BECOME A VOLUNTEER
Official Visitors address issues and concerns raised by incarcerated people, family and friends to ensure a more just and transparent criminal justice system. Vital information and advocacy are enhanced by regular communication and frank discussions with prison administrators.
Official Visitors go into all state and county facilities in Pennsylvania and sit down one on one with incarcerated people who are experiencing problems (harassment, mistreatment, medical neglect, etc.). They then discuss any potential issues directly with staff, or others who may be able to help.
If you would like to volunteer as an Official Visitor, please complete the application. Please note that all Official Visitors must be active members of the Prison Society. To become a member, click here.
If you have any questions about becoming an Official Visitor, please email the Director of Prison Monitoring.
At this time, the Prison Society is not accepting Official Visitor applications from undergraduate students.
The Prison Society’s mentoring program is a voluntary program for men returning to Philadelphia from incarceration. Each year in the Philadelphia region, more than 12,000 individuals return home and a staggering 34% will return to prison within a year. The mentoring program is designed to help ease the transition from incarceration back to communities by providing a helping hand and a social support network.
The program is currently offered 6 months prior to release for men incarcerated in SCI Chester and SCI Phoenix. Eligible mentors cannot have been incarcerated in a Pennsylvania facility within the last twelve (12) months.
Mentors are expected to meet with their mentee(s) on a weekly basis while they are incarcerated and are encouraged to continue meeting according to a self-determined schedule post-release. Mentors provide a listening ear and social support while encouraging individuals to determine their own path forward. The Prison Society will provide ongoing training and support to both mentors and mentees.
If you would like to volunteer as a Mentor, please complete the application.
If you have any questions about becoming a Mentor, please email the Social Services Director.
Office Volunteers help us promote just and humane treatment of those who are incarcerated.
Office Volunteers assist with tasks such as responding to letters from incarcerated people asking for vital information and help, helping families who call and walk into our office, assisting in planning and executing the society's many public events, and providing help with our social media and outreach.
Volunteers who have interest in journalism can assist with the publication of Graterfriends, our newsletter for and by incarcerated people. Volunteers can participate in all aspects of the publication including reviewing and typing submissions, editing submissions, summarizing survey results, helping with design layout, communication with incarcerated authors by mail, and proofreading.
We ask that volunteers commit to a minimum of 15 hours a month. Journalism volunteers are sometimes able to work remotely majority of the time.
If you would like to become a Graterfriends volunteer, please fill out our interest form here.
If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.