Mission Statement

Philadelphia City Council working in partnership with the community and stakeholders to improve our justice system, dismantle the pipeline to prison, and reduce crime and recidivism in Philadelphia.


In February 2016, Council President Darrell L. Clarke named a diverse array of community and law enforcement leaders to a Special Committee tasked with overhauling Philadelphia’s criminal justice system. The Special Committee’s scope of examination will include but not be limited to:

  • the unsustainable and rapid growth of the adult corrections population;
  • the unique issues presented with respect to juveniles involved in the criminal justice system;
  • the impact that current laws have on Philadelphia communities and the justice-involved population;
  • policy changes across the nation that have proven effective in reducing costs, recidivism, and corrections populations.

View video of the Special Committee announcement:

Curtis Jones Jr.

Philadelphia City Council
Member, 4th District

Kevin J. Bethel

Retired Deputy Police Commissioner,
Philadelphia Police Department

Keir Bradford-Grey

Chief Defender,
Defender Association of Philadelphia

Special Committee Members

Steven Bizar – Partner, Dechert, LLP; President, Philadelphia Bar Foundation
William Cobb – Founder, Redeemed PA
Jason Cosley – Reentry Programs, Impact Services Corporation
Tariq K. El-Shabazz, Esq. – Managing and founding partner, El-Shabazz and Harris, LLP
John Hollway, Esq.- Associate Dean, Executive Director, Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School
Kenyatta Johnson – Philadelphia City Council Member, 2nd District, former Pennsylvania State Representative
Reverend Adan Mairena – Organizing Pastor of the West Kensington Ministry at Norris Square
Richard T. McSorley, Esq. – Deputy Court Administrator, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania
George Mosee – former First Deputy District Attorney, City of Philadelphia
Richard Podguski – Director, Bureau of Reentry Coordination, Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole
Wilfredo Rojas – 3rd Vice President, Gloucester County NAACP
Ann Schwartzman – Executive Director, Pennsylvania Prison Society
Keith B. Snyder – Executive Director, Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission
Julie Wertheimer – Chief of Staff to the Deputy Managing Director for Public Safety, City of Philadelphia