SCI Chester, constructed as a 1,175 bed medium-security prison for inmates with a documented substance abuse history was constructed for nearly $74 million with an annual operating budget of $36 million.  SCI Chester is an innovative facility which was designed to provide a continuum of substance abuse treatment services in the institution and continuing in the community at community corrections centers.  This consortium approach uses the experience and expertise of public and private agencies in a broad based effort, which focuses on treatment of inmates without losing sight of our primary responsibility for public safety.  Our Therapeutic Community (TC) current mission is to provide quality treatment to more than 1,000 offenders yearly utilizing the TC model.

SCI Chester is the 24th state correctional institution to open in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and is unique in its architectural structure and programmatic design.  The housing units design - pods - was considered an ambitious move for correctional facilities during the 1980’s.  In addition to its structure and program focus, it is the first tobacco free facility in the commonwealth..

Facility Information

Total Acreage Inside Perimeter: 9

Total Acreage Outside Perimeter: 4.77

Number of Operational Structures: 2

Number of Housing Units: 14

Special Features: Little Scandinavia Housing Unit

Average Full Time Employees: 399

Inmate Information

Inmate PopulationCurrent Inmate Population

Reentry Service Office: In order to ease a reentrant’s transition after release and improve community reintegration, the Reentry Service Offices (RSOs) are designed to provide information and services to inmates who are within 18 months to their minimum and/or release date. Reentry Parole Agents (RPAs) oversee the RSOs and work with other DOC staff members to facilitate various workshops including Life Skills, Budgeting, Digital Literacy — among many others. The RSO utilizes its computer lab to assist reentrants with resume writing, job searches, as well as providing community connections for services they may need upon release.

Academic Programs

  • Basic Education Classes
  • Literacy/Basic Skills
  • Adult Basic Education
  • GED
  • English as a Second Language
  • Inside-Out Program

Vocational Programs

  • Barber School
  • Carpentry 
  • HVAC Program (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning)

Inmate Programs

  • New Leash on Life
  • Community Education Centers (CEC)
  • SCI Chester AOD Treatment Program

The treatment program at SCI Chester is a collaborative effort between the DOC and Community Education Centers, Inc. (CEC). This collaboration has been formed to rehabilitate inmates with a history of substance abuse. The treatment program utilizes several levels of care to accommodate the treatment needs of the offenders.

Therapeutic Communities (TC’s): Each TC housing unit houses approximately 64 inmates.

There are currently 5 TC sites in operation: Three General Population TC (AA, AC, AD & BC), one Opioid TC (AC) and one Hispanic TC (BB). Program materials and language are conducted entirely in Spanish.

The TC’s are designed to service those offenders who are alcohol or drug-dependent or have a severe abuse problem.

Ancillary Services: CEC provides ancillary groups to provide services to those offenders who have special needs. These programs include “Violence Prevention/Moderate and High Intensity” and “Batterers’ Intervention” – a specific therapy group for domestic violence-related offenders.

Facility Address

500 E. 4th Street
Chester, PA 19013
(610) 490-5412

Inmate Mail Address

Smart Communications/PADOC
Inmate Name/Inmate Number
PO Box 33028
St Petersburg, FL 33733


Superintendent: Gina Clark

Deputy Superintendent for Centralized Services: Keith Miller

Deputy Superintendent for Facilities Management: Scott Bowman

Assistant Business Manager: Gary Sharper

Superintendent Assistant: Vacant