Prison Overcrowding: Pennsylvania

Below is a summary of information including: statistics from Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections, an overview of the state’s prison overcrowding dilemma, as well as helpful references and points of contact for those interested in resolving the problem.

Facts and Figures 2007-2008

DOC Costs

  • Annual budget: $1,639,655,000
  • Percentage of the state General Fund allocated in the 2009-2010 Budget Proposal to Corrections: 5.5%
  • Average annual cost per inmate: $33,236

DOC Staff and Population

  • Total department active personnel: 25,044
  • Total number of institutions: 27
  • Total incarcerated under DOC jurisdiction: 50,945
  • Escaped: 1
  • Average sentence: 4.8 years
  • Average age: 37 years

Organization of state divisions, view here.


  • Facilities: 52
  • Population: 11,195

Overcrowding Quick Facts

  • Pennsylvania institutions are currently at 118.2% capacity.
  • Only one institution is at less than 100% capacity.
  • The number of annual admissions increased 38% since 2002.
  • From 1997 to 2007, the number of parole violator admissions increased by 79%.

Points of Contact

For general inquiries about the Department’s activities, call: (717) 975-4859 

Organization of DOC Executive Staff, view here.

News and Media

  • New programs can’t save Philly’s overcrowding, read more.
  • Weeks after being released, parolee kills Officer, read more.
  • Philadelphia loses $1 billion without bail system, read more.

Helpful Links

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

2007 Annual Statistical Report

Pennsylvania DOC 2008-2009 Budget Presentation

“Getting Out of Jail for Free”

Pennsylvania Prisons Swell

See also:

Rhode Island Prison Overcrowding