Philadelphia, PA (Aug. 27, 2020) – According to the Brookings report, today in Pennsylvania there are over 170,000 individuals currently on probation and 45,000 incarcerated. Nearly 50% of returning citizens have no form of employment in the first year following their release from prison and the average annual earnings of those employed is less than $11,000. Most concerning is that African Americans are disproportionately incarcerated and placed on extensive probation. African Americans represent 11% of the state’s population, and nearly 37% of the state’s incarcerated population.
For more than 100 Years, the Urban League of Philadelphia (ULP) has served as both advocate and activist in the fight to restore justice and empower the future of the black community. Today ULP is thrilled to announce the launch of a three-year grant from Aramark to support formerly incarcerated individuals through this new re-entry program entitled Out4Good. This signature program will empower individuals to transition back to their communities, providing skills development, workforce readiness, job training and placement.
“In this current climate, we must not lose sight of our commitment to supporting individuals who have paid their debt to society and are working towards building a legacy for themselves, their family, and their community,” said Andrea Custis, President and CEO of the Urban League of Philadelphia.
Out4Good is an intensive 4-week long program that fully rehabilitates individuals with criminal records into the economic and social mainstream, for good. The program was piloted earlier this year with encouraging results. 100 percent of enrolled participants completed the training and to-date, 80 percent have secured jobs.
“We believe strongly that re-entry programs are critical to reforming the criminal justice system and addressing its disproportionate impact on black and brown communities,” said Ash Hanson, Chief Diversity & Sustainability Officer for Aramark. “We are very encouraged by the initial results of the Out4Good program and its potential to change lives by establishing a direct pathway to rehabilitation.”
Out4Good stabilizes returning citizens through job training and employment opportunities, intensive case management and peer-to-peer supportive services. Successful program graduates demonstrate mastery in skills related to:
Pilot participants reported increased confidence, self-efficacy and confidence in having the momentum they need to achieve family stability and economic success. Video testimonials: Out4Good
One participant reported that the program discussed “Real life issues with real life implications” and provided a means to “take steps to destroy the images placed on black men.”
Based on the success of the pilot, ULP and Aramark are working to expand the program to other states, with the goal of impacting thousands of black and brown individuals over the next three years.
About Urban League of Philadelphia
The Urban League of Philadelphia, an affiliate of the National Urban League, is a nonpartisan civil rights organization that has empowered African Americans and other underserved communities for more than a century. Through housing, employment, entrepreneurship, youth development, health and wellness and advocacy, we impact more than 15,000 children, youth and families a year. To learn more about ULP, visit www.urbanleaguephila.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more information.
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