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City of Philadelphia

Social Services


RISE provides supportive services to individuals who have been previously convicted, sentenced and/or incarcerated, whether in be in City, State, or Federal prison. Through direct service and agency partnerships, RISE offers case management, substance misuse treatment, behavioral health services, educational services, vocational training, computer literacy and employment services. Whatever services we do not offer directly or through partnerships, we will post the most up-to-date resources for returning citizens of Philadelphia.


Criminal Justice Resources

The interaction a returning citizen has with the Criminal Justice system is crucial. It is vital to have all the information possible to help you in your journey to reentry. Use the resources below to help you in your reintegration into society.

Adult Probation and Parole (County)
The Adult Probation and Parole Department (APPD) serves as the community corrections agency within the Philadelphia Criminal Justice System.

Defender Association of Philadelphia
The Defender Association of Philadelphia represents approximately seventy percent of all persons arrested in Philadelphia. The Association, however, has no power to appoint itself as legal counsel.

Federal Probation
The official website for the United States Probation Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Inmate Locator (Federal)
Search for an inmate within the Federal Department of Corrections

Inmate Locator (Pennsylvania)
Search for an inmate within the PA Department of Corrections

Inmate Locator (Philadelphia)
Search for an inmate within the Philadelphia Prison System

PA Court Dockets
The Public Web Docket Sheets option provides access to search, view and print the docket sheets for Pennsylvania’s Appellate Courts, Criminal Courts of Common Pleas, Magisterial District Courts and the Philadelphia Municipal Court.

Philadelphia Prison System
To provide a secure correctional environment that adequately detains persons accused or convicted of illegal acts; to provide programs, services, and supervision in a safe, lawful, clean, humane environment; and to prepare incarcerated persons for reentry into society in a frame of mind that will facilitate their becoming law-abiding citizens.

State Parole (PA)
The Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole is committed to promoting public safety, utilizing sound decision making practices that include evidence-based approaches, employing effective methods to aid offenders in reentering society and to reduce recidivism, addressing the needs of crime victims, and improving county adult probation and parole services.

Education Resources

RISE Literacy & GED Preparation
Through our partnership with the Center for Literacy (CFL), RISE offers literacy training to participants in need of GED preparation courses and/or tutoring services.

Community-Based GED and Literacy Programs
GED, Adult Diploma, and Literacy Programs are also available through numerous Philadelphia area organizations for students and adults 17 years of age and over.

Community College of Philadelphia’s Re-entry Support Project
Since 2010, the Reentry Support Project of Community College of Philadelphia’s Fox Rothschild Center for Law and Society has been giving Philadelphia adult residents with criminal records access to programs, activities, services, and resources that contribute to higher education and community reintegration success.

Community Learning Center
Community Learning Center’s mission is to help adults develop literacy, math, and life skills using a supportive and holistic approach, so that they can realize their fullest potential at home, in the workplace, and in the community.

District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund GED Training Classes
These courses provide the foundational knowledge to pass the GED and refresh high school academics along with building necessary computer skills.

The Office of Adult Education
The City of Phiiladelphia's Office of Adult Education (OAE), formerly known as the Mayor's Commisson on Literacy has worked to equip all adults in Philadelphia with the education they need for work, family, and civic engage since 1983. OAE was charged to work on behalf of over 80 literacy and workforce development programs to help the estimated 550,000 adults in the City who need to develop their workforce literacy skillls to compete in our knowledge based economy, complete secondary education, or prepare to participate in post-secondary programs.

School District of Philadelphia Re-Engagement Center
The Re-Engagement Center provides young people and adults with “one stop” access to information and placement services leading to achievement of a high school diploma or GED. The Center connects youth to comprehensive resources such as childcare and employment, which support academic achievement and success.

Healthcare Resources

There are about 2.2 million people in US jails and prisons. 1 in 3 have Hepatitis C In 2011–12, an estimated 40% of state and federal prisoners and jail inmates reported having a current chronic medical condition while about half reported ever having a chronic medical condition. In 2010, there were 20,093 inmates with HIV/AIDS in state and federal prisons with 91% being men. A 2004 survey by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) estimated that about 70 percent of State and 64 percent of Federal prisoners regularly used drugs prior to incarceration. Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act have been (and are continuing to be) expanded to cover recently incarcerated individuals; it is essential for returning citizens to secure and maintain healthcare for mental health, substance issues, and general physical wellbeing. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health operates 8 City health centers that provide high-quality medical care to Philadelphia residents. 

