a Lehigh Valley working group to    
End Mass Incarceration

(a committee affiliated with POWER Lehigh Valley and POWER Interfaith )

Our meetings in 2019 will usually be on 1st and 3rd Thursdays each month, 6:00-8:00pm at Resurrected Life Community Church, 9th & Turner Streets, Allentown (Mar. 21, Apr. 4, Apr. 18 ... - but check our calendar below for updates or weather cancellations)

Our Mission is to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in Pennsylvania, and restore community for our incarcerated and returning citizens, by:

  • Reducing the use of jails as the only recourse for offenders
  • Bringing dignity to life behind bars
  • Changing minds through education and advocacy
  • Building political will for criminal justice reform

(Check our calendar for meeting updates, or register to get on our email list, or contact us for further information.)


We have recently formed five subcommittees to facilitate our work:
  • The Public Policy Team works with other organizations to host Candidate Debates, prepare Candidate Scorecards, and engage in advocacy for criminal justice reform legislation.
  • The Reentry Team identifies resources to assist people leaving jail or prison; and provide support for incarcerated people, such as letter-letter writing or working directly with prisoners and their families.
  • The Community Education Team plans public educational events and provides speakers on topics related to mass incarceration and bail reform.
  • The Vision/Talking Points Team develops resources for our public presentations, letter-writing, and meeting announcements.
  • The Amplify Team extends our work through social media.
Sponsored by POWER Lehigh Valley, and partner organizations.

Lehigh Valley - It's Time to End Mass Incarceration

    There are currently many organizations in the Lehigh Valley and across Pennsylvania that are working independently on various aspects of criminal justice and mass incarceration. Let's begin planning and working together!

  • Watch the WFMZ Business Matters show "What's Fair in Prison Reform" with District Attorney Jim Martin, Hasshan Batts, Ed Angelo, and Ed Sweeny which aired on Jan. 28. It is now posted here.
  • Blueprint for Justice -- the ACLU Smart Justice program has created a state-by-state report showing how each state can cut the number of people behind bars in half. The Blueprint for Pennsylvania is posted here.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has announced Changes in PA Prison Policies for Mail, Books, and Visitors. Read more about the new policies here
  • March 1 - April 7, 2019   "Hope in Hard Times: Prison Art for Social Justice"
    Prison Art Exhibit at the Banana Factory Arts Center, 25 W. 3rd Street, Bethlehem, PA. The exhibit is sponsored by the Moravian Church. This art exhibit is open for free viewing anytime the Banana Factory is open. Also see www.artforjustice.org for more info. about the exhibit.
  • March 21, 2019 (Thursday, 6:00-8:00pm) 9th & Turner Sts., Allentown, PA
    The Lehigh Valley working group to End Mass Incarceration. Invited guest: Eric K. Dowdle, defense attorney and former Board member of Lehigh Valley Pretrial Services. The meeting will be held at Resurrected Life Community Church in the church library; RLCC is at the corner of 9th and Turner Streets, Allentown, PA. Enter the church by the red door facing Turner St.
  • March 24, 2019 (Sunday, 2:00-4:00pm)
    Vigil for Hope in the Criminal Justice System at the Banana Factory. Keynote speaker, Chester Hollman, Jr. tells the story of his son Chester Hollman III's wrongful conviction and sentence of life without parole in PA.
  • March 26, 2019 (Tuesday, 7:00pm) Forensic Forum: "Sex Money Murder"
    with Jonathan Green, an award-winning journalist and author. Also, a panel discussion will include Eric Dowdle, Esq., a criminal defense attorney and former assistant district attorney in Northampton and Lehigh counties, and Seth Weber, Esq., a former federal prosecutor and current lecturer for the criminal justice program at DeSales University. The presentation is FREE and open to the public, at DeSales University Center (DUC), Commonwealth Room [Campus Map].
    For details and registration, see calendar.desales.edu, or call 610-282-1100, ext.1466.

  • March 30, 2019 (Saturday, 2:00-4:00pm) Criminal Justice Reform Roundtable at ESU
    Get first-hand word regarding recently passed "Clean Slate Act." Find out where additional reform is needed and how it can financially benefit our great Commonwealth. Residents will get detailed information on how to seal certain criminal records in Pennsylvania and get a "clean slate" to move forward with their lives. We will also discuss bail reform, probation and parole reform and how to fight a wrongful conviction.
    Invited speakers include: State Rep. Jordan A. Harris (PA-186), Co-author of Pennsylvania's Clean Slate Act; State Rep. Maureen Madden (PA-115); Legislative Criminal Justice Reform Advocate; Ms. Marissa Bluestine, Exec. Director of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project; Pastor Gregory Edwards, Ph.D., Prison, Public Policy and Transformative Justice; Mr. George Little; Executive Deputy Secretary for Pennsylvania's Dept. of Corrections; Ms. Amy Gulli, Director of Special Reports, PA Auditor General Eugene Depasquale's office; and Panel Moderator: Carrie L. Maloney, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Director of Criminal Justice Program.
    Location: Abeloff Center for the Performing Arts, East Stroudsburg University, 122 University Circle, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301. For details and registration (free), click here

