Apr 4, 2024 - News

New art installation pops up at Independence Mall

The "Waiting Workforce" installation

Photo courtesy of JPMorgan Chase

A new art installation highlighting the barriers to workforce reentry faced by those with past criminal convictions is being unveiled today at Independence Mall.

Why it matters: The installation from JPMorgan Chase coincides with Second Chance Month.

Driving the news: "Waiting Workforce" from artist the Glue Society, which features 38 statues of expungement paperwork housed within a glass enclosure, is on the mall along Arch Street between 5th and 6th streets.

  • The statues represent the number of U.S. states that haven't passed so-called "clean slate" legislation, which helps people seal some criminal records to help them access employment, education and housing.
  • 1 cool thing: In 2018, Pennsylvania became the first state in the nation to pass such a bill, automatically sealing some low-level, nonviolent conviction records from public disclosure after 10 years.
  • Plus: The state has expanded the program, including last year to include sealing certain felony records and reducing some wait times.
  • More than 45 million cases have been sealed since 2019.

The big picture: 1 in 3 Americans has a criminal record like an arrest, which never led to a conviction, that would appear on a background check for housing or employment, per the Clean Slate Initiative.

☝️ If you go: The installation will remain at Independence Mall through the end of the month.

The "Waiting Workforce" art installation
You can see 38 of these creepy paper humans locked inside the art installation. Photo: Courtesy of JPMorgan Chase
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