The Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution in Chester opened in April 1998. The medium-security, all-male facility has a population of 1,100 inmates, many of whom are nearing the end of their sentences. Chester State Correctional Institution was Pennsylvania’s first facility designed specifically to treat and rehabilitate inmates with substance abuse problems and was also the state’s first tobacco-free institution.
According to local newspaper articles announcing the opening of the facility in April 1998, the prison’s treatment program runs for 12 months, “including an intensive therapy clinic, and allow[ing] successful participants to follow up with six months of community based after care – all while incarcerated.”
A more recent report explains how men participate in “full-time programs all day, every day.” Most of participating inmates receive “addiction counseling, group therapy, [and] programs that equip them for successful reentry into society” — and never return to prison.