  • April 3, 2019 (Wednesday, 7:00-9:00pm) NCC Bethlehem Campus
    "Bail Reform" Panel Discussion (see www.naacp-eastonpa.org for details)
    Location: Northampton Community College, 3835 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem, PA 18020 in the College Center, David Reed Community Room (Rm.220).
    Sponsored by Easton NAACP - Political Action Committee in partnership with the ACLU, End Mass Incarceration Lehigh Valley and Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley. This is the first in a series of three forums on "Criminal Justice Reform in the Prison System."
  • April 4, 2019 (Thursday, 2:00pm) Lehigh County Reentry Coalition
    Meets at Lehigh County Jail. (attendance by invitation only).
  • April 4, 2019 (Thursday, 5:30-7:30pm) Philadelphia Ending Mass Incarceration in PA: Probation and Parole Reform Pennsylvania is wildly out of step with the rest of the country when it comes to probation and parole. We have the second highest percentage of its citizens under community supervision in the country. In Philadelphia alone, the Adult Probation and Parole Department supervises 1 out of every 35 Philadelphians. Technical probation violations often lead individuals back to prison, feeding directly into our mass incarceration problem. Come hear from ACLU-PA Criminal Justice Policy Counsel Nyssa Taylor about the ACLU of Pennsylvania's work to help reform probation and parole throughout the commonwealth.
    WHERE: Field House, 1150 Filbert St, Philadelphia, PA 19107.     This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. Questions? Email YLOTPhilly@aclupa.org.
  • April 4, 2019 (Thursday, 6:00-8:00pm) 9th & Turner Sts., Allentown, PA
    The Lehigh Valley working group to End Mass Incarceration. Invited guest: Joyce Dougherty, Pinebrook Family Answers, reporting on Leaving Jail program in Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon Counties. The meeting will be held at Resurrected Life Community Church in the church library; RLCC is at the corner of 9th and Turner Streets, Allentown, PA. Enter the church by the red door facing Turner St. There is free off-street parking behind the building.
  • April 9-10, 2019 (Tues.- Wed.) Pennsylvania CJAB Conference
    "Criminal Justice Challenges; Innovative Solutions"
    Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in State College, Pennsylvania
    For details, see www.pccd.pa.gov/training. Conference registration is free; register by March 29. Hotel lodging is $122/night (for reservations by March 8).

  • April 18, 2019 (Thursday, 6:00-8:00pm) 916 W. Turner St., Allentown, PA
    The Lehigh Valley working group to End Mass Incarceration.
  • April 28 to May 3, 2019 (Sunday supper--Friday lunch) Pipeline to Prison Learning Tour
    The learning tour is organized by Mennonite Central Committee East Coast (MCC-EC) and based at MCC's Welcoming Place in Akron, PA. There will be visits to prisons and agencies working with incarcerated people and returning citizens in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster and Harrisburg. The tour will also address how to accompany current and formerly incarcerated people through the judicial system and give congregations the tools to lower recidivism through networking in their community. See this announcement for details. To register (by April 5). contact Curtis Book, Peace & Justice Coordinator for MCC-EC at 717-738-0885 or CurtisBook@mcc.org.

  • May 2, 2019 (Thursday, 6:00-8:00pm) 916 W. Turner St., Allentown, PA
    The Lehigh Valley working group to End Mass Incarceration.
  • May 22, 2019 (Wednesday, 1:30-3:00pm) Northampton County Reentry Coalition
    Location: Northamapton Human Services Building, Conference Room 3, 2801 Emrick Blvd., Bethlehem, PA 18020
  • May 16, 2019 (Thursday, 7:00-9:00pm) NCC Bethlehem Campus
    "Incarceration" Panel Discussion (see www.naacp-eastonpa.org for details)
    Location: Northampton Community College, 3835 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem, PA 18020 in the College Center, David Reed Community Room (Rm.220).
    This is the second of three forums on "Criminal Justice Reform in the Prison System."
  • June 6, 2019 (Thursday, 6:00-8:00pm) 916 W. Turner St., Allentown, PA
    The Lehigh Valley working group to End Mass Incarceration.
  • June 13, 2019 (Thursday, 7:00-9:00pm) NCC Bethlehem Campus
    "Reentry" Panel Discussion (see www.naacp-eastonpa.org for details)
    Location: Northampton Community College, 3835 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem, PA 18020 in the College Center, David Reed Community Room (Rm.220).
    This is the third of three forums on "Criminal Justice Reform in the Prison System."


