Take Action
6 Things You Can Do to
Address Mass Incarceration

On any given day, 62,000 Pennsylvanians are behind bars. In 1980, that number was 16, 145. The fallout from mass incarceration is enormous.


Here are six things you can do to help.



  1. Be selective in how you use the police.  Consider these alternatives to calling the police and visit Don't Call the Police Philadelphia.

  2. Vote down-ballot. Get information on the judges and magisterial district judges in your county so you can make informed decisions on whom to vote for.  For Philadelphia information, visit the Committee of Seventy and for statewide information, the PA Bar Association recommends some courts. 

  3. Volunteer.  Be a court watcher for the Philadelphia Bail Fund, help people returning home with Broad Street Ministries, or become a Prison Society volunteer.  Get involved at the county level: attend a county prison board meeting, join your county reentry group (almost all counties have them!), get involved with a local support group for incarcerated people and their families.

  4. Hire someone who has been incarcerated. Organizations like First Step Staffing, Baker Industries and the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh all help returning citizens find employment.

  5. Talk to your state legislators about important legislation. Reference the most recent issue of our Graterfriends newsletter for a list of important current legislation. 

  6. Give. Support our work.