The State Correctional Institution at Retreat officially opened in January 1988. The site of SCI Retreat has a long record of service to the citizens of Pennsylvania. In 1878, an Almshouse (Poorhouse) was established on the grounds by the Central Poor District of Luzerne County "for the care of unfortunate indigents." In 1900, a Hospital for the Insane was added where "those who have mental troubles are treated."
Through the first 30 years of this century, it was known as the Retreat Hospital for the Insane and Almshouse. The gradual trend away from caring for the indigents was formally marked by re-naming the facility Retreat Mental Hospital in 1930. It continued operating as a county facility until 1943, when it was transferred to state control.
Retreat State Mental Hospital operated until 1981, when it was formally closed. On June 29 of that year, an Executive Order, signed by Governor Richard Thornburgh, transferred the facility to the Bureau of Correction, effective July 1, 1981. The Bureau was to have temporary responsibility for maintenance and security until the counties could take it over. The plan never materialized however, so the Bureau retained the property and turned Retreat into a State Correctional Institution.
SCI Retreat was accredited by the American Correctional Association in 1988 and has successfully achieved reaccreditation every three years since that time.
Number of Acres Inside Perimeter: 19
Number of Acres Outside Perimeter: 245
Number of Operational Structures (inside and outside of perimeter): 22
Number of Housing Units: 8
Housing units consist of both cells and dormitory-style housing.
Special Features: One Secure Special Needs Unit, the only male Dual Diagnosis Therapeutic Community program in the Department.
Inmate Population: Click HERE
for the current population report
Inmate Average Age: 35
Total Number of Full-Time Employees: 384
Academic and Vocational Education:
• Academic education is offered from literacy through high school credentials. Inmates can obtain a Commonwealth Secondary Diploma, if they qualify for the program, or a GED.
• Vocational Education: Barber School, Business Occupations program
• Apprenticeship Programs: Carpenter Shop, Electric Shop, Plumbing Shop, Machine Shop, Paint Shop, Refrigeration, Cook, Baker
Inmates completing the program of apprenticeship receive a Journeyman Certificate from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
• Inside Out Dads
• Reading to your Children
• Inmate Accountability Bank
• Certified Peer Specialist Group
• Veteran’s Program
• Religious Programming
• Community Orientation Reintegration (Phase 1)
• Sex Offender Moderate-High Intensity
• Sex Offender Low Intensity
• Special Needs Sex Offender Program
• Sex Offender Booster
• Pre-Vocational Skills Class
• Offender Work Program
• Money Smart Program
Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD)
• Dual Diagnosis Therapeutic Community
• Recovery Unit
• Outpatient Therapy Group
• Dual Diagnosis
• AA/NA/SOS Support Meetings
• Thinking for a Change
• Act 143 Victim Awareness
• Violence Prevention
• Batterer’s Intervention
Mental Health Programs
• MH Education
• MH Management
• MH Peer Group
• MH Community Re-Entry Group
• Dual Diagnosis Group
• MH Support Group for Recent Psychiatric Commitment Returns
Community Development Organization
• Day of Responsibility
Correctional Industries: Correctional Industries operates a laundry at SCI Retreat. In addition to doing laundry for the institution, it also has contracts with a number of outside state agencies, particularly state hospitals, as well as other correctional institutions. Inmates are afforded the opportunity to be involved in Certified Laundry Correspondence Courses through the National Association of Institutional Linen Management. Correctional Industries laundry employs 50 inmates.
Community Work Program: The Community Work Program had a total of 11,993 hours of community work in 2012 fiscal year for an estimated savings to the community of $299,825.
Work conducted includes:
* Litter pick-up on area highways and local routes
* Street cleaning and brush clearing in flood control areas for the communities of Shickshinny, Plymouth, and Newport Township
* Clearing of reed beds for Shickshinny Sewer Authority
* Grass cutting and cleaning of State Route 11 Rest Area