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This year marks 45 years since the occasion of the deaths of Warden Curran and Major Fromhold at Holmesburg Prison in 1973.
Jun 04, 2018
This year marks 45 years since the occasion of the deaths of Warden Curran and Major Fromhold at Holmesburg Prison in 1973. While many years have passed, we still take this opportunity to remember them. As a correctional agency and as a family, we commemorate the loss of the late Warden and Major and use this date to remember them as well as countless others who have died while serving in the field of corrections from every discipline. 

We continue this tradition as a way of honoring those who have fallen while in service of the PDP, take this time remember those who we have loss over the years as they absence has been impactful to their families, friends and coworkers and they deserve to be remembered. 

Unfortunately this year, Mrs. Fromhold could not attend due to poor health, we wish her well. Hopefully, the thought of Thursday’s tribute will comfort her during her recovery. We closed by laying a wreath at Holmesburg and placed a similar wreath at CFCF, the facility named in honor of Warden Curran and Major Fromhold. 

Philadelphia Department of Prisons awarded Public Health Recognition Award
Apr 20, 2018
The Philadelphia Department of Prisons (PDP) recently received the Public Health Recognition Award from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia for implementing programs at the PDP for individuals in custody who suffer from a substance abuse disorder. The award was presented at the Public Health Day Symposium at the College of Physicians on April 2.

Prison Commissioner Blanche Carney stated, “Our intention is to lessen the burden of access to treatment by helping inmates with addiction make connections to post-release services prior to leaving custody, to experience a better outcome and to continue to rebuild and regain control of a life beyond substance abuse once they return to our communities. We rely on it to help those in our custody and care as they transition back into the community.

James Plumb, MD, MPH, Director of the Center for Urban Health at Thomas Jefferson University submitted the nomination. In the nomination he wrote, “Since being tasked with implementing the Mayor’s Task Force to Combat the Opioid Epidemic in Philadelphia recommendations, PDP has taken many important and bold steps that are undoubtedly improving the health of this incredibly vulnerable population.” These actions include:
• Enrolling inmates in Medical Assistance
• Offering medication-assisted treatment to individuals with opioid use disorder
• Ensuring that all inmates are educated about overdose and death risks after release, what Narcan does, how to administer Narcan and how to obtain Narcan
• Ensuring all inmates receive Dr. Levine’s standing Narcan prescription upon release
• Issuing two-dose, nasal Narcan kits to Clinical Opioid Withdrawal Scale (COWS) patients at release
Dr. Plumb continued, “To our knowledge, PDP is one of the first major correctional systems in the country to fully ensure that inmates are offered medication-assisted treatment on admission, resulting in reduction in fatal overdoses among recently released inmates. We are optimistic that we will see a profound benefit as well at PDP.”

PDP admits 28,000 inmates annually and 76% have a substance use disorder. Approximately one-third of all persons who experience fatal overdose have been involved in the criminal justice system.
Plans to Close the House of Correction by 2020
Apr 19, 2018
Department of Prisons Announces Plans to Close the House of Correction

Mayor Kenney and Prisons Commissioner Blanche Carney announced plans to close the House of Correction (HOC) on State Road by 2020.

HOC is the oldest operating jail in the City of Philadelphia, and has been in continuous operation since 1927. The facility requires constant maintenance due to its age and lacks modern security and public safety features. Its closure is possible because the City’s overall incarcerated population has decreased 32 percent since July 2015. The population stands currently at just under 5,500, the lowest it has been in 20 years.

“Reducing our jail population and closing the House of Correction has been among my highest priorities since taking office,” said Mayor Kenney. “Reaching the point where we can shutter this facility once and for all – without needing to build a new prison – is a milestone. It is also a testament to the productive partnership among all our criminal justice partners and to the national support we’ve received from the MacArthur Foundation.”

The declining prison population is due in large part to the City’s collaborative efforts funded by a $3.5 million-dollar grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge. Under the challenge, City officials worked together to develop a data-driven reform plan that included 19 new programs and policies. The goals are to reduce the local jail population by 34 percent over three years, and to reduce the racial, ethnic and economic disparities in the criminal justice system. So far, the City has implemented 16 of the 19 initiatives, which include investment in diversion programs for behavioral health and substance abuse disorders.

