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Malcolm Jenkins' Criminal Justice Season

This week, the Eagles’ All-Pro safety profiles MenzFit, which helps low-income and formerly-incarcerated men become self-sufficient

One thing I’ve learned in the past year is how compassionate and resilient people can be, especially in Philadelphia. We call ourselves the City of Brotherly Love, and there is a non-profit organization in the heart of Philly that has been extraordinary in lending a helping hand to low-income men so they can become gainfully employed.

Think about your last job hunt. And think about how much more difficult it would have been if you didn’t have the confidence or proper wardrobe to give the best impression possible to an employer.

Back in September, my business partner at Damari Savile, Jay Amin, and I hosted an event for MenzFit, which began in 2001 to address the employment needs of low-income men, especially minorities. Many of these individuals are formerly incarcerated and have carried the stigma that goes along with having a criminal record. 

MenzFit has helped more than 6,100 men compete for jobs. That has created more than $54 million in taxable income (based on an average salary of $17,500). They provide professional interview clothing, but also a variety of other services for these men to become self-sufficient, including financial literacy classes, career development, and interview training.   

Malcolm Jenkins with MenzFit Founder Rhonda Willingham and his Damari Savile partner Jay Amin

I’ve met a lot of men who regret the poor choices of their past, and are eager to become contributing members of society.  Through MenzFit, they receive the support they need to proudly walk into an interview wearing the proper clothing.  Each month, Damari Savile collects gently used suits and has also donated new suits to former MenzFit clients who overcame obstacles to become successful. I’ve personally been told by several of them what a difference it made to be wearing a nice suit. They don’t feel judged based on their appearance.

This past Tuesday night, I witnessed a lot of love in the room, as MenzFit held a fashion show entitled “Who Wore It Best” at the Masonic Temple on Broad Street with members of Philadelphia City Council and State Legislators. Organized by Founder and CEO Rhonda Willingham, this ticketed event raised funds for MenzFit and its mission to help low-income men gain long-term employment.

Prior to starting MenzFit, Ms. Willingham served as a political appointee in the Clinton/Gore Administration at the Department of Labor, where she was responsible for community outreach and public affairs. Spend any time around her, and you see just how much MenzFit is a labor of love for Ms. Willingham.

The fashion show was a blast. It was really heartwarming to hear so many stories about how MenzFit is changing lives. Since there were so many elected officials in attendance, I also was able to have conversations with legislators about the promising Clean Slate Act, which I’ve written about before. Its passage would help in the process for more MenzFit clients to get quality jobs.

There are a variety of ways that you can support MenzFit this holiday season.  Consider making a donation or schedule an appointment to donate your gently used clothing. MenzFit needs suits, shoes, ties, sports coats, belts, shirts, cuff links, khakis, dress pants, and socks (new only). Additionally, sweaters, coats, scarves, gloves and other winter clothing are needed, but only accepted through February. MenzFit has a beautiful showroom to make their clients feel welcome and comfortable, so they appreciate if any donations have been dry cleaned or laundered.

I hope you help out MenzFit, because I’ve seen how they can change lives, and their cause is our cause.

This week, we play the Seattle Seahawks on the field. See how we do against them in terms of criminal justice below.

Philadelphia

Eagles

vs

Seattle

Seahawks

Homicides per 1,000 residents

0.18

Seahawks

Homicides per 1,000 residents

0.03

Violent crime per 1,000 residents

10.3

Seahawks

Violent crime per 1,000 residents

6.01

Marijuana decriminalization

Yes

Tie

Marijuana decriminalization

Yes

Police involved shootings

23

Seahawks

Police involved shootings

3

People in jail per 100,000 residents

448

Seahawks

People in jail per 100,000 residents

305

% police of color /
% population of color

43.2/55

Seahawks

% police of color /
% population of color

24.7 / 30

People incarcerated pre-trial per 100,000 residents

134

Eagles

People incarcerated pre-trial per 100,000 residents

215

# juveniles sentenced to life without parole

307

Seahawks

# juveniles sentenced to life without parole

3

Upcoming Games:

 

Jan. 13 4:35 PM Atlanta

For more information on this data, see the Criminal Justice Season Explained page.

Note: Seattle incarceration rate for King County Jail System, which has only felony suspects. Philadelphia County numbers count all inmates.

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