Scroll down to our interactive map (below) for regularly updated information about the spread and mitigation of COVID-19 in state prisons and county jails. Sign up for mailing list to receive regular updates in your inbox. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has created a COVID-19 dashboard to share basic information and statistics about the status of COVID-19 in the state prison system.
Here you will find information on testing for incarcerated people and employees, quarantines, video visitation and more.
The DOC’s current visiting limitations make providing bus service a challenge, and the Department 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 at email@example.com. Though we cannot provide transportation, your experiences and stories will help us to advocate for changes. We will share any updates on our social media channels and supporter emails. Subscribe here.
Yes, some restrictions may apply.
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. Please ask your loved one to let you know if they are tested and what the results are. Encourage them to call or write you as soon as they know. 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.
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 should ask to update their Form DC-108. The Form DC-108 is a form that all people in state custody sign that specifies who can receive medical information. Your loved one should update this form to specifically state that you are able to receive medical information. Your name needs to be clearly spelled out on this form. Please note, this form must be updated annually. If your loved one is at a county prison, contact the prison directly for information about their medical release policies.
No. In most cases they will not be waived. There are a few exceptions, but very few. When programming is mandated by law, it must be completed prior to release. The Department of Corrections is working to ensure that any programs that can happen in cells are moving forward in order to minimize delays. There may be limited circumstances where a program can be completed in the community post release. Contact your local defender for more information.
Are there any programs that offer assistance while people are awaiting a bail reduction? Contact your county public defender's office to find out information. Harrisburg, Philadelphia, 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)
The Department of Corrections assures us that if someone has been approved for parole, they will be released on the approved date. If your loved one has not been given a release date, there may be delays. If your loved one has a detainer, please contact your local defender.
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 your loved one is incarcerated at an SCI amily/friends can schedule virtual visitswith their loved ones. For more information on this process and to set up an account click here. If you would like help navigating this new process, our Administrative. Associate is happy to help. 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 by county. 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. If we do not have information about the prison you are interested in, we encourage you to reach out and to ask them to update us. Several prisons are also making video visits available at no charge.
On March 22, Secretary Wetzel released the DOC's Demobilization Plan for state correctional institutions (SCIs) that outlines gradual increases in out-of-cell time and a gradual resumption of programming. The majority of SCIs have resumed limited programming and services, but many restrictions still apply as facilities continue to operate a Zone System. For a full list of current restrictions, visit https://www.cor.pa.gov/Pages/AlertDetails.aspx
The DOC has indicated that they have identified all medically vulnerable people who are eligible for release under the Governor's reprieve. A full copy of the order can be found 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.
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
All SCIs have announced a resumption of limited visiting. The number of visits is very limited per day, and it is expected that appointments may be challenging to get. Loved ones can sign up for visits using the same scheduling system for video visits.Visitors must follow the PADOC's COVID-19 protocols (masks, social distancing etc) but are not mandated to be vaccinated. More information can be found here. The Prison Society's transportation remains suspended. We will update our supporters about changes to service as soon as more information is available. County prison visiting policies vary. Check your specific prison’s website for more information.
We can help you contact your loved one in prison!