Philadelphia Department Of Prisons


PDP operates as Philadelphia County’s jail, incarcerating 7,000-8,000 people at any given time. Formerly the Philadelphia Prison System, PDP consists of six facilities located on a campus in Northeast Philadelphia. We serve men and women at all six facilities - Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (CFCF), Detention Center (DC), Riverside Correctional Facility (RCF), Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center (PICC), House of Correction (HOC), and Cambria Community Center (CCC).

During intake, a person is asked whether they have their high school diploma or GED. If the individual has one of these certificates, there are no further educational resources provided during their incarceration. If they do not have either certificate, students take the TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education). Students then have the option to join a class based on their TABE score. Some students are required to to join a class according to court stipulation.

Classes where we tutor

Each class has approximately 5-10 students. Most instructors are also correctional officers.
PGLP: (Pre-GED Literacy Program): low-level (below 5th grade), instructor based, 50-60 hours of classroom instruction before student takes the TABE again (if the instructor thinks the student is ready but often they are released before hitting this benchmark)
PDPTV: (Philadelphia Department of Prisons TV): higher-level (above 5th grade, still pre-GED); at certain times of the day PDPTV is the only program played on the TVs throughout the prison; students can sign up for “learning labs” where instructors provide support to supplement PDPTV
PLATO: computer-based with support from instructor and tutors; students are preparing for the GED


PDP requires volunteers to attend an orientation at the Training Academy (8215 Torresdale Avenue), from 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM on two Saturdays. The training takes place every other month.

On the first day of the orientation you will fill out clearance paperwork, including fingerprinting. To complete this paperwork, you must bring a valid ID (eg. driver's license, state ID, passport - not a student ID) and your social security card (or a copy of your Social Security card along with a copy of another document showing your SSN - W-2 form, tax records, bank documents, school record, loan record or pay stub).

On the second day of training, you may be able to also pick up your PDP Volunteer Badge, depending on how long clearances take. If your badge is not ready on the second day of training, you can pick it up from PDP during regular business hours.

Upcoming trainings

January 14 and 28, 2017
March 18 and 25, 2017
May 20 and 27, 2017
July 22 and 29, 2017
September 23 and 30, 2017
November 4 and 18, 2017


Your PDP Volunteer Badge must be renewed during the Fall of each year through a 3 hour renewal appointment that will be scheduled individually. If you attend the September or November training, you do not need to renew your badge until Fall of the following year.

Dress code

Make sure you are wearing your Petey Greene t-shirt!

In addition, the PDP dress code for visitors is below:

  • “No plain white tee-shirts
  • No clothing that closely resembles an inmate uniform(orange jumpsuits, blue “scrub” tops)
  • No clothing with hoods attached; no clothing with hoods attached or jackets
  • No hot pants/short-shorts (Bermuda shorts are permissible) or torn jeans
  • No see-through anywhere on the torso or revealing clothing;
  • No halter tops, tank tops, sleeveless tops, or crop tops
  • No mini-skirts or dresses (must be within two inches of the knee)
  • Tops exceeding hip length must be worn when wearing spandex tights and "stretch" pants (the top must cover the hips when the visitor raises his/her arms above the head)
  • No low rise pants or skirts revealing undergarments
  • No clothing with offensive or provocative language. No writing across the seat of pants/skirt
  • No flip-flops or slippers
  • Panties/undergarments must be worn”

If you think you will be cold, wear a long sleeve under your Petey Greene t-shirt as you are not allowed to wear a jacket in the facility.



Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (CFCF)
7901 State Rd, Philadelphia, PA

Detention Center (DC)
8201 State Rd, Philadelphia, PA

House of Correction (HOC)
8001 State Rd, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center (PICC)
8301 State Rd, Philadelphia, PA

Riverside Correctional Facility (RCF)
8151 State Rd, Philadelphia, PA

The Training Academy
8215 Torresdale Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Personal Vehicle

There are parking lots at all of the facilities and street parking outside of the Training Academy.

Public transportation

The Trenton Regional Rail Line drops off at Holmesburg Junction station, which is a short walk from all PDP facilities.

Tutoring session

Arrive 5-10 minutes before the scheduled tutoring session in order to be processed and arrive to class on time. When you arrive you must sign in and show/wear your badge. Tell the person at the front desk that you are there for “tutoring in Officer [William]’s [PGLP] class.” Ask for a locker - you will be given a “coin” to operate it.

It is recommended that you leave as much as possible in your car or at home. Put whatever else you may have in the locker including your phone, keys, and wallet. You may keep your watch on. You may be able to bring in extra tutoring materials with prior approval from the instructor.
You will walk through metal detectors and then you will be pat down before you are ESCORTED TO YOUR CLASSROOM. When you arrive, check in with the instructor and see how you can help. Have fun and good luck!

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