SCI Spotlight: Benner Township and Somerset

Superintendent’s Assistants Christie Schenk of SCI Somerset and Holly Quist of SCI Benner Township join the show to share about their respective facilities and what makes them unique, including the programs, the people — and the massive amount of laundry they both process. Christie also discusses their dog training program, as Somerset is the only whelping facility in the state, and Holly explains how Benner Township serves as the transportation hub for the DOC.

SCI Spotlight: Albion and Waymart

Throughout 2024, the PA Prisons and Parole Podcast will spotlight our state correctional institutions to highlight the history, culture and programs each has to offer. First up: SCI Waymart and SCI Albion.

Deputy Superintendent for Facilities Management Joseph Grillo of Waymart shares about the history of the facility — which was originally Farview State Hospital for the Criminal Insane — and it’s current role in working with inmates with mental health diagnoses. Later, Corrections Superintendent’s Assistant Michele Tharp shares about how Albion handles its long winters full of frequent snow.

Keeping Inmates Engaged with Positive Activities

The best way to keep incarcerated individuals out of trouble? Keep them busy with positive activities. Each facility features an activities department that oversees a variety of functions, including organizing leisure activities, managing the charitable events, supporting the mural programs and overseeing inmate organizations. As we close out 2023, Corrections Treatment Services Program Administrator Jennifer Digby stops by the podcast to discuss the many ways activities specialists keep inmates busy with positive programs and the important role they play in facility safety.

Kicking Off a Magical Reentry in Wernersville

Mike Cioppa is a professional magician who now resides at Wernersville CCC. Although he had never heard of Wernersville before, Mike has grown to appreciate the small town and has been making the most of his second chance. Mike joined the PA Prisons and Parole Podcast to talk about his reentry journey so far, including how he’s engaged with his new community, how his positive attitude has helped his reentry and why he’s happier now than before he was incarcerated.

For more on Mike, check out this video feature from earlier this month — including a few of his tricks for Wernersville CCC employees: Meet Wernersville CCC’s Mike Cioppa – YouTube

Helping Reentrants Find Housing

A big challenge for many reentrants after incarceration is finding stable housing — and that’s where Director of Reentry Services Luis Resto and his team come in. In this month’s episode, Resto shares how his team connects reentrants with safe, stable and affordable housing in the community.