One in an occasional series, part of a collaborative news project about the challenges and solutions of prison reentry in Philadelphia.

In despair, sitting at her kitchen table in Chester, Dayna Chandler, 33, began this calculation: Maybe her three children would be better off if she were dead. A former bank teller, she had a criminal conviction for theft, had been in prison, and hadn’t been able to keep a job for four years, not with that record, even though it was only a misdemeanor.

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