Saturday, January 02, 2010

Stuff Real Mayors Do

Mayor of Philadelphia spends New Years' Day speaking to inmates.


On New Year's Day, while many Philadelphians were enjoying bowl games and parades, Mayor Nutter was up early and delivering a message of hope - with a little tough love mixed in - to the inmates of seven of the city's correctional facilities.

He was joined by about 40 clergy members, from a number of denominations, for the annual Ecumenical Services and Civic Engagement Visit to the Philadelphia prison system.

Part of Nutter's message to the clergy, which started at a breakfast meeting, was a practical accounting of money and choices.

He said that of the city's nearly $4 billion operating budget, 24 percent is spent on all the components of the criminal-justice system.

"We don't need more incarceration, we need more education," he said. "Some of these people don't need to be locked up, they need a job."

The message to the 200 inmates at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility - his first stop - was just as pragmatic.

"We spend a lot of money to keep track of you up here," Nutter said. He told them it cost $30,000 a year for each prisoner, compared with $10,000 for a community-college student.

"Where do you think I'd rather spend our money?" Nutter said.

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Before he left Curran-Fromhold, two inmates, Lynwood Ray and Alex Naranjo, presented Nutter with a portrait of him they had painted. He told them he would hang it in City Hall.

Later, Nutter said that it was "painful and personal" to see talent wasted in prison and that the city could be doing more to help inmates.

"It just shows you, when properly motivated and directed, every one of these men and women can be doing something totally different and don't have to be in prison," he said.

When the entourage arrived at the Riverside Correctional Center for women, Nutter received a foot-stomping, hand-clapping, rock-star welcome.

His message was the same. Have a reentry plan. Play by the rules. Stay away from bad influences. And don't return.

"Never, never, never come back to this place," Nutter said to the about 125 women in attendance.


That's all for today's installment of Stuff Real Mayors Do.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice!!!

dsb said...

Here's another example of "stuff real mayors do":

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0110/Service_in_Newark.html?showall

E said...

dsb, I think that's an example of stuff the best Mayor I've ever seen does.

E said...

Seriously, Corey Booker is a super hero. That is ridiculous.

dsb said...

I agree. He's off the charts.

jeffrey said...

Crucial details missing from that story.

1) Where does the girl work?

2) Who is her dad?

3) How well does either of them know the Mayor?

dsb said...

Is it raining--again?

AJ said...

The funny thing is... what Corey is doing is just plain sensible & wise for a community in SO many ways.

Anonymous said...

is this the same guy who endorsed perry?

ne mom said...

the real talent wasted was when Alex decided to bring a weapon & kill a lovely, happpy kid. After slicing through Reo aorta, Alex left him to die in the st, alone, in the cold... no pitty, just justice!!!