Checking In with the Vehicle Restoration Plant at SCI Forest

Welcome to the debut episode of the Pennsylvania Prisons and Parole Podcast! On our first episode, we check in with Tim McKinney, general industries supervisor at the PA Correctional Industries Vehicle Restoration Plant at SCI Forest, and learn about his facility and workers. The Vehicle Restoration Plant held its grand opening on Jan. 26, 2020, and Tim explains how the first two years have been — including the biggest challenge presented by COVID-19.

Innovations Around the Opioid Epidemic

In this episode, we talk to the PA DOC’s first ever winner of the Staff Innovations Award, Parole Agent Louis Zayon, about his lead in cleaning up a large open air drug market in Philadelphia. We also talk with Stanford University psychiatrist Keith Humphreys about what we know and don’t know on effective criminal justice responses to the opioid problem.

Understanding IADSS

In this episode, a team of Industrial Engineers from Lehigh University (now affiliated with a start-up company called Optamo) talk about the Inmate Assignment and Decision Support System (IADSS) that they built for PA DOC.  This innovative system is the first of its kind in the country.  We also talk with current and former staff from the PA DOC’s Office of Population Management (OPM), who are using this new system.

Pracademically Speaking: The Basics of BetaGov

Introducing a new series of Lockup Lowdown: Pracademically Speaking, a series hosted by Dr. Kristofer “Bret” Bucklen, DOC’s director of planning, research and statistics. Bucklen is also the agency’s lead for BetaGov.

In this first episode, meet Angela Hawken, PhD, a professor at NYU and founding director of BetaGov. Later in the episode, Bureau of Community Corrections Director Daniel McIntyre discusses what BCC is and how BetaGov has helped.