State Correctional Institution – Phoenix

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State Correctional Institution – Phoenix
State Correctional Institution – Phoenix is located in Pennsylvania
State Correctional Institution – Phoenix
Location in Pennsylvania
State Correctional Institution – Phoenix is located in the United States
State Correctional Institution – Phoenix
Location in the United States
LocationSkippack Township, Pennsylvania
Coordinates40°13′50″N 75°25′11″W / 40.2306°N 75.4198°W / 40.2306; -75.4198
Security classSupermax
Opened2018 (2018)
Managed byPennsylvania Department of Corrections
Street address1200 Mokychic Road
ZIP Code19426
Notable prisoners
George Banks, Bill Cosby

State Correctional Institution – Phoenix is a state prison in Skippack Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania,[1] with a Collegeville postal address,[2] within the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, it was named after the phoenix.[3]

Built for $400 million, making it the state prison built for the highest cost in Pennsylvania history,[4][5] It has a capacity of 3,830 prisoners,[6] and as of September 2018, its full time workforce numbered 1,200.[7] Heery International designed the facility.[8]

It replaced SCI Graterford.[9] Most prisoners are male, located in the East and West sub units,[3] while it has a re-entry unit for female prisoners with a capacity of 192.[7] The female unit is not in the main prison perimeter.[3] SCI Phoenix houses some men who are sentenced to death under Pennsylvania law.[10]

The PA Corrections department anticipated that most of the prisoners would be from the Philadelphia area, and currently SCI Phoenix is the state prison closest to Philadelphia.[11]


The SCI Phoenix buildings were built on the SCI Graterford land area, and the Phoenix and Graterford buildings are about .25 miles (0.40 km) apart.[12]

The first bidding for construction of this prison occurred in the decade of the 2000s. The prison, originally to open in November 2014, opened late since Walsh Heery Joint Venture, the construction company, and Hill International, a Philadelphia company representing the State of Pennsylvania, had a dispute over whether the prison was ready to open. As of July 2018, the prison's final cost was still not finalized.[13]

On June 1, 2018, its dedication ceremony was held, and the prison began operations on July 9, 2018.[2] The state began moving Graterford prisoners there on July 11, 2018, and Graterford ended operations on July 15.[14] Graterford's employees now were employees of Phoenix.[5] Some inmates disliked the move as they feared they would be sharing cells with other inmates, while at Graterford they had single cells.[15]

The population of Graterford was reduced, so the transfer of inmates to Phoenix would not involve as many people, and Phoenix opened with 2,633 prisoners. For the time being prisoners with life sentences who had single cells at Graterford would continue to have single cells at Phoenix.[13]


Many prisoners are two to a cell, and most cells have the dimensions 12 feet (3.7 m) by 6 feet (1.8 m).[16]

It has inmates convicted of capital murder, many from the Philadelphia area and most of whom were sentenced to life imprisonment but with some under death sentences, housed in a dedicated section of the prison, called the "Capital Unit"; that section is larger than the previous capital case section that was in Graterford. Susan McNaughton, the PADOC press secretary, stated that the prison hoped to move inmates with death sentences from SCI Greene, where most death row and capital murder inmates in Pennsylvania reside, to SCI Phoenix so the prison system can more easily transport them to court proceedings.[11]

Notable inmates[edit]

Death Row:


  1. ^ Zoning Map. Skippack Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Retrieved on September 26, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "SCI Phoenix." Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 26, 2018. "Facility Address: 1200 Mokychic Drive Collegeville, PA 19426"
  3. ^ a b c Dennis, Marian (2018-06-01). "Officials cut ribbon to Graterford prison replacement — SCI Phoenix". Pottstown Mercury. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  4. ^ Melamed, Samantha. "Pennsylvania's newest, most expensive prison is finally ready - and inmates are dreading it". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  5. ^ a b DeStefano, Joseph (18 April 2016). "Pennsylvania's new prison is as big as the Comcast Center". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  6. ^ a b Pradelli, Chad (2018-09-25). "Bill Cosby heads to prison at SCI Phoenix". WPVI-TV. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  7. ^ a b Croft, Jay (2018-09-25). "This is the prison where Cosby will serve: brand new, state of the art -- and maximum security". CNN. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  8. ^ Dennis, Marian (2017-11-24). "Graterford prison replacement, SCI Phoenix, is 'state-of-the-art' facility". Pottsville Mercury. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  9. ^ "First look at replacement for aging Graterford prison". WPVI-TV. 2018-06-04. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  10. ^ "Persons Sentenced to Execution in Pennsylvania as of August 1, 2018." Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 26, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Lattanzio, Vince (2013-06-20). "Philadelphia Is Not Building a $400M Prison". WCAU (NBC 10). Retrieved 2018-09-30. - See the diagram which indicates the "capital unit"
  12. ^ "State Prisons." Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 27, 2018.
  13. ^ a b DiStefano, Joseph (2018-07-19). "Phoenix prison is finished, but not full, or fully paid for". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  14. ^ "Moving from Graterford to Phoenix." Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 26, 2018.
  15. ^ Moselle, Aaron (2018-05-21). "As Graterford inmates move to new prison, prospect of sharing cells worries some". WHYY. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  16. ^ Allyn, Bobby (2018-09-26). "With Bill Cosby in prison, what's next?". WHYY. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  17. ^ a b

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°13′58″N 75°25′13″W / 40.23278°N 75.42028°W / 40.23278; -75.42028