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Philadelphia Department of Prisons

Prison programming

The Philadelphia Department of Prisons (PDP) provides a variety of programming for incarcerated people. Programming ranges from restorative and mental health services to onsite job training.

General health services

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Mental health

PDP’s mental health programming promotes effective, positive coping behavior in incarcerated people through psychiatric services.

Psychologists and social workers offer education, treatment, and intensive rehabilitation.

Chaplaincy services

Chaplaincy Services provides religious programs through volunteers of different faiths.

The Director of Chaplaincy Services coordinates scheduled programs for each prison facility.

General Educational Development

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Pre-GED Literacy Program

The Pre-GED Literacy Program (PGLP) prepares incarcerated people who read and perform below a 5th grade level for the GED. Instructors oversee the classroom and peer tutors offer academic support.


Opportunities for Prevention and Treatment Interventions for Offenders Needing Support (OPTIONS) provides substance-use disorder treatment to incarcerated people in intensive housing units.

OPTIONS has a partnership with Temple University for the Inside/Out program. In this program, OPTIONS participants are paired with Temple University students in a for-credit class. Incarcerated people participating in this program complete all the same assignments as university students.

OPTIONS also uses the “A New Direction” model from Hazelden. This model is flexible and evidence-based. It guides participants to recovery from substance use disorders and desisting from crime.

Penny Pack House School

Penny Pack House School is the Philadelphia Department of Prisons’ school for youthful offenders. It is overseen by the Philadelphia School District. The school’s efforts are supported by a multidisciplinary team of teachers.

The also provides English as a second language (ESL) and services for adults who have received an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP).


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Philadelphia Prison Television

Philadelphia Prison Television provides educational programming and communication to the entire prison community.

The programming includes:

  • Educational instruction.
  • College video courses.
  • GED training videos.
  • Quality entertainment.

Psychological services

The PDP Psychology Division provides direct service to the incarcerated population using trauma-informed evidence-based approaches. Services are provided individually, as group therapy, and as family therapy (when applicable).

Volunteer services

Volunteers with the Philadelphia Department of Prisons help provide educational and spiritual support to incarcerated people. Volunteers will receive up to 16 hours of training before providing any services to incarcerated people.


PDP plays an active role in preparing individuals for reentry.

Reentry programming is a combined effort of the Philadelphia Department of Prisons, the Adult Probation and Parole Department, and the Office of Reentry Partnerships.

Social services

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