For more than two centuries, the Prison Society has worked diligently to combine justice and compassion for a more humane and restorative correctional system. The Pennsylvania Prison Society was founded in 1787 by individuals who signed the Declaration of Independence and later drafted the U.S. Constitution — people who consistently stood up for what was fair and just. 

Read the history of The Society until the 1950s here 


The Prison Society initiated the first penitentiary in the world at Walnut Street Jail. Before, all prisoners (women, children, and men) were held in a large room together.