Project Description


People’s Paper Co-op

The People’s Paper Co-op is a nationally-recognized art, advocacy, and social enterprise program that seeks to transform the narrative of re-entry.


Program Initiatives


For decades, mass incarceration has severely impacted our Fairhill-Hartranft community.

Since our founding, The Village has offered holistic arts-based responses to the needs of community members coming home from prison. Today, our core re-entry program is the People’s Paper Co-op, which seeks to transform the narrative of re-entry with, for and as neighbors to those most affected by the criminal justice system.

Our women-focused initiative connects more than 650 ex-offenders annually with legal institutions, government officials, adults and youth community members. We take a holistic, collaborative approach to reforming the justice system that places people in re-entry as experts at the center of the conversation.


“When I came here I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t trust myself or my community. Now I’m ready to soar.”

 — Michelle Scales, People’s Paper Co-op Fellow

PPC By the Numbers:

  • 2,000 Citizens served through creative expungement clinics
  • $30,000 in Advocacy Fellowships for returning citizens
  • 1,200 Philadelphians with criminal records co-authored the city’s first Reentry Bill of Rights

“We The Women”: A Film For Queen Bees

This original short film was designed and directed by the PPC Fellows. Watch as they perform an original poem, “We the Women,” written collectively with Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate Yolanda Wisher. Film by Wren René.