Pennsylvania Reentry Council

 Gov Reentrycouncil Amb

May 15, 2017 – Governor Wolf, Attorney General Shapiro Announce Launch of Reentry Council

Most Pennsylvania returning citizens leave jails and prisons having paid their debt to society only to face similar realities. They leave with limited knowledge of (and little access to) services, and even fewer positive relationships to help them navigate a world that may have completely changed while they were incarcerated. Small wonder, then, that 67 percent of all returning citizens end up incarcerated again within three years’ time.

For too long, Pennsylvania has relied solely on incarceration to prevent crime and violence. When two of every three people emerging from jail commit another crime and return, it’s clear the system is broken.Continue Reading

Determined to address the recidivism crisis directly, Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro created the Pennsylvania Reentry Council (PARC), an historic and unprecedented undertaking bringing together reentry stakeholders from around the Commonwealth to identify issues facing returning citizens and to develop and implement solutions. After all, it is in all of our interests that returning citizens are as successful as possible in their transition back home.

As the first collaborative forum for government officials, service providers, and returning citizens themselves, PARC is now the hub of reentry efforts in Pennsylvania. PARC has identified new strategies to expand opportunities to assist returning citizens as they reenter their communities, and has helped make our Commonwealth safer as a result.

Mission Statement

The primary mission of the Pennsylvania Reentry Council (PARC) is to make communities safer by reducing recidivism and victimization through the successful reintegration of returning citizens.

PARC Purpose

  • To expand education of the public, members of law enforcement and criminal justice, and policymakers on why supporting prisoner reentry efforts is essential to reducing crime and violence;
  • To provide a forum for the sharing of best practices, including reviewing successful, existing evidence-based programs and initiatives; and
  • To Identify barriers to successful reentry for persons with criminal records including:
  • Providing or enhancing access to housing;
  • Removing barriers to employment;
  • Providing enhanced access to effective treatment for healthcare, addiction, mental health, and trauma;
  • Facilitating access to driver’s licenses, social security cards, and other identification documents essential to obtaining employment, housing, and other government assistance;
  • Expanding access to education and training; and
  • Collaborate with Reentry Courts, Veterans Courts, and Drug Courts on best practice

Participation & Regional Support

Click a county to view PARC Resources

AG Shapiro, 20 States Fighting Florida’s Unlawful Pay-to-Vote System For Formerly Incarcerated Citizens

Published on August 4, 2020
HARRISBURG--Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced Pennsylvania’s fight to stop a new Florida law that creates barriers to voting for formerly incarcerated citizens, and threatens the American democratic process.
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View all PARC news

AG Shapiro, 20 States Fighting Florida’s Unlawful Pay-to-Vote System For Formerly Incarcerated Citizens

Published on August 4, 2020
HARRISBURG--Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced Pennsylvania’s fight to stop a new Florida law that creates barriers to voting for formerly incarcerated citizens, and threatens the American democratic process.
Read More
View all PARC news

Reentering Citizens Success Stories

Henry Wimbush, Founder, Recovery Institute, Inc.

Growing up in Pittsburgh, PA I experimented with drugs and alcohol at the age of 12. I was a full fledged heroin addict by the time I graduated from high school. I was incarcerated several times as I struggled with addictions. After the death of my mother Clara to cancer, I went into a severe state of depression relapsing into addiction after eight years of sobriety. This lead to my incarceration of [a sentence of 25 to 50 years times two], which Praise to God was shortened to 18 years.

I surrendered to God during this time of incarceration, and am now able to live out my faith and practice the principles of recovery. During my incarceration I was educated in Recovery, was given the opportunity to become a Peer Support Specialist, and receive my degree. My determination didn’t stop when I was released. I truly understand that “recovery is more than a word … it’s a lifestyle.” Since my release I have been trained in Forensics, and received Certification as a Recovery Specialist. I now facilitate Wellness Recovery Action Plan Groups [WRAP]. My main passion is to see others free from the bondage of addictions, and the opiate crisis compelled me to establish Recovery Institute, Inc.

Sam Barlow, The Other Side of The World

Read more about PARC member, Sam Barlow, and his experiences as a child and young adult in addition to his experience reentering society.

Lisa Kessler, Author, Why I Tried To Die

Lisa Kessler wrote of her journey and perseverance against the odds. You can read about her book Why I Tried to Die, by clicking here.