Pennsylvania’s largest AIDS service organization with offices in West, North, and Center City Philadelphia, ActionAIDS is a non-profit organization meeting the physical and emotional needs of men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS.

City of Philadelphia Health Centers
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health operates 8 City health centers that provide high-quality medical care to Philadelphia residents. Our health centers are located in neighborhoods all across Philadelphia. Our doctors, nurses, dentists and other health care providers work hard to keep you and your family healthy.

Community Health Centers (also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers)
Health centers provide high quality preventive and primary health care to patients regardless of their ability to pay. Approximately 1 in 14 people in the U.S. relies on a HRSA-funded health center for medical care.

DPW (apply for benefits)
COMPASS is an online application for Pennsylvanians to apply for many health and human service programs.

How to Apply for Medicaid
To apply for Medicaid you need to contact your social services department and show proof of your financial need. If incarcerated you may be eligible for help with applying for Medicaid through healthcare or psychology staff at the institution.

Health Care for Re-entry Veterans (HCRV) Program
The Health Care for Re-entry Veterans (HCRV) Program is designed to address the community re-entry needs of incarcerated Veterans.

John Bell Health Center
The John Bell Health Center is a comprehensive healthcare clinic that provides state of the art primary medical care to individuals returning from prison or jail.

Mazzoni Center
The Mazzoni Center aims to provide quality comprehensive health and wellness services in an LGBT-focused environment, while preserving the dignity and improving the quality of life of the individuals we serve.

Philadelphia Fight
A comprehensive health services organization providing primary care, consumer education, research, and advocacy for people living with HIV/AIDS and those at high risk.

Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania
Protect and enhance reproductive freedom, to increase access to reproductive health services and information, and to promote sexual health.

The Affordable Care Act Special Enrollment
When you apply for health coverage after being released from incarceration, you may qualify for lower costs on monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs. This will depend on your household size and income during the year you’re seeking coverage. After you’re released, you have a 60-day Special Enrollment Period to sign up for private health coverage. During this time, you can enroll in private health insurance even if it’s outside the Marketplace open enrollment period.

Housing/Homeless Services

Shelter is a basic human need. Three main factors contribute to and complicate homelessness among people leaving prison. First, ex-offenders face the same social and economic conditions that lead to homelessness among the general population. Ex-offenders returning to the community also confront barriers to housing associated with their criminal justice system involvement. Finally, there is a lack of ownership of the problem among government agencies and community organizations. According to a study by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, 12 percent of state prisoners were homeless at the time of their arrest, and the Inter-agency Council on the Homeless has reported that 18 percent of all homeless people have spent time in a state or federal prison.

Office of Supportive Housing Immediate Assistance Resources
There are multiple programs in place for short-term housing and crisis support. These range from shelters to food distribution programs, as well as transitional housing and relocation services. This is a list of immediate assistance resources.

ACHIEVEability, located in Philadelphia, permanently breaks the generational cycle of poverty for low income, single parent, and homeless families through higher education, affordable housing, supportive services, community and economic development, and accountability.

Bethesda Project
Bethesda Project provides shelter, housing, and programs reaching out to chronically homeless men and women.

OSH (Office of Supportive Housing)
Short-term accommodation for individuals and families to resolve an immediate housing crisis, assess level of need and homelessness, and provide case management assistance in obtaining appropriate shelter placement.

Philadelphia Veterans’ House
Giving homeless veterans a chance to start over and become productive members of society (4108 Baltimore Avenue)

Project Home
Project HOME is a Philadelphia non-profit organization empowering individuals to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness through affordable housing, employment, health care, and education.

Ready, Willing & Able
Ready, Willing & Able breaks the cycles of homelessness, addiction, and criminal recidivism by providing paid transitional work, occupational training, housing, and comprehensive support services to homeless individuals.

Salvation Army
Salvation Army Centers that are nearest to Philadelphia

University City Hospitality Coalition
Providing hot meals five nights a week and sandwiches at noon on Saturdays, as well as additional services, including medical, legal, and dental clinics, which are available at the Wednesday meal site and a mailbox available to anyone who needs a mailing address to receive mail and exercise their right to vote.

