Life after Incarceration

In the summer of 2017, I interned with The Reentry Project, a collaboration of news outlets in the Philadelphia area that produced solutions-oriented reporting on prisoner reentry in Philadelphia. I was in charge of posting the different partners’ articles, going to events, interviewing formerly incarcerated people and the project’s overall social media presence.

Toward the end of my internship, I pitched the idea of an infographic that could help people who had never come in contact with Philadelphia’s criminal justice system understand the challenges people in reentry face and how it impacts the city. 

I spent nearly a week researching different aspects of reentry in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, collecting and categorizing them for the infographic. 

My next step was to design the infographic, which I did through Adobe Illustrator. I initially thought of just using the .svg file and editing the code to make it interactive. However, as I got copy changes and feedback, that became too difficult, so I scrapped the code and started over. Using the base I designed, I built the infographic’s structure in HTML, added CSS and then fine-tuned it to be responsive and add JavaScript as necessary. 

After its publication, all the collaborative’s partners could distribute and publish the interactive and it was featured in professional outlets like The Philadelphia InquirerLife After Incarceration was acknowledged in The Reentry Project’s win for Best Community Engagement from the Associated Press Media Editors.

For leveraging innovative partnerships across news organizations, and creating a project of stunning breadth and clear engagement with the community. The journalism was exceptionally strong; the infographic especially impressive.

Associated Press Media Editors award to The Reentry Project for Best Community Engagement

Author: Julie Christie

A student journalist in the greater Philadelphia area