Community Member

People Advancing Reintegration (PAR)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

More than half of all people leaving prison are unemployed, and U.S. Dept. of Justice statistics say that over 68% will be reincarcerated in the first three years. People Advancing Reintegration (PAR-Recycle Works) works to change that by empowering individuals returning from incarceration through dignified work, igniting self-sufficiency and reducing recidivism.  PAR-Recycle Works is a nonprofit electronics recycler in Philadelphia, PA that provides transitional employment to people returning from prison. They are guided by the belief that everyone deserves a second chance, and by bridging the employment gap, they build stronger communities and a safer future for all. Through PAR-Recycle Work’s program, returning citizens learn life skills and professional training that assist them in returning to the full-time workforce. By having and maintaining a steady job and a source of income, program participants can transition back into society at a much higher rate of success.

PAR recycles e-waste –everything from computers and TVs to microwaves and air conditioners.

Motivated by the surplus of electronic waste and the shortfall of opportunities for people coming out of prison, Maurice Jones started PAR-Recycle Works in 2016, adopting a structured employment model for returning citizens successfully pioneered by RecycleForce in Indianapolis. Jones understands the need for such a program all too well – he’s been there and knows what people are faced with when they come home without support. The 501c3 non-profit provides training in recycling used electronics, erasing all data from hard drives before selling the components to environmentally responsible downstream processors. The proceeds create paychecks for employees. As well, the program offers financial and digital literacy, cognitive behavioral therapy, conflict resolution, mindfulness, and support in getting driver’s licenses. Bill Allen, PAR-Recycle Works Warehouse Manager, successfully completed the program himself, post-incarceration. “We recycle stuff and not only this electronic stuff. We’re recycling these guys, too.”

For more information:

North Philly program employs returning citizens for an environmental purpose – WHYY.org, March 2022

E-Waste Business in Philadelphia Gives Chances for Employment After Prison – 6 ABC, January 2022

PAR Recycle Works gives a chance to the formerly incarcerated – 6 ABC, January 2021

What to do with old electronics? St. John Chrysostom has the answer – CatholicPhilly.com, June 2020

A2 Staff

A2 Staff

This profile was compiled by a dedicated team of staff members who conducted interviews and gathered information from various outlets, including news articles, social media, and other sources.

Contact

Maurice Jones

Website

Social Media

Climate Impacts

Erosion-Subsidence, Water Contamination

Strategies

Fighting Industrial Contamination, Green Infrastructure, Halting Bad Development, Renewable Energy

501c3 Tax Deductible

Yes

Accepting Donations

Yes