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Department Spotlight: SCI Mahanoy Activities Department

Tags: Mahanoy
October 24, 2018 12:00 AM
By: John Corbacio

PA Coat of Arms

MAH - 2018 Oct - Activities Department Spotlight.jpgWhen most people think about recreations in prison, they think of sports. Actually, it is much more. The DOC just calls it "activities." Recreation at SCI Mahanoy involves many activities ranging from passive activities (watching TV, movies and XM radio stations) to low energy activities (board games, bingo, bowling and card games) to hobbies (music, art contests, poetry writing contests) to sports (basketball, softball, volleyball, soccer, flag football, weightlifting, etc.)

Currently, the SCI Mahanoy Activities Department includes one activities manager and six activities specialists. They include John Corbacio, James Lotz, Denis Coogan, John Wright, Brett Matukewicz, Gregory Surotchak and Justin Turano. The department is in operation seven days a week from 8 AM to 8 PM.

Our staff also educates and trains all the inmate officials utilized in all our intramural programs. We even have a Resident Betterment Organization, which teaches inmates skills to better themselves by providing them with opportunities to help others with social civic activities and donations. Since our RBO was founded in 1993, inmates have donated more than $100,000 back to the community.

We also provide community educational and interaction by having over 300 individuals from the community visit our institution each year to compete against our varsity athletic teams and to provide entertainment for the inmate population (band concerts, seminars and clinics).

The position requires four-year degree in a related field. We are more than just throwing out a ball. An activity teaches inmates much more that the rules of the game; it provides them with psychological benefits. Well organized recreation helps inmates establish personal relationships and to respect others while encouraging them to set personal goals and challenge themselves.

Our carefully planned and supervised activities in the correctional setting have proven to be just as essential to the safety and security of a facility as any other programming or security measure.

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