Helping returning citizens leave the bars scene

Corrections Officer Tom O’Neal and inmates David Thomson (left) and Santiago Adames harvest greens in the garden at the Philadelphia Department of Prisons facilities on State Road. O’Neal has been working for 26 years as greenhouse manager for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s “Roots to Re-Entry” program, providing citizens transitioning back into their communities with the tools and support they need to work in the horticulture and landscape industries.

June is Reentry Awareness Month and The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and are part of The Reentry Project, a solutions-oriented focus on issues facing people coming out of prison. The piece is part of an occasional series - across the region and across platforms - on the challenges of - and solutions to - prisoner reentry in Philadelphia. Member news organizations this month are highlighting the work of over 100 governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations which collaborate to reduce recidivism and support the estimated 30,000 people who return to Philadelphia from jail and prison each year.

Click on the slide show link at left for more photographs of returning citizens and people involved with reentry both inside and outside the prisons.

Below are links to some of the groups involved in city reentry programs:

The Philadelphia Reentry Coalition

The Reentry Project

The Philadelphia Reentry Think Tank

Mural Arts Restorative Justice Program

Camera icon tom gralish / Staff Photographer
Social workers and volunteers work with returning citizens at Walk in ReEntry Sevices (WIRES).

Walk In ReEntry Services

Institute for Community Justice

Songs in the Key of Free

The Center for Returning Citizens


PHS Roots to Re-Entry

Community Learning Center

Penn’s Goldring Reentry Initiative

Pennsylvania Prison Society

Camera icon TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
An estimated 30,000 people return to Philadelphia from jail and prison each year.