Coalition aims to support people who are arrested
The Defender Association of Philadelphia launched its Pre-Entry Coalition initiative at the Bonnell Auditorium at Community College of Philadelphia on Thursday.The coalition is a network of community-based organizations united to serve as a system of support for people who have been arrested. According to the Defender Association, about 45 percent of arrests in Philadelphia result in no conviction, and four of every 10 people convicted are not sentenced to prison. The pre-entry system and coalition aims to address the root causes of behavior, give the communities most impacted by crime and mass incarceration a greater voice in the criminal justice system and increase public safety by reducing recidivism. The coalition aims to be a resource that will encourage people to have more faith in the legal system as a whole.“Most people feel like the system set them up to fail because of inequality,” Allen said. The Defender Association is working to get the word out to as many organizations as it can. Organizations that can provide assistance and services can make the difference between someone who loses everything and someone who is supported. Those organizations also help bridge the gap of pre-entry services and provide people with more support on the front end, reducing the number of people who wait in jail and the number of individuals and families whose lives are destroyed. Myers, the bail navigator, said she would usually receive a file within five days of an arrest. After reviewing the information, she conducts an interview which includes discussing a post-release plan.