The Intercept: Philly Dawn

Krasner instructed his prosecutors to stop charging sex workers that have fewer than three convictions with any crime and drop all current cases against sex workers who also fit that description. All sex workers with three or more convictions are to be referred to Dawn Court – a special diversionary program created in 2010 specifically for sex workers with repeat offenses, the first of its kind in the nation.

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Philly’s Prison Summit Suggests: Women Of Wakanda!

Bring your Wakandan enthusiasm and appreciation to an entirely new level at ICJ’s “Women of Wakanda: A Black Panther Panel Discussion,” where we’ll discuss the themes of black womanhood, representation, liberation and justice as explored through the Black Panther film. Art from Hearts on a Wire & Prison Health News will be featured at this event.

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PA Press Release: Lackawanna County Prison Guard Charged with Sexual Offenses is Held for Trial

2/23/2018 HARRISBURG — Following last week’s arrests of seven current and former Lackawanna County prison guards for their roles in a pervasive culture of institutional sexual assault of women inmates over many years, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that the first of the seven guards to have a preliminary hearing was ordered held for trial today. – Office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro Press Release

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Spotlight On: Philadelphia’s De/Incarceration Effort

Did you know that: a $3.5 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation was awarded to the city [of Philadelphia] in 2016 aimed at reducing Philadelphia’s jail population — one of the highest incarceration rates of any major U.S. city?

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Understanding FOSTA & SESTA

Understanding FOSTA & SESTA PDF (c) Reframe Health & Justice RHJ 2018

The “Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act” (FOSTA, H.R. 1865) might sound noble, but it would do nothing to stop sex traffickers. What it would do is force online platforms to police their users’ speech more forcefully than ever before, silencing legitimate voices in the process. – Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

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Criminal Justice Reform: Cash Bail v

Re/Post: PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s top prosecutor will no longer seek jail time before conviction for those charged with what he says are low-level offenses, including prostitution. A spokesman for Krasner says they will examine cases individually and any charge involving minors is excluded from the new policy.

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Criminal Justice Reform: Cash Bail iv

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said Wednesday that prosecutors would no longer seek cash bail for people accused of some misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, a significant policy shift that could have a wide-ranging impact on the city’s criminal justice system. Re/Post Of Article by Chris Palmer.

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HIV & Solitary Confinement: CJ Palmer

On the 19th of January, 2018, CJ Palmer, a trans woman and former sex worker was charged with causing grievous bodily harm in relation to the alleged transmission of HIV to her ex-partner. CJ has been remanded in a maximum-security male prison in Western Australia where she has already spent over 9 months while awaiting her trial. Her sentence will also be served in a male prison. As a woman in a maximum security male prison, CJ is forced to stay in isolation in a cell by herself in the Crisis Care Unit.

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Sex Workers’ statement on the Centre For Women’s Justice challenge to convictions for street sex work

We seek to remove the barriers to leaving the sex industry imposed by criminal law. Women selling sex onstreet may be arrested for loitering or soliciting[iii]; indoors, any way of working with or for another person creates a risk of prosecution[iv]. Clients are entirely criminalised onstreet and extensively indoors[v]. This means that almost anyone who encounters victims of trafficking in the sex industry has reason to fear arrest if they contact the authorities to report concerns.
This complex and confusing mess of legislation endangers everyone in the sex industry. Only complete decriminalisation offers the wholesale reform necessary to create a legal framework that offers us the same human rights accorded to others.[vi]

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An excerpt from the book Illegal to Legal: Business Success for the (Formerly) Incarcerated © 2014 by RL Pelshaw, used with permission.

Your strengths are found in your past, both good and bad. I’m not here to beat you up over what you did, or might even be doing now. I’m here to give you a practical path that you can follow to help you use your past to propel you to a new future, your destiny, a future where you have left your past behind you.

Take a moment and think about the Space Shuttle. Obviously, the Shuttle was not designed to stay on earth. It fulfills its destiny in space, not on the launch pad. Blasting off is not a passive event. It’s violent, explosive, and a life-or-death battle to reach the stars. What is the biggest obstacle the Shuttle must overcome to get into space? It’s not gravity but the weight of the fuel. The fuel weighs more than nineteen times what the Shuttle weighs. It’s ironic because the Shuttle needs the fuel to get into orbit, but the fuel is so heavy it becomes the biggest obstacle the Shuttle must overcome to blast into space. Breaking through the atmosphere into its destiny is the most difficult thing the Shuttle will ever do. I promised to show you how to use your past to propel you to your destiny. Pretend you are the Space Shuttle. You’re designed and destined to be high above where you are now, but you’re stuck on earth. You’re on the launch pad, ready for something to get you moving. You are yearning for something better, knowing you don’t belong where you are now. You are unhappy that you can’t get to where you want to be but you don’t know how to reach the stars. As the Shuttle you have to use your fuel to blast off, but what is that fuel? Your past, your life experience, is like the fuel in the Space Shuttle. If the fuel is properly used it can propel you into orbit, your destiny. If the fuel is improperly used it becomes dangerous, explosive, and can destroy the Shuttle. If the fuel is unused it weighs you down and keeps you stuck on the launch pad. Life on the launch pad is an unfilled life. On the launch pad you’re never going anywhere, never changing, never doing anything differently, never improving, and never learning. All you are doing is wasting away and decaying while you ignore your destiny above you. I was being crippled by the mental load of shame over the consequences of my mistakes, what I lost, and broken relationships. There was no easy way from that, and I think every incarcerated and formerly incarcerated citizen faces that. I asked for, and received God’s help, which I continually need to get past the shame and things that would weigh me down if I let them. Ultimately, I had to choose to get over myself.

You must decide if you want to let your past weigh you down, destroy you, or propel you to your destiny among the stars. What will you decide? Are you willing to do what it takes to make it legitimately, so you can reach your destiny, the life you were meant to live? Once the Shuttle blasts off it cannot return to Earth until its mission is complete. A return mid-launch would be catastrophic for the Shuttle.

History gives us another example of the commitment required for success. Spanish explorer Hernan Cortez burned his ships when he reached the New World in the 1500s. You must have that level of commitment if you wish to reach your goal. Returning to the past should not be an option at all, no matter how hard it is to launch or break through to your destiny. Just as the Space Shuttle cannot return to earth mid-launch, and there were no ships for Cortez’ men to return to Spain, there should be no chance of you ever returning to a life of crime. Close that door forever! This book will show you ways to start your own business so you don’t have to return to or continue crime to make a living.