YSRP staff, interns, and partner Sharif Boyd celebrate John Pace’s receipt of the Raymond Pace Alexander Reentry Star of the Year Award in June 2018.
The Philadelphia Reentry Coalition, run out of the Mayor’s Office, and which brings together agencies and organizations working to address reentry in Philadelphia, awarded YSRP’s JLWOP Reentry Coordinator John Pace with the first-ever Raymond Pace Alexander Reentry Star of the Year Award. The Reentry Star of the Year award recognizes a formerly incarcerated individual who within the past 5 years has reintegrated into the community and is an example of successful reentry by working towards the goals they set for themselves, and making contributions to family, kin, neighbors and the community at large. The award is named for and honors the legacy of the Honorable Raymond Pace Alexander, a civil rights leader who served Philadelphia as a City Councilman and later as the first African American judge appointed to the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas.
This year, the prize committee recognized the leadership of YSRP’s JLWOP Reentry Coordinator John Pace, for his work establishing a support and advocacy network for the men and women who, like him, were juvenile lifers, and are now returning home after decades of incarceration.
YSRP Co-Director Lauren Fine was honored to present John with the Reentry Star of the Year Award at the Philadelphia Reentry Coalition’s first-ever Reentry Celebration and Awards Ceremony. She shared:
John is the embodiment of what the United States Supreme Court described in both Miller v. Alabama and Montgomery v. Louisiana, in terms of his youthful mistake not characterizing his whole person, and also in terms of the incredible growth that is possible for young people convicted of even the most serious crimes.
John is changing the narrative on mass incarceration; specifically, the idea that it is acceptable to sentence children to die in prison or to the functional equivalent of that sentence.