The Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative is a fund that gives grants to organizations that address the root causes of the crises within our criminal justice system. You can learn more about eligibility criteria here.
Address This!, a project of Books Through Bars, provides innovative, radical educational courses via correspondence to individuals currently incarcerated throughout Pennsylvania. | Website | Facebook | Twitter
Ardella’s House addresses pressing issues for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and aims to improve women’s lives while also changing the systems that create barriers. | Website | Facebook | Twitter
The Elevation Project is a reentry program that works to discover and meet the unique needs of people returning to society from a lengthy prison sentence through therapeutic groups, job readiness training, and job placement. | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Hearts on a Wire Collective is a group of trans and gender-variant people and allies working in solidarity with them both inside and outside of prisons that publishes quarterly zines and provides needs-responsive support. | Website | Facebook
Human Rights Coalition supports families in coping with the stress and hardships created by having a loved one incarcerated, and works to transform the prison system to a model of rehabilitation and successful reintegration to society. | Website | Facebook | Twitter
I’m FREE (Females Reentering Empowering Each Other) is a group of formerly incarcerated women supporting each other in reconnecting with society and their families, revitalizing their sense of purpose, and freeing themselves from an institutionalized way of living. | Website | Facebook | Twitter
Pennsylvania Prison Society, a social justice organization advocating on behalf of prisoners, their families, and formerly incarcerated people, is starting a peer support group for returning citizens to promote collective activism. | Website | Facebook | Twitter
POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild) is a coalition of people of faith committed to bringing about justice by pressing for the needs and priorities of all Philadelphians to be reflected in the systems and policies that shape the city. | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube
Reentry Think Tank connects returning citizens with artists, activists, and legislative experts to make media campaigns that destroy stereotypes about returning citizens, connect returning citizens with organizations and individuals in power across the city, and work across the city to advocate for social, educational, and political platforms that will help those in reentry succeed in their communities. | Website
Sisters Returning Home seeks to protect, defend, and amplify the uncensored voices of prisoners in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania by recording and distributing essays and interviews with incarcerated people. | Website | Facebook | Twitter
Urban Creators is a grassroots organization in North Philadelphia that empowers neighborhoods to transform neglected landscapes into dynamic, safe spaces that foster connectivity, self-sufficiency, and innovation. | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Youth Art & Self-empowerment Project holds art and poetry workshops for young people who are incarcerated in adult jails and raises awareness about the school-to-prison pipeline while building a youth movement to resist and dismantle it. | Website | Facebook | Twitter
Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project works to transform the experiences of children prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system and aims to eliminate the practice of sentencing children as adults. | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn
1Love Movement is a community network of grassroots organizers that work together to unite Southeast Asian communities to organize for power, so families can protect their human rights and live with dignity. They are currently launching the #EndDisplacement campaign to uplift the issue of criminal deportation in the US and propose a solution that calls attention to US repatriation agreements and possible revisions that can protect people with criminal convictions from deportation.
Ardella’s House is a transitional program established to address pressing issues of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women. They take a dual approach to the issues facing criminal justice-involved women, combining a commitment to changing the circumstances of women’s lives one-by-one with a commitment to changing the systems that create barriers for women.
Books Through Bars distributes books and other publications to prisoners. Their Address This! project aims to provide innovative, radical, educational courses via correspondence to individuals currently incarcerated throughout Pennsylvania. The program prioritizes the participation of those being held in solitary confinement and/or maximum security facilities who are otherwise frequently excluded from educational programming.
The Elevation Project is a re-entry program that works to discover and meet the unique needs of people returning to society from a lengthy prison sentence through therapeutic groups, job readiness training, and job placement. The Elevation Project also advocates for laws and programs that benefit returning citizens in the community.
Hearts on a Wire Collective is a group of trans and gender variant people and those working in solidarity with them both inside and outside of prisons. They publish quarterly ‘zines and provide needs-responsive support, such as giving grants to individuals re-entering Philadelphia from prison, to the T/GV community.