“Mass incarceration begins with jails and the local justice systems in which they operate,” said Laurie Garduque, director of justice reform at MacArthur. “The closing of the House of Correction is an example of what can happen when local leaders commit to smart reforms that make their justice systems fairer and more effective, with the aim of protecting the wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities. We hope this progress inspires leaders in other counties, cities, and states to rethink how jails are used and to join the growing movement of local justice reform across the country.”

“It is important to note while fewer people are incarcerated, the City has seen no increase in the rate of violent crime in this city,” said Police Commissioner Richard Ross. “In fact, since 2015, Part I crimes have decreased about three percent. While much work remains to be done, it is clear that the policies – and our partnerships – are working.”

To date, 199 inmates remain at HOC. Efforts are already underway to move all remaining incarcerated individuals and staff from HOC to other facilities on State Road. While the closure is slated for 2020, it is possible the prison will be fully depopulated sooner than that.

“The depopulation of HOC will give those incarcerated greater access to programs and services that were limited or unavailable at HOC because of the restriction of programming space,” said Prisons Commissioner Blanche Carney. “When HOC is closed, PDP can further advance its application of modern correctional practices, which encourages programs and services that rehabilitate and teach. This will better prepare incarcerated persons for reentry into society.”

Closing the HOC speaks to the partners’ shared vision of investing in alternatives to incarceration over building a new facility. These partners include the Philadelphia Police Department; Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services; the First Judicial District; the District Attorney’s Office; and the Defender Association.

Other key partners include the Office of Criminal Justice, The Criminal Justice Advisory Board, chaired by President Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper; Councilman Curtis Jones who serves as Chair of the Public Safety and Special Committee on Criminal Justice Reform; and the No215Jail Coalition.

A Data Snapshot of Reentry and Recidivism in Philadelphia
Mar 13, 2018
Christmas Mass at PDP
Dec 19, 2017
On Monday, December 18, 2017, CFCF welcomed Archbishop C. Chaput for the Annual Christmas Mass. His message was the representation of hope was God’s gift for the first Christmas.

Supports Relief Efforts For Puerto Rico
Oct 30, 2017
On November 1st please bring items to the all day collection event @holmesburg!
To make financial donations to help the relief efforts for puerto rico. 
more >>
Life outside the walls
Jul 24, 2017
On May 16, 2017, twelve men graduated from a program that earned them Vocational Certificates in Organic Agriculture from Temple University. They weren’t tending to a garden on Temple’s campus or working on a farm outside of Philadelphia though. more >>
Philadelphia Department of Prisons Celebrates Correctional Employees Week 2017
May 09, 2017
Commissioner Carney, Medical Director Dr. Herdman and CFCF’s Warden May recognize Corizon Medical staff and CFCF staff for the quick response that saved an inmate’s life during Opening Ceremonies for Correctional Employees Week 2017.
Join us for AIDS Education Month 2017!
Apr 04, 2017

Registration is Now Open!

June 2017 will be Philadelphia FIGHT's 23rd Annual AIDS Education Month (AEM)! AEM is a series of free events throughout Philadelphia to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS and brings people together to find strategies to combat the virus.

AIDS Education Month 2017 will feature captivating speakers, and presentations, as well as spaces for the Philadelphia community to celebrate advances in HIV/AIDS treatment prevention, advocacy, and policy. 

This year our theme is One Community, Recommitting to the FIGHT.We are looking to those pioneers, whether they be doctors, activists and advocates, voices of those we have loved and lost, researchers, and people long in the fight, to guide us as we look to the future.

Register today to RSVP to any (or all!) of the following events:

You can register online, fill out a paper registration form and send it in, register over the phone at (215) 985-4448 ext. 200, or pick up a paper registration form at FIGHT (1233 Locust Street), at ICJ (the Institute of Community Justice, 1207 Locust Street), or at Y-HEP (Youth Health Empowerment Project, 1417 Locust Street).​ 

AIDS Education Month Events 
All events are free! 

