Welcome to the Have A Heart Group of Lancaster PA


Our Purpose
Our purpose is to improve Lancaster County Prison and our county judicial system so that they meet optimal rather than minimal levels of correctional management.

 News on the "Ban the Box" Movement
Lancaster Newspapers recently offered editorial comment about the negative impact of "the Box" (on job applications that asks about criminal comvictions) and progress at state and local levels toward "banning the box." Click http://lancasteronline.com/photovideo/in-our-words---banning-the-box-penn-state/html_6c92a3e6-373d-11e7-b20f-ebc5dd9ff927.html  to see and hear grat commentary.

White Paper 2016
The Board of Directors presented their second White Paper to the Lancaster County Prison Board on Thursday, August 18, 2016. Titled, "Enhancing the Culture and Operation of Lancaster County Prison and Criminal Justice System," the White Paper made multiple recommendations arranged under 10 goals:
    1. Create a 10 year Plan for Replacing Lancaster Co. Prison
    2. Further Reduce the Average LCP Population
    3. Improve the Prison Culture
    4. Improve the Governance of the LCP Board
    5. Improve Services for Mentally Ill Persons in the Criminal Justice System
    6. Improve Support for COs from LCP Leaders, the Prison Board, and our Community
    7. Expand Services for Women at LCP
    8. Improve the Understanding of and Advocacy for LCP by County Citizens
    9. Evaluate LCP Annually Based on Best Practices
    10. Improve Services for Returning Citizens.

    Get the full text of the White Paper by clicking on White Papers and Other Resources above left. 
    In addition, Have a Heart prepared a "2016 Assessment of Progress Made on 2011 White Paper Recommendations."  That Assessment is found in the same section above.

More kudos and complaints about the Prison:
1. The County Prison Board ended the practice of charging sentenced inmates a daily fee of $10. With an ALOS (Average Length of Stay) of 110 or so, each sentenced inmate has been leaving LCP with a county-induced debt, on average, of $1100. The collection rate has been very low and thus this fee has been an ineffective source of income. While the Prison Board made the decision for administrive-effectiveness reasons, Have a Heart commends them for reasons that contribute to the well-being of returning citizens! Kudos to Tammy Moyer for presenting this issue and recommendation to the Prison Board at their December 6 meeting. 

2. We commend Commissioner Parsons and Warden Steberger for initiating public meetings to review LCP metrics, using PrisonStat. The next public meeting is to be scheduled soon for Room 701, 150 N. Queen Street. The Prison Board and Prison are entering a new era of transparency for the community.
Have A Heart for Persons in the Criminal Justice System meetings
The Have A Heart Group meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm, at First United Methodist Church, Duke and Walnut Streets, Lancaster PA. Enter from the Parking Lot entry.

Lancaster County Prison Board meetings
The Lancaster County Prison Board meets the third Thursday of each month, at 9 a.m. in Room 701 on the seventh floor of the County building at 150 North Queen Street in Lancaster. There is no meeting in July.
The March, June, September and December meetings are held at the Lancaster County Prison, 625 East King Street, Lancaster. 

Important Links

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Lancaster Co. Prison Board:

PA Prison Society: