"Pennsylvanians -- Republicans, Democrats, Philadelphians, suburbanites, people from upstate and mid-state Pennsylvania -- overwhelmingly believe that the state’s legislature and criminal justice system need to do more to help ex-offenders keep from committing another crime."
On 3/22/2017, PhillyNews' Jane M. Von Bergen published an article summarizing a recent poll released that demonstrated the idea that Pennsylvanians support more help for ex-offenders. "The poll also indicates that 92 percent support breaking down 'barriers for ex-offenders so they can get jobs, support their families, and stop being dependent on government services that cost Pennsylvania taxpayers money.' The weakest support for that proposal -- 87 percent in favor -- came out of the Philadelphia suburbs. More than 90 percent of voters in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre, and Harrisburg supported removing barriers for ex-offenders." Read the full article here.
On 3/22/2017, PhillyNews' Jane M. Von Bergen published an article about the importance of staying positive after serving time in prison in order to be a successful ex-offender. The ex-offender's message was clear - "When you get out of prison, don’t give up. No matter if you are homeless, no matter if you think white people are racist, no matter if you are earning so much less in a real job that it’s laughable." Read the full article here.
On 3/17/2017, PhillyNews' Jane M. Von Bergen published an article about why a supermarket CEO likes hiring former drug dealers. "What we realized is that a lot of the people we hired were in the drug trade,” said Jeffrey Brown, founder and chief executive of Brown's Super Stores Inc. “We were surprised that some of the people we hired have fairly good business skills. The drug trade is a business, it’s an illegal business. You are buying. You are selling. You have inventory. You have some of the common problems that any retailer has. A lot of them are accelerating into management.” Read the full article here.
On 3/16/2017, ABC27's Chris Davis published an article about former inmates helping Harrisburg residents dig out from the massive snowfall.
"HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Need some help digging out?
A group of men in Harrisburg is volunteering snow removal services. Sidewalks, driveways, alleys — whatever it is, they’ll shovel it for you for free. They’re all former prison inmates now living at the Harrisburg Community Corrections Center, a halfway house in layman’s terms. They have to do community service to live there, and many jumped at this chance, acting director of the Harrisburg CCC Josh Flinn said. Thursday, a group of four went to a few different places to dig people out, thanks to help from Rep. Patty Kim (D-Harrisburg). She put a call out on social media to people looking for the services. In one case, the group shoveled out the driveway of an Allison Hill woman who hasn’t been able to leave her house since the storm. And the men, who number more than a hundred at the CCC, are always looking for more work to do, especially to help those who can’t do it themselves. “It’s an opportunity for the citizens of Harrisburg to see that these people still care about the community they live in and are willing to help out when needed,” Flinn said. If you or someone you know can benefit from this service, you can call the CCC at 717-787-4427 or contact Kim through her office or social media pages."
PA State Representative Patty Kim also took to Facebook to acknowledge the efforts of the ex-offenders donating their time to help their Harrisburg neighbors.
The featured speakers during CRESC's March 2017 meeting were Catharine Kilgore and Meredith Zurin. Kilgore serves as the Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB) Administrator for Dauphin County with the Office of the District Attorney. Zurin serves as the Quality Assurance Supervisor with Dauphin County Probation Services - Adult Division. Kilgore and Zurin presented an overview of Dauphin County's strategic planning for ex-offender reentry and how CRESC will be a part of the plan. The Dauphin County Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB) consists of stakeholders committed to revising, refining and renewing the county’s approach to criminal offenders and victims of crime. CJAB’s mission is to enhance the criminal justice system and public safety through a collaborative, targeted approach, prioritizing the support of evidence-based practices and innovation strategies while maintaining fiscal responsibility and maximizing outside resources. Kilgore and Zurin's presentation was well received, spurring discussions after the meeting, which lasted until long after CareerLink was scheduled to close for the day. More information on Dauphin County's Criminal Justice Advisory Board can be found here. Also, Kilgore and Zurin can be reached, respectively, at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. CRESC thanks both Catharine Kilgore and Meredith Zurin for sharing their time with CRESC!
Ex-offender Daniel Bull delivers a TEDx Talk at SCI Chester about his prison experience and the decision, after his release, to use his skills by helping ex-offenders channel their gifts and talents through a start-up incubator investment business, which he calls “profiting in humanity.’’
The Central Penn Business Journal publishes article by columnist Jennifer Wentz about the Financial Reality Fair held for the ex-offenders of the Harrisburg Community Corrections Center on Saturday, March 4, 2017. Read the full article here.
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