Opening Reception and Award Ceremony
Thursday, June 1st, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Independence Visitor Center, 1 North Independence Mall West
Register now!

End AIDS: The HIV Prevention and Outreach Summit
Wednesday, June 7th, 8:00 AM -- 5:00 PM
Pennsylvania Convention Center, 13th and Arch Streets
Register now!

Jonathan Lax Memorial Lecture
Wednesday, June 14th, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Seats at this lecture are limited. Please email us at for more details.

Faith and Community Leaders Summit and the Annual AEM Gospel Concert
Saturday, June 17th, 8:00 AM -- 4:00 PM
Yesha Ministries Worship Center, 2301 Snyder Ave
Email or  to register today!

The Community Cookout
Saturday, June 24th, 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Fairmount Park, Area #2, 33rd and Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Register now!

Hip Hop for Philly: National HIV Testing Day
Saturday, June 25th
Visit for more information!

Beyond the Walls: Prison Healthcare and Reentry Summit
Wednesday, June 28th, 8:00 AM -- 5:00 PM
Pennsylvania Convention Center, 13th and Arch Streets
Register now!

Questions? Call 215-985-4448 x 200
or email us at

PDP employee wins 2016 Richardson Dilworth Award for Innovation in Government
Sep 14, 2016
Congratulations to the PDP’s Laura Cassidy, one of three winners of the 2016 distinguished Richardson Dilworth Award!

The 2016 Richardson Dilworth Award for Innovation in Government is awarded to Laura Cassidy, Sustainability Manager for the Philadelphia Department of Prisons. This award honors a City employee who successfully initiated and implemented an innovative idea that brought about dramatic results.

Laura Cassidy has a 21-year tenure with the City of Philadelphia. As the Sustainability Manager for the Department of Prisons, a role she has held for the last 10 years, Laura manages the Department’s green programs. Under Laura’s direction, the Department has made significant strides in reducing its waste output and creating avenues for inmates to develop meaningful skills to aid them as returning citizens. In 2008, Laura helped start the Department’s first single-stream recycling program, and in 2011, she implemented Philadelphia’s first City-run captive food waste composting program.

Together, these two initiatives divert an estimated 685 tons of waste destined for landfills annually, saving the City more than $40,000 in landfill costs each year. Cassidy is also responsible for the successful implementation of the Philadelphia Prison Orchard Project—a two-acre orchard at the Philadelphia Industrial Corrections Center which houses over 200 fruit-bearing trees and bushes, making it the largest urban orchard in the City. The Orchard Project is integrated into the prison composting system, and together, these two initiatives serve as the basis of a Temple University vocational horticultural certificate program offered to inmates.

“We are extremely proud of Ms. Cassidy and the work that she has done to promote sustainability in areas where you least expect,” said Blanche Carney, Commissioner of the Department of Prisons. “These programs not only lessen the environmental footprints of the PDP, they also educate inmates by providing hands-on training in employable trades. The inmates in the Sustainability programs are able to earn certificates and educational training through Temple University’s partnership with the PDP in the orchard program.”
Register for Beyond the Walls: Prison Healthcare and Reentry Summit!
May 13, 2016
The Beyond the Walls: Prison Healthcare and Reentry Summit brings together the communities that are affected by the parallel crises of HIV and mass imprisonment. With a focus on community-led responses to the crisis in the criminal justice system, workshops reflect the needs of prisoners and former prisoners and will highlight the work being done to improve conditions inside the prison walls and in the communities to which prisoners are returning. Additional information
End Aids 2015 Annual Conference
Apr 02, 2015
Join Us for our First Annual End AIDS Conference!

When: Monday, June 8th, 8:00 AM-6:00 PM
Where: Pennsylvania Convention Center, 13th and Arch Streets

With over 50 workshops and over 1,500 people expected to attend, this year’s End AIDS 2015 Conference promises to offer something for everyone. Our hope is to bring the latest knowledge of prevention and treatment tools to the wider community and create more integrated outreach efforts in Philadelphia.

