Route 26, 1 Rockview Place (physical address)
Box A (mailing address)
Bellefonte, PA 16823
Superintendent: Mark Garman
Deputy Superintendent for Centralized Services: Bradley Booher
Deputy Superintendent for Facilities Management: Gerald McMahon
Business Manager: Adam Beck
Superintendent's Assistant: Nicki Paul
Prior to World War I, Warden John Francies' exposure of the overcrowded conditions and the unhealthy environment at Western Penitentiary led to legislation for the development of a rural penitentiary. A special committee surveyed 33 sites before choosing 4,300 acres in Centre County, which were purchased at $50 an acre. Additional acreage was obtained from adjacent state forestland.
Located six miles south of Bellefonte and six miles northeast of State College; this new prison had been originally conceived in 1878, when Huntingdon had been decided upon but the enabling legislation was not passed until 1911. The State Correctional Institution at Rockview was originally intended to be a maximum-security prison to replace Western Penitentiary. The expense was not to exceed $1,250,000, and $300,000 was provided for planning purposes. The original law signed by Governor John K. Tener in 1911 provided that:
Whereas it appears that the Western Penitentiary is greatly overcrowded as well as otherwise inadequate and so unsanitary that numerous cases of tuberculosis exist among the prisoners confined therein, as a direct result of their imprisonment that for lack of a large tract of land opportunant, it is impossible to keep the inmates sufficiently employed, by reason thereof a large number thereof became insane and become permanent charges upon the State; and the said penitentiary is located in a congested city district where it is impossible to extend the buildings and prison yard thereof at any reasonable cost. It is desirable (that the new prison) be of modern design and so constructed in a rural district, so that the prisoners may be provided with useful employment in tilling the soil or otherwise.
The General Assembly changed its mind and the legislation was passed in 1915 to provide the new institution be a maximum-security prison designed to take the place of both Eastern and Western Penitentiaries.
This did not come to pass, however, although the first cellblock at Rockview was built for maximum-security purposes. Under Governor Gifford Pinchot, in the 1920's, the plans were changed to provide that Rockview would become a medium-security institution operated as a branch, or farm, prison by the Western Penitentiary. Its capacity was 1,012 with 500 maximum and 512 medium minimum-security cells.
Rockview is also the site of the administration of the death penalty, again reintroduced to Pennsylvania in 1978. The deputy warden building was completed in December 1914, and the first execution took place on February 23, 1915. The Commonwealth has executed 350 persons by means of electrocution.
On November 29, 1990, Governor Robert P. Casey signed into law Senate Bill 637 that replaced the electric chair with lethal injection as the state's method of executing convicted killers. The electric chair was removed and sent to the Pennsylvania Museum. The old institution hospital building has been renovated into an execution complex complete with the equipment necessary for lethal injection, rooms to accommodate various department and institution staff, news media witnesses, victims witness and other authorized individuals.
Number of Acres Inside Perimeter: 35.042
Number of Acres Outside Perimeter: 4,268.88
Number of Operational Structures (inside and outside of perimeter): 103
Number of Housing Units: 14
Housing units consist of both cells and dormitory-style housing.
Special Features: Secure Residential Treatment Unit
Inmate Population: Click HERE
for the current population report
Inmate Average Age: 44.61
Total Number of Full-Time Employees: 715
• Academic Education
through GED level
• Vocational Education: HVAC, Barber School, Business Education,
Electricity/Residential Wiring, Masonry, Pre-Vocational Skills Class, Money
Smart, Act 143 Victim Awareness
All vocational classes
offer industry-recognized certifications specific to the trade skills taught in
• Inside Out Dad’s Parenting Program
• Sex Offender Moderate-High Intensity
• Sex Offender Low Intensity
• Sex Offender Booster Program
• Sex Offender SNU Groups
• Peer Tutor Groups
Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD)
• Therapeutic Community
• Outpatient Therapy Group
• Dual Diagnosis
• AA/NA/SOS Support Meetings
• Thinking for a Change
• Violence Prevention
• Batterer’s Intervention
Impact of Crimes
Mental Health Programs
• MH Education
• MH Peer Group
• MH Community Re-Entry Group
• Dual Diagnosis Group
• MH SOP
Correctional Industries: The Pennsylvania Correctional Industries Wood
Furniture Factory began operation at SCI Rockview in February 2008. It
services many Pennsylvania state agencies, non-profit agencies and Pennsylvania
Community Work Program: The Community Work
Program provides crews to assist with DCNR, Non-Profit Organizations, Other
Correctional Facilities, Federal and Local Government.