The Pa. Corrections Department shouldn’t renew its contract with Smart Communications. This is why | Opinion

BY: - April 20, 2021

The DOC could institute less draconian measures that would prevent the introduction of drugs into prisons while allowing incarcerated people to receive their mail.

COVID surge in Pa. prisons leads to calls for lockdown at all facilities

BY: - December 16, 2020

In a statement released Tuesday, the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association (PSCOA) called on Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration to lockdown the state’s prisons and stop the transfer of inmates amid the surge in COVID cases. 


The state Legislature received masks made by prisoners — but it’s unclear who used them

BY: - April 24, 2020

The 200 masks lawmakers received are just a fraction of a fraction of the 311,193 masks inmates have produced as of last week.

COVID-19 in Pa.: Draft plan to reduce prison pop. includes limited eligibility, gives veto to prosecutors

BY: and - April 3, 2020

It was not immediately clear how many inmates would be eligible for release under the draft legislation seen by the Capital-Star.

Saddled with vacancies, parole board says it’s struggling to keep up with growing backlog

BY: - February 20, 2020

The nine-member board, which grants prisoners early release from state correctional facilities, is currently operating with three vacancies, its chairman, Ted Johnson, told the Senate Appropriations Committee during the agency’s annual budget hearing.

Transgender Pa. prison inmate sues Corrections Dept., claiming they were denied proper healthcare

BY: - February 11, 2020

The lawsuit, filed last month in the U.S. District Court for Pennsylvania’s Western District in Pittsburgh, seeks monetary damages and immediate medical care and housing accommodations for the prisoner, who was born as a woman but does not identify as male or female, according to court documents. 

Pa.’s Corrections department could be on the hook for legal fees over prisoner mail policy lawsuit

BY: - November 1, 2019

Documents obtained through a Right to Know request show that the agency has paid out more than $7 million in taxpayer-funded settlements for federal lawsuits in 2019.

Corrections officials suspend referrals, review contracts as they prepare to rein in spending on reentry services

BY: - August 30, 2019

The Department of Corrections will review contracts and reassess its spending across all of its 11 reentrant service areas, which include sex offender services, alcohol and drug treatment, and workforce development.

Pennsylvania moves to close Luzerne County state prison, as state lawmakers voice opposition

BY: - August 29, 2019

SCI Retreat currently holds 1,100 incarcerated people and employs 400 corrections officers and prison staff, according to the department. 

Senators Camera Bartolotta, R-Washington, and Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia, announce their probation and parole reform bill in the Capitol rotunda on Jan. 28.

‘It’s extremely important’: Senate schedules marathon hearing on probation and parole reform

BY: - June 23, 2019

Pennsylvania is one of only eight states that puts no limit on how long someone can serve probation.

Will paper personal mail return to prisons? Corrections secretary says ‘no’

BY: - February 25, 2019

Since September, people incarcerated in Pennsylvania’s prison have not received original copies of their personal mail. Will that change? For the moment, the state’s Corrections secretary says “no.” Under a policy designed to keep drugs out of prisons, letters and photos are sent to Smart Communications, a Florida company with a three-year, $15.8 million contract […]

Legal mail policy at Pennsylvania prisons will be revised under settlement

BY: - February 22, 2019

A controversial policy on copying and storing legal mail at Pennsylvania prisons will be revised under a nearly finished settlement between groups that advocate for incarcerated persons and the state Corrections department. In a Friday press release, the Department of Corrections said it will implement a new policy by April 6 that allows incarcerated persons […]