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July 10, 2002


Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will visit the State Correctional Institution at Chester to celebrate Mass and visit with inmates. This will be Cardinal Bevilacqua's eighth prison visit since 1989.

Thursday, July 18, 2002
State Correctional Institution at Chester
500 East 4th Street
Chester, Delaware County

10:45 a.m. Cardinal arrives
11:00 a.m. Mass in Prison Chapel
12:00 p.m. Cardinal meets with inmates

The State Correctional Institution at Chester is one of only two state correctional institutions in the United States whose sole purpose is treatment of substance abusers in a therapeutic setting (the other institution is in California). SCI-Chester is a medium security prison for male inmates with a documented history of substance abuse. The program provides treatment services over an 18 to 30 month period, both at SCI-Chester and continuing in community based facilities. The treatment program is a collaborative effort between the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and Gaudenzia, Inc. (non-profit organization providing addiction and mental health services).

SCI-Chester Superintendent Ms. Mary V. Leftridge Byrd oversees a staff of 366. There are 1,105 inmates, 179 of whom are Catholic. Inmates are primarily from Philadelphia, Delaware, Bucks, Chester, Montgomery and Berks Counties.

Cardinal Bevilacqua's Prior Prison Visits
Graterford State Prison (July 2001)
Philadelphia Detention Center (July 2000)
Montgomery County Prison (July 1999)
Graterford State Prison (May 1994)
Chester County Prison (April 1992)
Chester County Prison (November 1990)
Graterford State Prison (June 1989)

Editor's Note: Media (photographers and reporters) will be permitted to cover the Mass and the visit with inmates and will have an opportunity to briefly interview Cardinal Bevilacqua and inmates after instruction by SCI-Chester officials IF PRIOR CLEARANCE IS OBTAINED. For clearance, please contact Mrs. Mary Ann Williams, Corrections Superintendent's Assistant, at least 48 hours in advance at 610-490-4342 or at

Donna Farrell
Broadcast and Media Specialist

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