LGBT Resources

According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 16% of transgender adults have been in a prison or jail for any reason. This compares with 2.7% of all adults who have ever been in prison, and 10.2% of all adults who have ever been under any kind of criminal justice supervision, including probation. Transgender people, especially poor people and people of color, report facing disrespect, harassment, discriminatory arrests, and physical and sexual assault by police at very high rates. While an estimated 4-8% of youth are LGBT, a major study of youth in juvenile detention found that as many as 13-15% are LGBT.

Laws, Court Decisions, and Advocacy Tips to Protect Transgender Prisoners
This guide published by The American Civil Liberties Union identifies laws, court decisions, advocacy tips, and other resources that may be helpful for adult transgender prisoners.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Offenders
This webpage of the National Institute of Corrections has been developed in an effort to provide current and useful information to correctional agencies regarding the safe and respectful management of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) offenders.

LGBT People and the Prison Rape Elimination Act
This resource outlines key protections provided by the PREA Standards and what they mean for LGBT people.

Mazzoni Center’s Legal Services Department
The only program in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that specifically provides direct no-cost or low-cost legal assistance to low-income and lower-income, underserved LGBTQ populations. Also provides advice and representation to LGBTQ people on discrimination matters; able to provide referrals to pro bono attorneys, other pro bono organizations, and private attorneys who are knowledgeable and sensitive to LGBT people and their legal needs.

Office of LGBT Affairs
Provides services and information to LGBT people through outreach and public education. Also advises the Mayor and Philadelphia City government on the needs of LGBT residents and support LGBT policy development, community outreach, public education, and capacity building.

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc.
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund is committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity and expression and to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, and public policy efforts.

Valley Youth House
LGBTQIA serving agency for youths (17-21) experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity that identify as LGBTQIA.

William Way LGBT Community Center
The William Way LGBT Community Center serves the LGBT community of Philadelphia and its allies 365 days a year with social groups, networking events, and counseling and support services to art exhibitions and cultural experiences.

Legal Services

The legal challenges of returning citizens do not end when they leave incarceration. It is vital for formerly incarcerated persons to know their rights and restrictions, and what resources are available to them.

Community Legal Services
CLS has served more than one million clients who could not afford to pay for legal representation and who would have faced a variety of devastating ends without dedicated, knowledgeable attorneys on their side.

Filing A Ban The Box Complaint
The Ban the Box law was enacted as a way to make criminal record screenings by employers fair for ex-offenders. Ban the Box is part of the Philadelphia Code, in Chapter 9-3500. Ban the Box applies to most employers in Philadelphia with 10 or more employees.

Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity
PLSE works toward just outcomes for low-income individuals who have had contact with the Pennsylvania criminal justice system.

Philadelphia Legal Assistance
Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) provides free civil legal assistance to low-income individuals and families in Philadelphia.

Voting as an Ex-Offender
Individuals incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison, and people on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Reentry/Training Programs

In addition to the services RISE offers, there are many organizations in the Greater Philadelphia Area that also offer valuable reentry programs.

Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1977 with a mission to strengthen Latino communities through social, economic, education and health services, leadership development and advocacy.

Connections Training Services
The CTS Mission is to provide for economic, housing and social needs of the disadvantaged populations of Philadelphia to enable participants to begin the path to self-sufficiency and a better quality of life.

IMPACT Services
Impact now operates in seven locations in Philadelphia where its staff of 120 provide a range of Employment and Training, Supportive Housing, Community and Economic Development services to over 17,000 needy Philadelphians each year.

JEVS Human Services has 1,000 employees and 20 successful programs providing skills development, job readiness & career services, vocational rehabilitation, recovery services, adult and residential day services, and in-home personal assistance.

PA Prison Society
The organization promotes humane and restorative corrections by serving thousands of prisoners, ex-prisoners and their family members each year through direct services and programs.

Philadelphia Works
Philadelphia Works invests in employment and training solutions and services that connect employers to workforce talent and career seekers to jobs while ensuring the highest standards and accountability for these investments.

Prisoner Reentry Network
Reentry Services’ goal is to help men and women released from prison lead productive lives in the community. Other reentry services are also available to those who need help finding work.

Resources for Human Development
Resources for Human Development is a national human services nonprofit with the broadest possible service mission, and specializes in creating innovative, quality services that support people of all abilities and any challenges wherever the need exists.

The Center for Returning Citizens (TCRC)
The Center for Returning Citizens is dedicated to restorative approaches in battling the effects of mass incarceration upon individuals, families and the community.

