The Pennsylvania Prison Society's main office is located in Philadelphia, but our volunteers can be found in every county across the Commonwealth. Because of our extensive volunteer network, we are able to assist people in custody all across Pennsylvania. We are unable to serve the federal prisons and juvenile centers. More information can be found here.
The best way for people in custody to contact us is through mail. Our Helpline team reads and responds to every letter that comes to our office. Learn more here. At this time, we are unable to use email platforms like ConnectNetwork or Getting Out.
No, the Prison Society cannot provide legal assistance.
In-person visiting has resumed for Pennsylvania State Correctional Institutions. For both in-person and virtual visiting, family members and friends must schedule their visit online. If you need help scheduling a visit, our Helpline is happy to help. Please contact us at (215) 564 4775 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your loved one is incarcerated at a county prison, access to visiting varies. The Society has reached out to every county jail about their policies and we will be sharing updates as we hear back. A full list of policies by county can be found here.
See the question above.
Please be sure to have all necessary information on hand, such as: your full name, date of birth, your loved one's ID number and facility.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prison Society offered a subsidized bussing program for families visiting an SCI to see an incarcerated loved one. In 2020, this service was suspended, and the Department of Corrections has not yet approved our plan for a resumption of service. We continue to work hard to bring back this invaluable program. If you are struggling to visit your loved one because of transportation barriers, please contact our Family and Community Support Director Kirstin Cornnell at email@example.com. Though we cannot provide transportation at this moment, your experiences and stories will help us advocate for change. We will share any updates on our social media channels and supporter emails.
All incarcerated people should be regularly receiving mail, even if the facility is in lockdown. If you are sending a letter or photographs (not a photo book), use the below address: Smart Communications/DOC NAME/PPN SCI FACILITY PO Box 33028 St. Petersburg, FL 33733 Envelopes must have a return address, and be within 8.5 inches wide and 11 inches tall. Photographs are limited to 25 photos per mailing. All mail will be sent to a central processing facility, not the institution where your loved one is housed. At this central facility, it will be opened, scanned and emailed back to the facilities. If you are sending a Photo Book or other publication use the below address: Name, Inmate # Facility 268 Bricker Road Bellefonte, PA 16823-1667 This address is the Secure Processing Center, and they accept books, calendars, photo books, magazines, and other publications. For all other questions about how to send mail, click here. Each county jail has their own mailing policy. We encourage you to go on the county facility's website to check their specific mailing procedures.
No. Medical information, like a positive test, is considered confidential to the person. If your loved one wants to let you know, they need to tell you themselves.
Visits are limited to one non-contact visit per month, which may be limited to weekdaysonly, with immediate family. Legal visits shall be permitted. For more information, please see the PADOC's Inmate VIsiting Privileges Policy
Medical information is considered confidential to the patient. If you would like to hear medical information directly from the doctor or prison administration at an SCI, your loved one needs to request a Form DC-108, which allows people in state custody to specify who may receive their medical information. Your name needs to be clearly spelled out on this form. Please note, this form must be updated every six months and will need to be updated when your loved one moves to a new facility. If your loved one is at a county prison, contact the prison directly for information about their medical release policies.
For the most up-to-date information on administration of the COVID-19 vaccine to incarcerated people and staff, please visit the DOC Vaccine Information page: https://www.cor.pa.gov/Pages/COVID-19-Vaccine-Information.aspx
The Prison Society works to ensure the health, safety, and dignity of people incarcerated. Our Official Visitor status and statuatory access allows us to privately meet with anyone in custody. If your loved one is experiencing hardships directly related to prison administration, the Society may be able to help by visiting your loved one to learn more about their situation and advocate on their behalf. For more information, please contact our Helpline either by email or phone (215) 564 4775.
Contact your county public defender's office to find out information. Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh all have local bail funds that can help with bail. If you are in one of those counties, you may contact your local fund. Pittsburgh – Bukit Bail Fund Harrisburg: Dauphin County Bail Fund Philadelphia Bail Fund Philadelphia Community Bail Fund Community Fund for Bond and Legal Support (Immigration).
Contact your defenders' office in the county where your loved one is scheduled to appear in court to find out what court hearings are and what delays should be anticipated. If you need help contacting a defense attorney or if you are not hearing back, please let us know. If the case you are concerned about is in Philadelphia County, the Defenders' Association has set up a form to request assistance electronically. That form can be found here. You can find the contact information for the Public Defender's office in your county here.
If you are seeking help with the release of an incarcerated loved one, the county public defender may be able to help. You can find contact information for the Public Defender's office in your county here.
There is NO compensation available for those housed in multipurpose cells at Philadelphia County Jails.