MOVE emerged in the early 1970s as a revolutionary group in Philadelphia. Their main objective is respect for all beings through acknowledging the worth and importance of all living beings. On May 13, 1985 the MOVE house was bombed by the city of Philadelphia, killing 11 people including 5 children. In 2016, MOVE is republishing their book 25 Years on the MOVE and opening a space to give youth home renovation skills while also teaching them about social justice issues.
Pennsylvania Innocence Project is a non-profit law firm working to exonerate the convicted innocent and prevent innocent people from being convicted. Through their Exoneree Compensation Campaign they will work to have Pennsylvania adopt a law ensuring the convicted innocent can successfully re-enter society and receive compensation for the years they and their families suffered.
Pennsylvania Prison Society is a social justice organization advocating on behalf of prisoners, their families, and formerly incarcerated individuals. They are starting a peer support group for returning citizens. The group will offer a forum for discussion and the exchange of information, promote collective activism focused on criminal justice issues, and provide action steps to effectively facilitate systemic change.
Prison Radio seeks to protect, defend, and amplify the uncensored voices of prisoners in Philadelphia and across PA. Each year, they record and distribute over 200 essays and interviews with over two-dozen inmates. They aim to counter PA’s legislative attacks by recording one prisoner from each of the 28 correctional facilities.
Sisters Returning Home advocates for social justice on behalf of families, inmates, and loved-ones who are incarcerated. They will implement a Family Advisory Board to work on issues between families and prison officials, host a Women’s Reentry Summit, and organize a Legislation Day at the state capitol to discuss policies around criminal justice.
Urban Creators is a grass-roots organization that inspires inner-city neighborhoods to transform neglected landscapes into dynamic safe-spaces that foster connectivity, self-sufficiency, and innovation. Their ReGeneration program is a neighborhood-based approach to reducing youth violence, mass incarceration, and recidivism among young African American youth. By empowering at-risk and formerly incarcerated youth as pioneers in the revitalization of their own communities, Urban Creators hopes to improve public safety & civic engagement, build equity and resiliency at the grassroots level, and empower a generation of young leaders, innovators, and urban creators.
Veterans Legal Foundation helps disabled and homeless veterans with housing, health benefits, compensation, military discharges, and records, and advocates for legislation that will give incarcerated veterans a second chance to be given treatment instead of harsh punishments for their past offenses. Their Pennsylvania Veterans Justice Project is a coalition of diverse organizations advocating for expansion of legal and social services and treatment intervention for military veterans incarcerated in Pennsylvania.
Why Not Prosper is a faith-based grassroots organization founded by a formerly incarcerated woman, Rev. Michelle Simmons. Why Not Prosper’s services help formerly incarcerated women to find employment and housing, re-unite with their children, and not return to prison. Their Woman’s Advocacy Program for formerly incarcerated women consists of education, advocacy, and an internship at Riverside Correctional Facility. The goals of the program are to teach women how to be advocates, educate advocates on the ASFA law, and make a difference in the family reunification process.
X-Offenders for Community Empowerment organizes formerly convicted people to reduce recidivism, prevent violent crime, and help returning citizens access essential services. Their Pardon Me clinics, which are being spread to new areas each year, teach people how to get convictions cleared from their permanent records. They are launching a public education campaign to organize support for Ban-the-Box legislation and amendments, and to inform community residents of their rights under Ban-the-Box and the EEOC.
Youth Art & Self-empowerment Project (YASP) holds art and poetry workshops for youth incarcerated in adult jails. YASP is raising awareness about the school-to-prison pipeline and building a youth movement to resist and dismantle it. They are working to repeal Pennsylvania Act 33, which allows youth to be charged as adults.
Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project (YSRP) works to transform the experiences of children prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system. The ultimate goal of YSRP is to eliminate the practice of sentencing children as adults. Their Family Advocacy Movement (FAM) program creates peer support groups for family members of youth who are incarcerated or facing incarceration in the adult criminal justice system. FAM takes a participant-led, trauma-informed approach to building community among women with incarcerated loved ones. FAM members will also engage in advocacy work for policy change on behalf of young people in the justice system in order to dismantle the practice of charging children as adults.