The U.S. has the largest incarcerated population of any nation in history, and Philadelphia is the most incarcerated metropolis in the country. The city has one of the largest populations on parole or probation, and 1 out of 3 Philadelphians has a prison record. We live in a moment where our communities, inside and outside of prison, have become part of the prison industrial complex. By harnessing the resources developed by an academic-neighborhood partnership, the Center addresses the needs of the most vulnerable members of our carceral communities.
The Center for Carceral Communities, an initiative of the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania works collaboratively with neighborhoods in West Philadelphia to help people with a history of incarceration re-engage with the community. We provide free, evidence-based psychosocial services that address the mental health, educational, housing, advocacy and primary care challenges confronting those returning to the community. The Center seeks to reverse the community-to-prison pipeline by helping participants harness their strengths and become leaders in the community.