Click here  for more. 
Reverend Dr. Damone B. Jones appointed new Chairman Board of Trustees of Philadelphia Prisons System
Mar 12, 2015

Philadelphia, Pa - Reverend Dr. Damone B. Jones, Senior Pastor at Bible Way Baptist Church in West Philadelphia has been appointed as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Philadelphia Prison System by Mayor Michael Nutter. The Board of Trustees' primary role is to provide guidance and oversight of operations within the Philadelphia Prison System. This includes measuring and controlling the population of the prison, as well educating and preparing inmates for re-entry into society.

Dr. Jones earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Degrees from Philadelphia Biblical University. He earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Palmer Theological Seminary.
Dr. Jones has a passion for helping at-risk youth, it fostered his commitment to serve at the Philadelphia Youth Detention Center as Coordinating Chaplain, as a panelist for the District Attorney’s Youth Aid Panel, and as President of the Police Clergy Program in the 19th Police District. Dr. Jones also served his community as a member of the Board of Directors for the Carroll Park Community Council.

In 2001, Mayor John F. Street appointed Dr. Jones to the City of Philadelphia’s Board of Ethics and to a Blue Ribbon Commission on Children’s Behavioral Health for Philadelphia in 2006. Dr. Jones was appointed by Mayor Nutter to the Advisory Board of the Mayor’s Office of Community Services in 2008 and to the again to the Philadelphia Board of Ethics in 2009. In 2010, Mayor Nutter appointed Dr. Jones to the Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia Prison System. In December 2014, then Governor elect Tom Wolfe appointed Dr. Jones to his Transition Team for Corrections in Pennsylvania. Dr. Jones is the successor of Attorney/Philanthropist Steven Madva, who retired as the PPS’ Chairman of the Board of Trustees in January, 2015. Mr. Madva served as Chairman since 2008.
Check out the video recap from AIDS Education Month 2013
Apr 03, 2014
A brief video to recap all of the activities that took place during AIDS Education Month 2013 this past June. Watch Video.
Philadelphia Prisons Orchard to Cultivate skills and jobs
Apr 03, 2014
PHILADELPHIA On a grassy field outside the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center, where the windows are narrow, the brick walls run high, and the barbed wire seems to twist around the metal fences forever, inmate Joseph Saunders stood shoulder to shoulder Tuesday with Mayor Nutter. Read press release.
Inmates Socialize Rescue Dogs for Adoption
Nov 12, 2012

Commissioner Giorla, Warden Bryant, Deputy Warden Hatcher and staff greet Elvis, a silver pit bull, and the New Leash on Life program participants. The New Leash on Life program teaches inmates to train and socialize rescued dogs to be adopted into welcoming homes.

The American Journal of Medicine article was written in part by Dr. Bruce Herdman Chief of Medical Operations for the Philadelphia Prison System.

Annual Prison Health Summit to be Held in Philadelphia
Jun 19, 2012

Philadelphia F.I.G.H.T is hosting the Annual Prison Health Summit on June 19, 2012 at the Philadelphia Convention Center.

Warden Bryant Featured in American Corrections Today
Jan 01, 2012

Warden Karen Bryant was featured in the January 2012 issue of American Corrections Today magazine. Warden Bryant spoke in the importance of continued education in the corrections field as well as taking advantage of opportunities when they arise.

Warden Bryant reflected on the support she has received from Commissioner Giorla and the PPS staff while in pursuit of her career and how she intends to pay it forward.

PPS Spreads Holiday Cheer
Dec 16, 2008

PPS carries on its tradition of sharing Holiday Cheer with its neighbors at the Riverview Home.  Wardens Clyde Gainey (CFCF) and Arthur Blackmon (ASD) present clothing and puzzles and games to Sallie Fisher, Superintendent of Riverview Home.

Mayor Unveils Solar Water Heating System for Riverside Correctional Facility
Dec 04, 2008

First large urban jail in the country to install roof-based solar water heating system.