Our nation’s founders came together 234 years ago to form the Pennsylvania Prison Society; a ‘society’ or group of people dedicated to the proposition that all among us are entitled to a life of dignity and caring.  A community that believes that the criminal justice system should restore hope and the possibility of a “life of virtue and happiness,” not dash hope and end lives.  

For 234 years we have advanced this mission, through wars, pandemics, and political upheaval.  But our focus, just like in centuries past, has not wavered.    

Every year, for 234 years, we have come together as a community to honor those among us that exemplify our mission.  We call this annual event our “Love Above Bars Bash” and is when we celebrate members of our community for their steadfast work.

Once again this year, we are staying apart out of caring and concern for one another.  Instead of inviting you to celebrate with us in person, we are inviting you to celebrate here.  Below you can meet our award recipients and hear directly from them. You can also help us celebrate by making a gift in honor of our awardees that directly supports our critical work.

Claire Shubik-Richards
Executive Director

Rebecca Hillyer
Board President

Marion Damick

Prison Society Volunteer of the Year,
Allegheny County

Marion Damick is the Prison Society 2021 Volunteer of the Year. At 96 years old, Marion has been a convener or co-convener for more than two decades and has been involved with the Society for even longer. She is respected by prison staff and fellow volunteers alike who are inspired by the work they see Marion doing in the county prison. With this award, we recognize Marion for her unwavering commitment to our mission and the longevity of her service.

Paul Schlueter

Incarcerated Person of the Year,
SCI Camp Hill

Paul Schlueter is the Prison Society's 2021 Incarcerated Person of the Year and has served over 35 years of a life sentence. With this award we are acknowledging Paul's decades of profound contributions to the people he has lived with in prison. Paul was nominated for this award by someone who served time with him, was deeply helped by Paul, and is now thriving in the community. It is our privilege to bestow the 2021 Dr. Julia Hall Incarcerated Person of the Year Award on Paul Schlueter.

Cheryl Steberger

Correctional Employee of the Year,
Lancaster County Prison Warden

Cheryl Steberger is the Prison Society's 2021 Correctional Employee of the Year. Warden Steberger was nominated for her compassionate leadership during this unprecedented year. She has made it better for everyone under her care. Warden Steberger believes programming is of vital importance and should be available strives to create a safe and healthy environment. With this award we recognize Warden Steberger's commitment to actively ensuring the health, safety, and dignity of those in her care.

Help us celebrate!

Join us in honoring these nominees and help support our work.