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Former Inmate to Talk Incarceration with Newest Rosemont Students

Many have said that attending college will open your eyes to new insights and Rosemont College freshmen will see that within their first few weeks when Jondhi Harrell, Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Returning Citizens (TCRC), will discuss issues with the criminal justice system around the nation. Harrell’s discussion is set for September 12 at 7 p.m. in the Rotwitt Theater of McShain Performing Arts Center.

His presentation titled, "The Village:"  Economic Solutions to Mass Incarceration and Criminal Justice will also touch on TCRC’s efforts to assist returning citizens in the transition from incarceration to society by providing job training, housing assistance, counseling services, legal aid, and referrals. The discussion is intended to dovetail with Rosemont’s First Year Connections Seminar common read book, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.

“I hope students will get an insider's perspective on the structural problems and implicit racial  biases underlying the criminal justice system in the United States,” Alan Preti, C0-Director of Rosemont’s Institute for Ethical Leadership and Social Responsibility, said.

In Pennsylvania, approximately 3,500 people re-enter society each year. The organization assists in developing life plans and creating pathways to success. TCRC has served over 900 returning citizens and their families in various ways not only in the Philadelphia area, but surrounding counties since 2012 and has a current caseload of 233 program participants.

“I am always pleased to make presentations about TCRC and issues related to mass incarceration and social injustice,” Harrell said.

TCRC helps individuals, families and communities with the adverse impacts of incarceration through a variety of initiatives. The organization accomplishes its mission through programs that:

  • Mentor and provide counseling for the children of incarcerated parents.
  • Administer an after school drop-in program to assist parents in providing educational opportunities and social advancement for their at-risk children.
  • Assist citizens returning from prison (both male and female) and those who have been home for various times periods but are still suffering from the impacts of mass incarceration as a person tries to rebuild their life.

TCRC was founded by a returning citizen, is staffed by returning citizens, and people who are sensitive to the needs and requirements of this population. With offices in Germantown and Center City, more information can be found by visiting www.tcrcphilly.org.