SCI-Phoenix inmate group teams up with Philly nonprofit on 'bucks for bullets' buy-back program

Gun with ammunition
Gun with ammunition Photo credit Brett Hondow from Pixabay, Tallahassee Democrat via Imagn Content Services, LLC
By KYW Newsradio 1060

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A Philadelphia-based social services nonprofit is teaming up with a support organization developed for and by men in prison on a new buy-back effort kicking off later this week. The goal is to get as many weapons off the street as possible.

The effort is coordinated by Philadelphia FIGHT’s Institute for Community Justice, the Philadelphia Police Department's 22nd district, and the Mann-Up Association, a group created behind the wall at SCI-Phoenix.

"People have an opportunity -- with no questions asked, no clear reprisal, no anything -- to turn in any type of gun," Assata Thomas, director of the Institute for Community Justice, said.

Thomas says the men of Mann-Up came up with the idea of a gun buy-back combined with "bucks for bullets" -- allowing trusted community leaders to take the guns and ammunition in exchange for gift cards.

“A ShopRite gift card or Visa gift card," Thomas said. "And the denomination will change, depending upon what type of weapon they bring in."

Thomas says the cards range in value from $10 to $100 per item.

"We’re mobilizing communities, we’re raising awareness and shifting the culture," Thomas said.

The gun buy-back and "bucks for bullets" event is Oct. 24, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., at Moore’s Memorial Baptist Church, 1421 W. Dauphin St. More details are available at