Veterans Services

In 2011–12, an estimated 181,500 veterans (8% of all inmates in state and federal prison and local jail excluding military-operated facilities) were serving time in correctional facilities. Incarcerated Veterans do not forfeit their eligibility for medical care; however, current regulations restrict VA from providing hospital and outpatient care to an incarcerated Veteran who is an inmate in an institution of another government agency. You are considered to have been released from incarceration if you are paroled or participating in a work release or half-way housing program.

Contact Numbers for Philadelphia Homeless Vets:
VA Hotline – 1-877-424-3838
Philly Vets Home Coalition Hotline – 215-923-VETS (8387)

Pennsylvania Guidebook for Incarcerated Veterans
This handbook is intended to provide current information to assist incarcerated veterans in accessing benefits through the Veterans Administration. Information for housing, treatment for substance abuse, mental health, medical, employment information and more is included in this booklet.

Benefits Assistance Service Factsheet
This fact sheet provides information about the benefits most commonly affected by imprisonment.

City of Philadelphia Veterans Advisory Commission
City Commission that provides information for veterans about the benefits to which they are entitled and consults with and advises City departments and agencies engaged in the distribution of such benefits.

Healing Ajax
Healing Ajax (a unit of Resources for Human Development) is a nonprofit helping Americans since 1970 with an innovative, brothers-in-arms approach to helping Iraq, Afghanistan and other war veterans reintegrate into society. 

Health Care for Re-entry Veterans (HCRV) Program
The Health Care for Re-entry Veterans (HCRV) Program is designed to address the community re-entry needs of incarcerated Veterans.

Philadelphia Regional Benefit Office, US Department of Veterans Affairs
Benefit resources for Philadelphia area Veterans

Philadelphia Veterans’ House
Giving homeless veterans a chance to start over and become productive members of society (4108 Baltimore Avenue)

Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO)
Veterans Justice Outreach Specialists are responsible for direct outreach, assessment, and case management for justice-involved Veterans in local courts and jails, and liaison with local justice system partners.

Veterans’ Multi-Service Center
A non-profit agency in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas that provides a comprehensive resource center available to all veterans in need.

Women's Resources

The exponential increase in the number of women parolees and probationers in the last decade has made women the most rapidly growing group of offenders in the United States. Since 2010, the female jail population has been the fastest growing correctional population, increasing by an average annual rate of 3.4 percent. As of December 2015, women made up 6.6% of Federal inmates. As of January 2015, female inmates accounted for nearly 10% of the Philadelphia Prison System population. In 2013, females accounted for almost 25 percent of the probation population, up from about 22 percent in 2000. They made up 14 percent of the jail population in 2013, up from about 11 percent in 2000. In general, demographic profiles of women involved in the criminal justice system indicate they are in their mid-thirties, are single mothers with young children, and are disproportionately women of color.

Career Wardrobe
Providing professional work attire, educational programs, and networking tools and opportunities to women in transitional points in their life.

Child Care Information Services of Philadelphia
Need Help Finding and Paying for Child Care? Call 1-888-461-KIDS (5437)

Crisis Nurseries
Crisis Nurseries offer parents and caregivers emergency short-term care for young children at risk of abuse or neglect.

Mercy Hospice
Mercy Hospice is a community grounded in faith and service, where women and children without permanent housing can find opportunities for a new beginning. 

Mothers In Charge
The mission of Mothers In Charge is violence prevention, education and intervention for youth, young adults, families and community organizations.

New Directions For Women, Inc.
Provides residential counseling and case mgmt. for women.

Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania
Protect and enhance reproductive freedom, to increase access to reproductive health services and information, and to promote sexual health.

Rehab for Women Only
For women struggling with substance abuse and seeking women-only rehab centers.

Why Not Prosper, Inc.
Programs that includes Pre-Release Mentoring to incarcerated women, residential services at Why Not Prosper House and community services at our Resource Center located in Philadelphia PA.

WOAR: Philadelphia’s Only Rape Crisis Center
Philadelphia’s only rape crisis center and one of the first in the nation.

Women Against Abuse
Philadelphia’s leading domestic violence advocate and service provider and among the largest domestic violence agencies in the country.

Women’s Law Project
The Mission of the Women’s Law Project is to create a more just and equitable society by advancing the rights and status of all women throughout their lives.

Women’s Way
A catalyst for change with three programs impacting women, girls, and families in our region: advocacy, grantmaking, and public education.