801 Butler Pike
Mercer, PA 16137
Superintendent: Brian H. Thompson
Deputy Superintendent for Centralized Services: William J. Woods
Deputy Superintendent for Facilities Management: Lee J. Estock
Business Manager: Janet Molnar
Superintendent's Assistant: Andrea Shiock
The State Correctional Institution at Mercer initially was established as a State Regional Correctional Facility (SRCF) on June 23, 1978. Located in Findley Township, Mercer County, SRCF Mercer opened on July 5, 1978, receiving short-term male county offenders from 14 Northwestern Pennsylvania counties. Capacity at that time was 180 minimum security inmates with a staff complement of 100. SRCF Mercer was designed as an open, campus-like setting positioned on 304 acres of land and was classified as a Level 2 (L-2) facility. In 2008, SRCF Mercer changed from a regional facility to a State Correctional Institution. On July 1, 2008, the custody level of the institution changed to a level 2-3 facility. Throughout the years there have been various construction projects undertaken, leading to the current inmate population of 1,489 inmates.
SCI Mercer is unique in that it operates solely on electrical power. The facility is equipped with nine diesel powered emergency generators to maintain essential services in the event of a power failure. In addition, the facility operates its own wastewater treatment plant.
SCI Mercer was initially accredited by the American Correctional Association in May 1984 and has successfully achieved reaccreditation every three years since that time.
Number of Acres Inside Perimeter: 37
Number of Acres Outside Perimeter: 202
Number of Operational Structures: 37
Number of Housing Units: 13
Housing units consist of both cells and dormitory-style housing.
Inmate Population: Click HERE
for the current population report
Inmate Average Age: 39
Total Number of Full-Time Employees: 440
Academic and Vocational Education:
The Education Building at SCI Mercer was originally a bowling alley located in Meadville, Pa. The building was donated, disassembled and reassembled on-grounds using both contractor and inmate labor. Educational classes include:
• Academic Education through GED level
• Vocational Education: Building Trades, Business Education, Auto Mechanics, Custodial Maintenance and a Barber Manager Program
All vocational programs at SCI Mercer offer official trade-based certifications, i.e., NCCER certifications for the Building Trades and Custodial Maintenance; ICDL computer certification for the Business Education Program; and the Automotive Repair Program offers the PA Auto Inspection certificate.
Community Work Program (CWP):
The CWP program involves taking selected inmates with outside clearance who are near completion of their sentence into the community to perform voluntary, unskilled labor for governmental and non-profit public service agencies. The goals of this program are to enhance community relations and for the inmates to accomplish useful work, to make a contribution to society, and to develop a strong work ethic and a feeling of self-worth. In 2012, the CWP program performed a total of 9,376 hours of community work for an estimated savings to the community of $67,976, utilizing the current minimum wage of $7.25/hour. Some of the projects completed by the CWP crew include:
• Painting (interior and/or exterior) at local churches and at the New Castle Armory, New Castle Cathedral, Scottish Rite Cathedral; as well as yard work at the churches and local camp grounds
• Painted the pool and walls at the Buhl Community Recreation Center in Sharon, PA, saving the Center $17,000 in labor costs.
• Cleanup at local fairgrounds, including Lawrence County, Mercer Grange, Jefferson Township, and Stoneboro
• Local Interstate and Highway litter cleanup
• Washing/waxing fire trucks for the Farrell and Hermitage Fire Departments
• Loading/unloading food at local food banks
CARE Canine Program: In May of 2011, SCI Mercer, along with Stray Haven Animal Shelter in Greenville, implemented a dog training program with inmates as the dog handlers/trainers. The program was named CARE (Corrections Adoptive Rescue Endeavor). Having this training program at the prison not only frees up space at the shelter, but also provides the training and socialization needed to make the dogs more adoptable. It also provides the inmates a skill that could be utilized upon release back into the community.