  • March 19, 2019 (Tuesday: 7:00-8:30pm) Couillard Lecture - Moravian Seminary
    "Hope in Hard Times: Prison Art for Social Justice," by Tyrone Werts who spent 37 years in Graterford prison. Venue: Prosser Auditorium, Haupert Union Building at Moravian College. See details and register HERE. The event is free, but pre-registration is required.
  • March 11, 2019 (Monday, 11:45am-1:30pm) "Criminal Justice, the Color of Money"
    How the criminal justice system discriminately favors those with financial resources.
    Guest speakers include PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro, President Judge of Lehigh County, Ed Reibman, and Northampton County Judge Craig Dally. This is a "Kick Off" luncheon for Criminal Justice Reform in the Prison System to promote our subsequent 3 part forum series on: Bail Reform, Incarceration and Re-entry. Organized by Easton NAACP and CACLV.
    REGISTER HERE ($25 includes lunch). The event is being hosted at Lehigh University's Iacocca Conference Center, Iacocca Hall, at the Wood Dining Room, Second Floor, 111 Research Drive, Bethlehem, PA 18015. For more information or questions please call CACLV at (610) 691-5620.
  • March 7, 2019 (Thursday, 6:00-8:00pm) 916 W. Turner St., Allentown, PA
    The Lehigh Valley working group to End Mass Incarceration. The meeting will be held in the church library; RLCC is at the corner of 9th and Turner Streets, Allentown, PA. Enter the church by the red door facing Turner St.
  • February 27, 2019 (Wednesday, 6:00-9:00pm)
    POWER Lehigh Valley general meeting, 6:00pm; Beyond Bars performance, 7:00pm
    Beyond Bars Performance: The Human Impact of Mass Incarceration - and the Need for Reform Location: Grace Episcopal Church, 108 North Fifth St., Allentown (5th and Linden Streets). Admission is free, registration is requested. For details and registration, see powerlehighvalley.org
  • February 26, 2019 (Tuesday, 7pm) Landis Cinema, Lafayette College
    Inside/Outside, a feature-length documentary film set in Easton, PA, by Nandini Sikamd. (94 min.) "Several women; one criminal justice system." Free and open to the public. Location: Landis Cinema, Buck Hall, 219 N. 3rd St., Easton, PA.

  • February 21, 2019 (Thursday, 6:00-8:00pm) Resurrected Life Community Church (RLCC)
    The Lehigh Valley working group to End Mass Incarceration. The meeting will be held in the church library; RLCC is at the corner of 9th and Turner Streets, Allentown, PA. Enter the church by the red door facing Turner St.
  • February 13, 2019 (Wednesday, 1:30-3:00pm) Northampton County Reentry Coalition
    Location: Northamapton Human Services Building, Conference Room 3, 2801 Emrick Blvd., Bethlehem, PA 18020
  • February 7, 2019 (Thursday, 6:00-8:00pm) Resurrected Life Community Church (RLCC)
    The Lehigh Valley working group to End Mass Incarceration. The meeting will be held in the church library; RLCC is at the corner of 9th and Turner Streets, Allentown, PA. Enter the church by the red door facing Turner St.
  • February 7, 2019 (Thursday, 2:00pm) Lehigh County Reentry Coalition
    Meets at Lehigh County Jail. (attendance by invitation only).
  • January 30, 2019 (Wednesday, 10:00-11:30am) Healing Communities Train-The-Trainer Webinar with Dr. Harold Dean Trulear and Dr. Chris Kimmenez. Prerequisite: You must have already had initial training through your church or organization. This training will prepare you to teach other churches/congregants/organizations the Healing Communities' model.
    Registration: $50. Register at www.healingcommunitiesusa.com/contact.
  • January 29, 2019 (Tuesday, 6:00-9:00pm) EVENT CANCELLED because of weather.
    POWER Lehigh Valley general meeting, 6:00pm; Beyond Bars performance, 7:00pm
    Beyond Bars Performance: The Human Impact of Mass Incarceration - and the Need for Reform
  • January 21, 2019 (Monday, 8:30am to 12:30pm) City School, 910 North 6th St., Philadelphia,
    M.L.King Day: Restoring Hope and Dignity. We will hear from a panel of community leaders and formerly incarcerated individuals as they share their stories discussing the impact of incarceration on family relationships. Together, we'll explore the role of the church in reaching out to returning citizens and walking alongside them in their transition into the community.
    See details and RSVP here.   We will also assemble donated basic hygiene items into care kits for those currently in prison as a way to meet their needs and restore hope and dignity in a place that often seems hopeless. Sponsored by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), in collaboration with Kingdom Builders Network (KBN).

  • January 17, 2019 (Thursday, 6:00-8:00pm) Resurrected Life Community Church (RLCC)
    The Lehigh Valley working group to End Mass Incarceration. The meeting will be held in the church library; RLCC is at the corner of 9th and Turner Streets, Allentown, PA. Enter the church by the red door facing Turner St.
  • January 3, 2019 (Thursday, 6:00-8:00pm) 916 W. Turner St., Allentown, PA
    The Lehigh Valley working group to End Mass Incarceration.
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Lehigh Valley Partner Organizations

POWER Lehigh Valley
powerlehighvalley.org

ACLU - Lehigh Valley
aclupa.org

CADBI
decarceratepa.info

Justice & Advocacy-
the Lehigh Conference
    of Churches
ja.ppjr.org

League of Women Voters -
Northampton County

lwvnorthco.org

NAACP - Bethlehem
bethnaacp.org

NAACP - Easton
naacp-eastonpa.org

SELF! - womens'
self-help network
for ex-offenders
self-reentry.org



•  Other Pennsylvania
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Location: http://justice.ppjr.org/
Last Updated: 3/9/2019
Created: January 18, 2018