Top 7 Maximum Security Prisons in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has many prisons, among which some are considered the best and others are considered the worst. 

There are various security levels, and today, we will only talk about the top 7 maximum-security prisons in Pennsylvania. 

If you want to know some exciting details about each jail, continue reading the article. So, let’s explore together. 

Here Are the Top 7 Maximum Security Prisons in the State of Pennsylvania

SCI Fayette 

SCI Fayette is at La Belle of, Pennsylvania. Holding 2,000 beds has become a large-capacity jail to keep notorious criminals. It’s one of the maximum-security prisons since many criminals with enormous crimes are kept here. 

SCI Fayette is built on a vast land (on 238-acre area), costing $125 million. Before it turned into a prison, it was once a coal operation organization.

Many of its inmates were exposed to toxic coal waste, so they had to face various skin and respiratory illnesses. This is why it’s also reported as one of the worst prisons in Pennsylvania. 

SCI Forest

SCI Forest was built in the early 21st century to house dangerous criminals. The exact time of making it was in October 2004. Hence, it has the maximum security level. It’s made for only male inmates. According to the name, it’s in the Marienville community, Forest County. 

SCI Forest is much similar to SCI Fayette in design and size. The reason for making this prison was to keep criminals from SCI Waynesburg and SCI Pittsburgh to reduce the overcrowding of these jails.

Its construction and facility cost the government $126 million. The capacity of SCI Forest is 2,309, but there are currently 2,389 inmates. 

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SCI Frackville

Another maximum-security prison in Pennsylvania is Frackville. This jail holds only male inmates. It’s mainly located in Schuylkill, a rural county of the state. 

This prison was about to close in 2017 due to the budget deficit, but it didn’t close as over 400 people used to work there, and closing it would impact their financial situation.

When made, it cost 33 million US dollars. Since its maximum security level, notorious criminals, including George Feigley, Stephen Hayes, and Anthony Peterson Jr, were housed here. 

SCI Greene 

Generally, SCI Greene’s level of security is maximum, but it’s primarily categorized as Supermax. Its location is near Waynesburg in Franklin Township of Pennsylvania’s Greene County. It houses the inmates that have ongoing capital cases. 

This prison was first created in the late 1990s. The guards of this jail are extremely rude, and according to some inmates from 1996, they faced more force than usual from the guards. They even captured their rough activities on camera and showed them as evidence. 

Even one of the guards, Charles Graner, went through two lawsuits. Some well-known jailbirds of SCI Greene are Ben Birdwell, Jerry Sandusky, Cosmo DiNardo, and Robert Loren Masters, Jr. 

SCI Phoenix

SCI Phoenix was the replacement for SCI Graterford. So all its buildings were rebuilt on this Graterford land. Its construction began in the 2000s and was opened to hold prisoners in 2014. The total cost of constructing it was $400 million. Hence it became the most expensive jail in Pennsylvania. 

It has a significant number of criminals (3,830 in total). SCI Phoenix has both male and female inmates. It has 3,422 beds, and most of the cells have two prisoners. Its notable inmates are killers like George Banks, Cool C, Eric Frein, Joseph Ligon, Ronald Taylor, and more. 

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SCI Pine Grove

Standing in Indiana county of Pennsylvania, SCI Pine Grove is a maximum-security level prison. It includes 19 buildings, among which eight are for housing the jailbirds. It was built in 1998. However, it got its first inmates after three years in 2001. 

It cost 71 US dollars. It has facilities like education, mental, and health care services. This prison mainly holds young criminals, and 40% of the inmates are teens.

The oldest inmate is 38 years old. SCI Pine Grove has dangerous criminals like Jeremy R. Smith, who killed four guards in the kitchen. 

SCI Muncy 

This prison is primarily a close-security jail that holds female inmates. However, according to sources, it also offers maximum security for dangerous female inmates. It even keeps criminals that were sentenced to death. Currently, it has 1,400 inmates. 

The well-recognized criminals in this prison are Mary Jane Fonder, a murderer: Sharon Wiggins, a robber, and murderer; and Sylvia Seegrist, a mass killer. A murderer, Peggy Darlene Miller, and Amber Meidinger killed Jennifer Daughterty. 

Final Words

These top 7 maximum-security level prisons of Pennsylvania are special. It’s because only daring criminals are housed here. Now you know each jail’s name and other necessary details so that you can share this knowledge with others. 

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