All About Chester State Correctional Institution and Contacting Inmates

Connect With an Inmate All About Chester State Correctional Institution and Contacting Inmates

How to Contact an Inmate at Chester State Correctional Institution

Chester State Correctional Institution (also called State Correctional Institution — Chester and CSI Chester) is an all-male, medium-security correctional facility located in Chester, Pennsylvania. Chester is considered to be a part of the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area, with a drive from Philadelphia to CSI Chester taking approximately 16 minutes.

SCI Chester opened in 1998 as a medium-security facility geared towards offenders with documented histories of substance abuse. With a capacity of around 1,175 inmates, it features a more unique architectural design compared to other state correctional institutions in Pennsylvania. Its structural layout was designed to deal with the programmatic needs of inmates with drug addiction and substance abuse issues.

If you have a friend or family member who is incarcerated at State Correctional Institution — Chester, DoNotPay can help make connecting with them quick and simple. There is no need for you to spend a lot of time surfing the internet on how to contact them. Our Connect With an Inmate product automates the process, discovering the individual's inmate identification number, contact details while allowing you prompt communication.

Prisons and Jails Restricting the Rights of Prisoners to Communicate

DoNotPay is technically a legal service. With that said, most of the work we do centers around protecting the rights of our users. If you have a friend or loved one who is presently incarcerated at SCI Chester, you should be aware that the rights of inmates are constantly violated by federal, state, and municipal facilities. And while recent public records show little to no such rights violations being made by staff at SCI Chester, it doesn't mean it's nonexistent.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) published a report stating that it "...regularly receives reports of prisons and jails restricting the rights of prisoners to communicate with their family members and the public."

"Prohibiting prisoners from communicating with the outside world can violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment entitles prisoners to receive and send mail, subject only to the institution's need to protect security. Many restrictive policies serve neither this nor any other legitimate purpose," the report continues.

Whether they are established policies or less overt in nature, restricting inmates' First Amendment rights harms not only them but their families, friends, and even the public at large. If you've attempted to write to an inmate — family, friend, or otherwise — housed at SCI Chester and haven't received a response, DoNotPay will fight for your First Amendment rights.

How Do I Contact the Chester State Correctional Center?

The contact information for the Chester State Correctional Center is as follows:

Physical AddressChester State Correctional Institution

500 E. Fourth Street

Chester, PA 19013

Phone Number(610)-490-5412
WebsiteChester State Correctional Institution
General Emailra-contactdoc@pa.gov

Ways To Contact an Inmate at SCI Chester

Thanks to advancements in technology, there are plenty of new ways to communicate with an inmate at SCI Chester.

Mail Communications

Inmates need cash in their digital bank accounts to buy postage stamps if they want to send an unrestricted number of letters. Other than that, indigent inmates receive between four and six free stamps a month for sending letters. However, all inmates are allowed to receive an unlimited number of letters from you or anyone else. To send someone you know housed at SCI Chester, follow these steps:

Unlike most correctional facilities, SCI Chester has chosen to use a third-party mail vendor called Smart Communications. For some reason, you will have to send any correspondence to Florida where it will be forwarded to SCI Chester.

Write the following on the envelope:

Smart Communications/PA DOC

Inmate Name/Inmate Number

SCI Chester

PO Box 33028

St Petersburg, Florida 33733

Sending Packages

You can send your loved one books, magazines, and photographs. The restrictions indicated below must be followed religiously:

  • Photographs are limited to 25 photos per mailing.
  • The entire mailing will be rejected by the facility mailroom if more than 25 photos are enclosed.
  • All photos mailed to an inmate must have a full return address with the first and last name of the sender on the envelope.
  • SCI Chester requires all magazines to be mailed directly to the DOC's Security Processing Center (SPC) at the following address

Name/Inmate Number

268 Bricker Road

Bellefonte, PA 16823-1667.

You may also send checks or money orders to be added to the inmate's digital bank account. The staff members who check all incoming mail will remove it and make sure it gets to the accounting department.

Phone Communications

You are not allowed to call an inmate. The only exception is if a close family member such as a parent, sibling, or grandparent has passed away. He or she can call out using phones that charge the callee.

  1. Generally, the callee is charged a fee for connecting and for each subsequent minute.
  2. Depending on the institution, the calls can last between 15 to 30 minutes before they're automatically disconnected.

In-Person Communications

Visit your loved one in person when you are able. You may be granted a 2-hour visitation as long as you are approved on the list and have scheduled the time. Most California facilities offer visits on holidays and weekends between 7 am and 4 pm.

When in-person visiting is not allowed, such as when too many inmates have been sick, you may be allowed a video conference instead. It still needs to be scheduled properly to take place.

Schedule your visit using the Visitation Scheduling Application.

Before you arrive, make sure of the following:

  • Your attire will pass a metal detector without the need for removal. (No underwire bras or metal buttons)
  • You are not dressed in the same colors as the staff. (No tan shirts or forest green pants, and no camouflage)
  • You are not dressed in the same way as the inmates. (No blue denim pants, no blue chambray shirts, no orange jumpsuits or bottoms)
  • Your skirt or dress falls below the knee.
  • Your clothing does not depict violence or paraphernalia.
  • Your clothing is not tight, see-through, or provocative.
  • You are not wearing a wig, headpiece, or extensions.

What Other Ways Can I Send Money To an SCI Chester Inmate?

If you do not wish to send a money order or check through the mail, you can sign up for an account with JPay. This service allows you to add money to an inmate's account via debit or credit card. If you have questions regarding sending money, contact JPay at 800-574-5729. You can find SCI Lobby Kiosks at the facility as well, allowing you to deposit money in the inmate's account directly.

Connect With an Inmate at SCI Chester Using DoNotPay

If you need assistance finding the inmate's ID number for Chester State Correctional Institution (or elsewhere) or want to send communications back and forth easily, DoNotPay will help. It just requires a few steps:

  1. Locate the Connect With an Inmate service on DoNotPay.

     

  2. Choose whether you want to locate a loved one, create a virtual mailbox, or send a personalized letter.

     

  3. If you want us to find your loved one, provide his or her personal details and the state they are located in. We'll then conduct a search on the appropriate state database.

     

  4. If you want to create a virtual mailbox, just provide your full name! We'll set one up for you so you can easily receive incoming mail from your loved one.

     

  5. If sending a personalized letter, tell us which facility your loved one is located in and what you would like to say to them. You can even include a photo! Your letter will be delivered automatically - just wait 10 days for it to arrive for your loved one!

     

Utilize DoNotPay if You Need to Communicate With an Inmate

Do you want to contact an inmate but don't know where or how to start? Our Connect with an Inmate product can help you in the following other ways:

DoNotPay Helps in Numerous Ways

No matter what your problem or concern, DoNotPay is here to help resolve issues. Aside from helping you get in touch with an incarcerated inmate, you can also use the app to:

And so much more! If you have questions or concerns that require immediate attention, feel free to contact us today!

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