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.
The PDP is accredited by the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare (NCCHC). PDP health services include:
- Intake history and physical examinations.
- Daily sick call.
- Ambulatory care.
- Chronic care clinic.
- Daily medication administration.
- On-site clinical pharmacist.
- Emergency response.
- 24/7 nursing and provider coverage.
- Dental services.
- Withdrawal and detoxification management.
- STD management and treatment.
The following specialty services are also offered on-site:
- Radiology (x-ray and ultrasound)
- Physical therapy
- Infectious disease management
- Dialysis and nephrology
- Infirmary services
- Community nurse liaison
- Oral surgery
- Wound care
Medical programs offered on-site at the PDP include:
- Released With Care Re-Entry Program.
- Narcan Distribution Program.
- Medication-Assisted Treatment Program.
- Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program.
- Lactation Program.
Behavioral health treatment options offered at each facility include:
- Medication management.
- Patient education.
- Treatment planning.
- Crisis intervention.
The inpatient unit in the Detention Center is licensed by:
- The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.
- The Office of Mental Health.
- Substance Abuse Services.
It follows all legal requirements for mental health commitments. A multidisciplinary health care team provides services in the inpatient unit.
There are three transitional units located in PDP: two male units and one female unit. Each unit is staffed by a multidisciplinary treatment team. The team provides services that include:
- Medication management.
- Group and individual therapy.
- Patient education.
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 provides religious programs through volunteers of different faiths.
The Director of Chaplaincy Services coordinates scheduled programs for each prison facility.
General Educational Development
Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS)
CASAS provides testing of basic academic skills for youth and adults and provides curriculum tools for designing instruction. This test is given to all incarcerated people who do not have a high school diploma or GED to determine their academic level. Once an incarcerated person’s academic level is identified, they are placed in the appropriate academic programs.
General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
The General Educational Development is a set of tests in the core high school curriculum. It includes:
- Language Arts: Writing.
- Language Arts: Reading.
- Mathematics: Part 1 (with a calculator).
- Mathematics: Part 2 (without a calculator).
- Social Studies.
The Philadelphia Department of Prisons is an official Pennsylvania GED Testing Center.
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).
PhilaCor trains incarcerated people within the Philadelphia Department of Prisons by providing work experiences. The training provides incarcerated people with skills for when they reenter their communities.
PhilaCor is made up of ten industry shops located throughout the Philadelphia Department of Prisons:
- General products
- Culinary arts
- Dry cleaning
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.
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).
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.
The Social Service Division provides case management to incarcerated people through social workers.
- Conduct orientation, intake interviews, and needs assessments.
- Refer incarcerated people to internal and external programs.
- Develop individual service and discharge plans.
- Provide informational counseling.
- Prepare adjustment and progress reports.
- Act as a liaison with other City and law enforcement entities.
- Assist in accessing reentry resources.