Helping Individuals with Substance Abuse Disorder through Pharmacotherapy

Our innovative, award-winning Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program is a crucial tool for incarcerated individuals dealing with substance abuse disorder. Our guest this month is Statewide MAT Coordinator Steve Seitchik, and in this wide-ranging interview Steve explains what MAT is, its history in the DOC, what the next steps may be, and how the DOC sets up MAT to continue treatment upon reentry. Steve also shares about some of the successes he’s seen from the program so far.

Educating Inmates on Financial Literacy

Becky MacDicken is an outreach specialist for the PA Department of Banking and Securities who spends many of her days inside our state prisons as she educates incarcerated individuals on the importance of finances. She teaches inmates about a variety of financial topics, including credit, banking, scams, budgeting, investing and so much more, and she works to prepare them to make wise financial decisions so they can succeed. In this month’s episode of the PA Prisons and Parole Podcast, Becky discusses her experiences working with inmates and reentrants, why she loves her job and what changes reentrants should be aware of in the financial world. She also discusses scams that reentrants — and non-reentrants — should be on the lookout for.

Making the Most of a Second Chance

April is Second Chance Month, and what better way to celebrate than by hosting an individual who has experienced the reentry process first-hand.

After being incarcerated at SCI Frackville for 24 years, Kurt Danysh is the founder and executive director of Tomorrow’s Neighbors, a non-profit organization that supports reentrants. In this episode of the PA Prisons and Parole Podcast, Kurt candidly talks about a variety of topics, including his incarceration, his reentry, and his advice — for reentrants and for their family and friends.

Spotlight on SCI Albion’s NRTU

With Autism Awareness Month approaching in April, the PA Prisons and Parole Podcast welcomed SCI Albion Unit Manager Steven Soliwoda to discuss the Neurodevelopmental Residential Treatment Unit (NRTU), a unit designed for individuals on the autism spectrum. Soliwoda explains how his unit differs from a normal housing unit, why he’s grateful for his excellent team and why a unit like this is needed in helping individuals with autism.

For more on the unit, check out this video on the DOC Facebook page:

Opportunities through the Optical Lab

SCI Cambridge Springs features the Pennsylvania Correctional Industries Optical Lab, a one-of-a-kind program that produces all the eyeglasses in the DOC and for some community partners.

In this month’s episode of the podcast, Optical Lab Supervisor Tony Rentz visits to share about his shop, including the certifications and skills his workers earn and the success many of his former workers find in reentry.

For more on the lab, check out this video from 2022: