After attending my first LEPH in Scotland in 2019, I was thrilled to learn that the first LEPH conference ever to be held in the USA would be hosted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The city where the Declaration of Independence was signed has a long history of challenging the status quo, and this tradition continued when I was elected on a reform agenda to serve as the District Attorney of Philadelphia. While we have taken many positive steps in the past few years, it is my belief that engaging with the LEPH network provides the unique knowledge, relationships, and perspective necessary to pursue systemic and holistic change – I hope you will join us.
Your participation in the first virtual LEPH conference will help bring the potential of international experiences with problem-solving to a city that must continue reforming how it responds to social problems. Whereas roughly 1 in 40 US adults are under correctional supervision, in 2020 roughly 1 in 21 adults in Philadelphia are on probation or parole, in local jails, or in state prisons. Yet, in spite of mass incarceration and mass supervision, we are not safer: there have been over 300 homicide victims in Philadelphia as of September 11, 2020, continuing a multi-year trend and paralleling the recent rise in homicides in US cities during COVID-19. Hosting LEPH represents an opportunity for Philadelphia to learn from the best approaches in public safety and health the world over.
Between now and March, I invite you to engage with some of the resources my office has made available to the public:
- Follow me and the Philadelphia DAO on social media
Wishing everyone safety and health,