Prison Advocacy Unit

Our Purpose: 

The purpose of the Prison Advocacy Unit is to present a vigorous program of non-litigation advocacy on behalf of Individuals in Pennsylvania’s county jails and state prisons. We advocate for incarcerated individuals and groups to ensure that:

1) The policies under which they live are fair, proper and promote the treatment of them as human beings in a civilized society.

2) The institutions in which they are held have proper oversight by the community and the public.

3) They obtain necessary medical and mental health care.

Our Work: 

We collaborate with community partners to reduce population in the jails and prisons and improve conditions of confinement; Work to increase the rights of those in custody; and endeavor to ensure that the rights they have are recognized and enforced by penal authorities

We believe that it’s in the public’s interest to shine a light on what happens inside the walls of penal institutions. To that end, we work to provide information concerning:

  • jail policies, practices, and reports, as available through right to know or open records’ requests,
  • basic demographic information about the people detained in our county jail,
  • the reasons for their confinement and
  • the length of their incarceration.

Resources & Information

Philadelphia Department of Prisons Inmate Handbook

English | Spanish



Tom Innes, Chief, Prison Advocacy