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Pre-Release



These are programs offered by the Department of Corrections (DOC) to inmates to learn skills and obtain knowledge to assist with their reintegration into the community.

There are four types of pre-release programs that inmates could apply for and participate in prior to the completion of the minimum sentence or before they are approved for parole.  The two main types of pre-release programs that the Department of Corrections operates are the Community Corrections Center and Operation Outward Reach.  The other two are work release and furloughs.  To receive notifications and your right to provide input into these programs, you will need to register with the Office of the Victim Advocate.

Community Corrections Center: The most frequently used pre-release program is placement at a Community Correction Center (CCC). These are better known as halfway houses. Placement in a CCC allows the offender to work within the community. With permission of CCC staff, offenders may travel within the community and also visit family and friends. CCC placement is considered a privilege for the offender and they can be returned to prison if they fail to meet the requirements and rules of the CCC.
 
The DOC operates 14 CCC's and there are also approximately 40 contract facilities. To find out more about community corrections, visit the “FAQ’s about CCC Inmates” section located under “Information and Victim Rights” at the Office of the Victim Advocate's web site at www.ova.state.pa.us. Information is also available at the Department of Corrections web site www.cor.state.pa.us

Operation Outward Reach (OOR) This is a six month program that enables the inmate to leave the prison and work, learning skills such as carpentry or masonry. The inmates leave the prison each day as a group and are supervised by a DOC staff member. They return to the prison at a set time at the end of each day.
 
When is an offender eligible for pre-release? An offender is eligible for pre-release only when he/she meets the following criteria:
  • Must have served at least ½ of their minimum sentence.
  • Must have served at least 9 months in a state prison.
  • Offenders serving life or execution sentences are not eligible for pre-release.
Timeline for Pre-Release Process

24 Months before Minimum Sentence

Offender can apply for participation in Operation Outward Reach and placement in a Community Corrections Center.

18 Months before Minimum Sentence

Offender can apply for participation in a Community Corrections Center.

If OOR is Approved

Offender may immediately begin his/her participation in the program.   

If CCC is Approved

Offender may not be placed in a Community Corrections Center until at least one year before their minimum sentence date.

If OOR and/or CCC is denied

Offender may re-apply after a timeframe specified by the Department of Corrections.