Bianca van Heydoorn, until recently part of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University, and Aviva Tevah, from the Philadelphia Reentry Coalition, will serve as senior director and director of policy and planning, respectively, for a newly created Office of Reentry Partnerships.
Mayor Jim Kenney made the announcement today, saying the new office will be responsible for the development of a comprehensive reentry strategy for the city of Philadelphia. It will consolidate staff from the Office of Re-Integration Services (RISE) and Office of Criminal Justice (OCJ) into one central team.
According to the statement released by the city, the new office will:
- Set a clear vision and direction for a measurable citywide approach to improving reentry outcomes
- Drive and sustain an unprecedented level of coordination between the local government, other government partners, service providers, education and training programs, employers, and community members
- Ensure that City reentry initiatives are research- and data-driven
Before becoming the director of community engagement and research application at Temple, van Heydoorn served as the director of educational initiatives at the Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. van Heydoorn has served as a consultant for New York City Department of Corrections, the City and State University systems of New York, and for the Obama Administration’s Second Chance Pell and Beyond the Box initiatives, and her writing has been featured in the Journal on Ethnicity in Criminal Justice.
In addition to her work at the Philadelphia Reentry Coalition, Tevah’s previous experience includes work as a transition data project consultant for the New York City Department of Education; New York reentry education network coordinator for Center for Institutional and Social Change; and program analyst and Rikers Island recruitment coordinator for Getting Out and Staying Out, among other positions.
The timing of the announcement of the office and appointees, coincides with the release of the “Philadelphia’s Reentry Services Landscape” report. The report is based on research conducted by the Philadelphia Reentry Coalition, and looks at 118 reentry-related programs run by 71 organizations in the city. According to the statement from the City, the report examines the ecosystem of reentry services highlighting multiple findings, including:
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- Many reentry and related programs are collectively serving tens of thousands of people annually. Programs reported serving as few as 22,930 and as many as 36,425 people annually.
- Existing untapped capacity could serve even more people. 82% of programs do not have a waiting list, 70% do not have a cap for participants. In total, programs estimate that they could serve at least 7,723 and at most 13,200 more people annually without additional resources.
- The ecosystem of reentry services is made up of many small programs and small
organizations. 65% of organizations serve fewer than 1,000 people annually. More than half of the
programs surveyed are serving 500 or fewer people annually. 44% are serving 250 or fewer people annually. Almost half (44%) of the programs that shared funding information reported annual budgets of less than $50,000 a year. Another 27% reported annual program budgets between $50,000 and $250,000.
- Across many domain areas, employment support services—not core education and training—are offered most frequently. Basic job readiness is offered by 61% of programs, with soft skills building a close behind at 58%. 54% offer computer access, and 52% offer job search services.
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