NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

By signing up to our newsletter, you agree to our terms.

The Citizen Recommends: PowerUp Reentry

The Reentry Project hosts the first-ever hackathon to tackle prisoner reentry

Some 60 percent of people released from prison and returning home to Philadelphia will be rearrested again within three years. That’s a revolving door that hurts everyone—from victims of crime to decimated families to communities bereft of working adults to those who are continuously arrested and sent to jail.

That’s why the city and several nonprofits have been working to slash the rate of recidivism by 25 percent over the next five years. “That’s based on research elsewhere that [proves that] when a jurisdiction changes its practice in certain ways it can reduce recidivism that much,” says Reentry Coalition Director Aviva Tevah.

Next weekend, journalists, technologists, and public officials will convene for the first ever hackathon aimed at producing innovative solutions for the successful reentry of prisoners into Philadelphia. Also joining them––a number of the 200,000 to 300,000 thousand formerly incarcerated Philadelphians.

The weekend-long “PowerUp Reentry: Digital Solutions Day” hackathon is presented by the Reentry Project, a coalition of 15 local media outlets—including The Citizen—that have spent the last year looking at ways to make the return from prison more successful for former inmates. It will be produced by Code for Philly, the local outpost of Code for America, which runs several hacking marathons a year on various topics. The event is in partnership with The Reentry Coalition, the Mayor’s Office of Reintegration Services and the city’s Office of Open Data and Digital Transformation.

The event will kickoff with a two-hour session Friday evening. The goal by the end of the night, is to form well-balanced and diverse teams comprising coders, city officials and recently incarcerated. The next day, those teams will work together to create digital solutions—like an app—to address a variety of topics, including behavioral and mental health, digital and financial literacy, and cultivating leadership among the formerly incarcerated community.

In mid-afternoon, each team will have a chance to present their idea to a panel of expert judges, in the hope that they will generate enough enthusiasm to turn them into a reality.

“This is the first time we’re partnering [with other industries] in this direct way,” says Jean Friedman-Rudovsky, the project editor for the Reentry Project. “We’re hoping the connections made during this 36-hour period will continue long after, and people will be inspired to work on their own.”

Anyone is welcome to attend the event; no technology experience is needed. And the Reentry Project is still open to ideas for problems to work on, or solutions to digitize. You can throw yours into the mix here.

Tevah says she expects the weekend to be a success not just for generating great ideas, but for bringing together new people, from different industries, to tackle the issue.

“This is a city-scale challenge that’s not going to get fixed without everyone on board,” Tevah says.

Friday, October 20, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., free, Industrious, 230 Broad Street, 17th floor, and Saturday, October 21, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., at Azavea, 990 Spring Garden Street. Register here.

Header Photo: Pixabay

The Philadelphia Citizen will only publish thoughtful, civil posts. We want to be a communal space. But that doesn’t mean you have a First Amendment right to be an idiot. Send us an insulting, offensive and/or wildly off-topic comment and not only will we refrain from posting it -- we will laugh at you before we hit delete.

Recent Tweets
@THEPHILACITIZEN

@thephilacitizen @@thephilacitizen
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Morgan Berman, founder of Philly B-Corp @MyMilkCrateApp offers ethical shopping tips for your #BlackFriday,… https://t.co/l1DRqWR3Kj 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live… https://t.co/YIPHUNhzlH 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
RT @thephilacitizen:Our Annual Shop Ethically Guide will help you find something special for everyone on your shopping list this year w… https://t.co/wMdkfYuq8B 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Just in time for #GivingTuesday. Support solution-based journalism when you shop on Black Friday. Go to… https://t.co/MexSk18I5R 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
#GivingTuesday is just around the corner. Please consider making a donation and/or becoming a member of The Philade… https://t.co/UfNI5Myhe6 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
This #ThanksgivingEve we pose the question? What actions do you take to live a simpler lifestyle? We like… https://t.co/YwKRpGzKK3 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Our Annual Shop Ethically Guide will help you find something special for everyone on your shopping list this year w… https://t.co/wMdkfYuq8B 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
The founder of a social impact tracking platform offers suggestions on how to be an ethical consumer this holiday s… https://t.co/6RtKHwb4dv 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
“We don’t look at OD mapping as an arresting tool,” he says. “We look at it as a life-saving tool.” https://t.co/V8wEJDN5iI 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
The Citizen's @dianamlind is on LIVE right now with @onwurd's Reality Check host @ellisonreport discussing her piec… https://t.co/KKdL4IRxt2 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Did you miss the live airing of The Reentry Blueprint: Stories and Solutions last week? Watch the full broadcast he… https://t.co/SY5Wf4Va7P 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Don't miss The Citizen's @platt_larry at 4pm today as he sits in with the @BizRadio111 crew to talk sports and dive… https://t.co/dhcF9SiPcf 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Do Something and fight homelessness. Join the Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel, the First Presbyterian Church in Philad… https://t.co/dmHTGbftQc 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
An app that tracks overdoses is helping police predict the spread of dangerous opioids. Could it help turn the tide… https://t.co/QPBWQ3MFvd 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
"What if Philly got a bit ambitious and—dare we use this term—truly radical in its commitment to improve the school… https://t.co/Hb1DjaWJXa 

LOAD MORE

Be a Citizen Editor

Suggest a Story