[Holmesburg Prison 2]

A panel discussion featuring incarcerated persons at Philadelphia's infamous Holmesburg Prison about a project to assist participants in adjusting to life after incarceration.

00:12Copy video clip URL Discussion organizer Lilly Everett talks about the ways in which certain values associated with criminality become part of a community in which there is little hope of legitimate economic advancement or stability. 

01:29Copy video clip URL One of the incarcerated members of the panel discusses the difficulties in avoiding incarceration. “I just knew that every time I got out I was gonna be back again…. because I was gonna go back into my same things regardless.” He discusses how the classes and the program has helped him understand how to avoid falling into those patterns. 

03:30Copy video clip URL A priest discusses the dangers of being overly reliant on others to avoid patterns that may lead to incarceration

05:14Copy video clip URL An incarcerated member of the panel discusses the ways in which the program attempts to address problems of recidivism, but that the biggest needs for the formerly incarcerated are jobs and housing and that those need to be addressed more systematically. Another incarcerated panel member adds that training and opportunities for better jobs are needed. 

09:57Copy video clip URL The priest responds, saying that many people don’t like their jobs and that they need to “deal with attitudes about jobs.” 

12:15Copy video clip URL Everett discusses the need for broader rethinking of work from a societal and community perspective. A psychologist continues the discussion, hopeful that formerly incarcerated persons might find it easier in the coming years to find employment. 

17:40Copy video clip URL An incarcerated member of the panel points out that there has been no discussion of actual job placement. The psychologist replies that the job training programs are still in the early stages. The incarcerated panel member wonders when there will be tangible results. The psychologist talks about minority hiring at companies and in the army and reiterates that the big problem is motivating the formerly incarcerated to try to find work. The inc

20:40Copy video clip URL The incarcerated member of the panel points out that the need is for training to qualify for jobs that are actually available. Another incarcerated member of the panel. Another incarcerated member of the panel points out that the needs of the formerly incarcerated are the same as those for the rest of society. 

25:15Copy video clip URL Everett likens the incarcerated and the black community more broadly, pointing out that we cannot expect people to have faith in a system that has excluded and degraded them their entire lives. That is why there is a need for alternative systems. The priest responds to the discussions about hope by wondering if “hope” needs to be redefined to include more realistic goals. 

29:35Copy video clip URL The panelists discuss the nature of hope and the possibilities for collective organization to create new possibilities. 



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