance to turn their lives around and become productive members of society.”
“Providing our re-entering citizens with the resources they need to be successful is both smart and just,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “These are individuals who have paid their debt to society, learned from their mistakes and deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect as the rest of us. When they successfully rejoin the workforce, they begin contributing to society and paying taxes and are less likely to fall back into old habits.”
The calendar of events for Re-Entry month is as follows, and can also be viewed online HERE (please note some of these events require online registration):
Friday, June 2 – Join Mural Arts for a Voices Mural Dedication at Community Correction Center #2, at 407 N. 8th Street from 4-5pm and the Restorative Justice Exhibition Opening at the Painted Bride Art Center at 230 Vine Street from 5-8pm.
Saturday, June 3 – Re-Entry Awareness Month Kickoff Event and Reentry Information Fair hosted by Gateway to Reentry, Carol’s Park – 58th & Thompson Sts, 11AM -7PM. National 12PM/Noon Salute to Re-Entry Awareness Month.
Saturday, June 10 – Women in Reentry Day with the People’s Paper Coop. Join advocates, service providers and formerly incarcerated women to collectively imagine how Philadelphia could better support women in reentry. Symposium 1-3pm, Resource Fair 3-5pm, and Art for Justice Exhibition 5-8pm at the Village of Arts and Humanities, 2544 Germantown Ave.
Monday, June 12 – Rethinking Reentry Through Art Exhibition Opening for the Reentry Coalition’s Art in City Hall exhibit. 4:30-5:30 pm, Mayor’s Reception Room, City Hall.
Friday, June 16 – Rise Up: Songs and Stories from SCI-Graterford, Songs in the Key of Free multimedia concert in partnership with Mural Arts Voices & the Curtis Institute of Music, 7:30 – 9:30pm at the Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street.
Wednesday, June 28 – For AIDS Education Month Philadelphia FIGHT brings together communities affected by the parallel crises of HIV and mass imprisonment, 8am-5pm at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 13th and Arch.