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​Concerts in PA Prisons

Want to perform a musical concert in the PA DOC?  Bands and ensembles of all sizes schedule performances at State Correctional Institutions (SCIs) to which they have been invited throughout the year.  When done well, and in the words of one inmate, "the music temporarily lifts me out of these prison walls."

General Information

  • Depending on the style of music, performances are attended by anywhere from 50 – 200 inmates
  • Performances typically take place on weekends (1 p.m. or 6 p.m.) or a weekday evening.  As time is needed to check vehicles and equipment, band members usually need to arrive to a facility by 11 a.m. for a 1 p.m. performance and by 4 p.m. for a 6 p.m. performance.  Some SCIs may provide you with AMP/speaker equipment. Most SCIs do not.
  • All band members MUST
    • pass a security clearance;
    • be provided with a copy of the rules they are expected to follow while on institutional grounds;
    • have certain documentation on file with the DOC (see below).
  • The group leader must provide the  Statewide Activities Coordinator  with:
    • A detailed equipment list (NOTE: DOC reserves the right to reject certain pieces of equipment which pose a significant security concern)
    • a copy of the W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification)
  • Due to new security procedures, a band may be asked to scan and email all music sheets, set list and any other paper references to the institution's Activity Manager prior to the performance.
  • Band members are considered Public Visitors on all forms.  They are under the supervision of correctional staff at all times.
  • Requested documentation for the group or an individuals in the group (including any substitutes) received less than 30 days prior to a scheduled performance will result in the group/individual NOT being able to participate in the performance.  No exceptions.
  • Written documentation, sent to a the Statewide Activities Coordinator will be emailed to all Activity Managers in each facility to lessen the burden on band members to complete new documentation for each facility they visit.
  • Bands are paid from limited Inmate General Welfare Fund accounts, which are monies raised by inmates and their families through commissary purchases, phone cards, etc.  Each institution has a limited number of funds to invest in concerts and institutions are not able to pay the same amount for the concert.
  • Funding is not provided if a performance has to be cancelled due to an unannounced lockdown or unanticipated emergency. However, often the performance can be rescheduled.
  • Each institution will prepare contract paperwork which outlines the expectations of the performance which both sides agree to.
  • Bands are asked to provide the following information to the Statewide Activities Coordinator the DOC's Central Office so that a Summary Sheet can be prepared and sent to all Activity Managers at each SCI:
    • Name of Group:
    • Contact Information:
    • Genre of Music:
    • Any Special Program/Emphasis of the group (e.g., holiday music, etc.)
    • Typical Set Length:
    • Price Range:
    • Federal Taxpayer Identification #:
    • Name to which check should be made payable to:
    • PA SCIs that the band has previously performed in:

Documentation that should be given to and read by all band members:

  1. Security Orientation for Non-Department Employees (01.01.06 Section 03, Attachment 3-E);
  2. Contractors-Volunteers PREA Training (Policy 008, Section 11, Attachment 11-C)

Documentation that must be completed by each band member and return to the Statewide Activities Coordinator in one complete packet/email:

  1. Centralized Clearance Check Information Request
  2. Emergency Information & Security Consent Form (01.01.06 Section 03 Attachment 3-D)
  3. PREA Training and Understanding Verification Form (Policy 008, Section 11, Attachment 11-A )

Questions? Contact:

Rev. Ulli Klemm
Statewide Activities Coordinator
717.728.0381 | uklemm@pa.gov