The Center for Returning Citizens (TCRC) is dedicated to restorative approaches in battling the effects of mass incarceration upon individuals, families and the community.

Mission Statement
o assist returning citizens in the transition from incarceration to society:

  • Securing Employment that pays a living wage
  • Transitional & Permanent Housing
  • Education (Vocational, ABE-GED, College)
  • Counseling;  (Individual & Group)  Peer Group Mentoring
  • Case Management/Intercession with Probation, Parole & Courts
  • Group & Individual Counseling & Mentoring for At-Risk Youth
  • Group & Individual Counseling for Children of Incarcerated Parents
  • Referral to all necessary services (Social, Legal, Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation, Mental
  • Health, Mediation, Food & Clothing, Housing)
  • Creation of Jobs and Opportunities for Returning Citizens,
  • Organizing of churches and faith based community groups that will form a coalition to raise the level of services to the Returning Citizen Population in the city of Philadelphia
  • Development of TCRC as a national model for re-entry and program services.

In all of our programs ad activities TCRC embraces:

  • a culture of hard work
  • family responsibility
  • community involvement
  • ethical behavior
  • social consciousness

TCRC is not for everyone.  It is for those who are dedicated to the concept of transformation, those who want to support their families, embrace their communities, successfully transition  and never return to prison again.

TCRC accomplishes its mission through programs that:
  • mentor & provide counseling for the children of incarcerated parents
  •  administer an after-school drop in program to assist parents in providing educational opportunities and social advancement to their At-risk children
  • provide social & educational opportunities for At-risk youth in the community
  • assist citizens returning from prison, both male and female, & those who have been home for various times periods but are still suffering from mass incarceration and its effect on their transition to freedom.

TCRC was founded by a returning citizen,  is staffed by returning citizens and others sensitive to the needs and requirements of this specific population.

If you are dedicated to these concepts….you need to be a part of TCRC…..  as a program participant, family member, community sponsor or corporate supporter!

This TEDx Talk about Mass Incarceration and the Black Community by J. Jondhi Harrell, TCRC Founder/Executive Director, describes the challenges that are TCRC’s mission.  Summary descriptions of TCRC programs are provided below the video.

Returning Citizens

TCRC has served over 600 returning citizens in the Philadelphia area and surrounding counties and now has two locations:  our Intake and Counseling Center at 3850 Germantown Ave. and our new Training Center at 704 Girard Ave, as well as administrative offices at 1501 Cherry St. Suite 128 in the Friends Center.

We assist in developing life plans and creating pathways to success.  We begin by exploring employment and education opportunities, addressing housing and issues related to relationships, time and money management. We refer program participants to all necessary services including veterans benefits, medical services, mental health and trauma treatment. We are proud to partner with Drexel University 11th St Family Medical Services, which provides a full range of care. Pa Access Network for health insurance for program participants and community members looking for this service.

TCRC has workshops, individual and group counseling sessions that are reality based and structured to help people see life clearly and respond to all obstacles in a rational constructive manner.   These workshops teach parenting, family & community responsibility, ethics, time management, critical thinking and other useful skills.  Through  counseling, the workshop series and hard work, program participants are able to find jobs, access affordable housing and services so that they can provide for their children, raise them properly and contribute toward building a better community.

TCRC has recently completed the renovation of space at 704 West Girard Ave provided by The Friend’s Rehabilitation Program as incubation space for new programming.  TCRC will expand it’s programs and provide training  at the Girard Center.  A two week workshop series which encompasses soft skills that employers value will be offered. An additional computer lab is up and running to provide needed computer literacy and online job seeking skills.  From 9 am to 3 pm this space is available for adult program participants.

At Risk Youth / Adjudicated Youth

The objective of the TCRC Youth  program is to prevent and change patterns of delinquent behavior so that at-risk youth can stay safe, resist peer pressure, and better focus on achieving success in their families, schools and communities.

Family court  refers teenagers to us for counseling, mentoring and employment services, as they are adjudicated and when they come out of placement, alternative schools and youth facilities.

TCRC counseling and workshops decrease the likelihood that at risk youth become involved with the juvenile justice system. Studies show that many of the current residents of the penal system had severe functioning problems as youths, and multiple interactions with the system.

From 4 pm to 7 pm  daily, a  Youth initiative will be offered at the Girard Center for adjudicated and at-risk youth, ages 13 -17 at the Girard Ave. TrainingCenter.   In the evenings from 7:00 -10:00 pm there will be additional group counseling , computer learning, workshops, seminars, and programs created as instructors are added.

Children of Incarcerated Parents                                                              

TCRC gives children of incarcerated the support, guidance, and problem-solving skills needed to cope with the challenges of life.  TCRC KIDZ – Drop In Center mentors and counsels children to help them succeed in school and stay safe.

KIMG0058TCRC is planning to expand it’s Kidz Drop In Center into the basement of the Historic 2nd Baptist Church of Nicetown, 3837 Germantown Ave and upgrade the kitchen area in order to provide nutritious meals for children.   This will enable TCRC to qualify for a food bank for the neighborhood and Community Dinner program.

The children are also helped by TCRC’s programs that develop parenting skills, and TCRC workshops which teach that people of color must take responsibility for their own lives.

 TCRC is partnered with Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, as described in Goodwill’s fiduciary commitment document.