Blog By: Chinaechelum Vincent
A current spotlight organization in Philadelphia is Bridging the Gap LLC, a prison transportation company that connects incarcerated people with their loved ones on the outside. This service provides transportation to various prisons throughout the state for visiting opportunities. Founded by 28 year old Kristal Bush, a woman from the Northern Philadelphia area, this organization understands that, “inmates who maintain close contact with their family members while incarcerated have better post-release outcomes and lower recidivism rates.”1 Bush herself grew up without her father present, as he was sentenced to 25 years in prison when she was just 3 years old. This gave her a personal connection to the work she is currently pursuing.
Mass incarceration not only affects the people incarcerated, but their families who are on the outside as well. After 5 years of running her business and driving families statewide to see their loved ones, Kristal’s father, Victor Bush, was released in July of 2017 after spending most of his life behind bars. The world he left in 1992 is not the same world he came back to. For Kristal, all of a sudden, “the man she had only ever known behind bars is a daily part of her life. In many ways, they’ve switched roles as she becomes more parent than daughter.”2 Kristal Bush must now teach her father about technology, new modes of transportation, and update him on how the new world works.
The Bridging the Gap Company does an extraordinary job in battling the effects of mass incarceration and has united over 2,000 families through their work. The separation incarceration causes can be detrimental to all parties involved, but Bush’s company is taking steps towards progress in bridging the gap between loved ones.
1 Bush, Kristal. “Door to Door Service to State Prisons in Pennsylvania.” Bridging the Gap LLC. 2017.
2 Ubiñas, Helena. “Reconnecting with a Father She Had Ever Only Known From Behind Bars.” The Inquirer Daily News. 24 August, 2017.