The Petey Greene Program has been active in Philadelphia since the Spring of 2015. We recruit, train and coordinate volunteers to serve as academic tutors at five different correctional facilities in the area, including one juvenile detention center. Our tutors are primarily undergraduate students from Haverford College, Swarthmore College, Temple University, and the University of Pennsylvania, but we also welcome volunteers from the broader Philadelphia community. This page is intended for potential tutors who are interested in learning more about our volunteer opportunities and, if appropriate, applying to participate in them.


Our volunteers serve as academic tutors, working one-on-one or in small groups with incarcerated students in order to support their academic achievement. We work with students on literacy and English as a Second Language, while also supporting students who are seeking their high school equivalency (formerly known as the GED) or high school diploma. The Philadelphia program also pairs a very limited number of volunteer Teaching Assistants with Inside-Out courses.

Volunteer commitment

The volunteer opportunity is a weekly commitment, with tutoring sessions typically lasting 3-4 hours including transportation time. Consistency is crucial for our students' academic success and is something that sets us apart from other volunteering programs. As such, volunteers are required to tutor weekly throughout the academic semester (preferably for two consecutive semesters). We do not expect volunteers to attend tutoring during academic breaks or exam periods.

Before beginning tutoring, all volunteers are required to complete a 5 hour training run by Petey Greene program staff. The new volunteer must also complete the necessary facility clearance paperwork and attend a facility orientation. We will also host events and follow-up trainings that we will ask you to tend.


There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available within our program in Philadelphia. They involve different correctional systems with distinct populations, and have different eligibility and travel requirements. Each facility requires volunteers to complete clearance paperwork and participate in an on-site orientation. The orientations vary in length and frequency. 

correctional facilities

The following interactive map and chart provide further information on the location of the facilities, as well as further details on the facilities themselves and the tutoring programs that exist at each.

Facility Available Tutoring Times Volunteer Requirements Age of Students Gender of Students
FDC ESL: Monday-Thursday,
8-9:30 AM
Literacy: Monday-Thursday, 1:30-3 PM
Social security number, 21+ 18+ Female
Hoffman Hall Wednesdays, 1-3 PM
Fridays, 9-11 AM
Valid ID, 18+ 18+ Male
PDP Monday-Friday
9-11:30 AM or 1-3:30 PM *Shift times are flexible
Social security number, 18+ 18+ Both
SCI Chester Tuesdays
9-11 AM
Social security number, 18+ 18+ Male
Glen Mills Tuesdays and Thursdays
6-8 PM
18+ 15-19 Male


Federal Detention Center, Philadelphia (FDC)

700 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA

Monday-Thursday, 8-9:30 AM

The FDC is a federal facility run by the Federal Bureaus of Prisons and located in downtown Philadelphia. There are both male and female adults incarcerated at the FDC but Petey Greene tutors work primarily with the female population who are serving their sentence at the FDC (most of the men are pre-trial). We support the female students in Literacy, English as a Second Language (ESL), and English or Spanish GED material. Tutors with students one-on-one or in small groups during the regular class time. The FDC is easily accessible by public transportation (SEPTA). Volunteers must be at least 21 and have a Social Security Number.



3950B D St, Philadelphia, PA

Wednesdays, 1-3 PM
Fridays, 9-11 AM

Hoffman Hall is a minimum custody facility owned and operated by the GEO Group, Inc., incarcerating approximately 400 men from Philadelphia and Bucks County with short-term or temporary-term sentences. Petey Greene volunteers work with students in the GED Program during two of the eight classes held each week, tutoring one-on-one or in small groups during the regular class time. The class spends five weeks per GED subject area (Reading. Writing, Science, Social Studies, and Mathematics). Hoffman Hall is accessible by public transportation (SEPTA) or personal vehicle. Volunteers must have a valid ID.


Philadelphia Department of Prisons (PDP)

7901 State Rd, Philadelphia, PA

Monday through Friday, 9-11:30 AM or 1-3:30 PM. Shift times can be shortened slightly. There are also a limited number of evening classes whose times vary by facility.

PDP operates as the Philadelphia County jail and consists of five facilities located on a campus in Northeast Philadelphia. We serve men and women at all six facilities - Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (CFCF), Detention Center (DC), Riverside Correctional Facility (RCF), Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center (PICC),  and Alternative and Special Detention (ASD). Our tutors support students through in-class tutoring in all subjects, ranging in difficulty from below a 5th grade level to GED preparation. We work with students one-on-one or in small groups during the regular class time.  PDP is easily accessible by public transportation (SEPTA) or personal vehicle. Volunteers must have a Social Security Number and attend two all-day Saturday orientation sessions.


State Correctional Institution at Chester (SCI Chester)

500 E 4th St, Chester, PA

Tuesdays, 9-11 AM

SCI Chester is a medium-security prison run by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PADOC), incarcerating 1,200± men with short-term sentences. Our tutors serve in a study hall setting, supporting students in basic literacy. Tutors travel to SCI Chester by personal vehicle or Zip Car (both reimbursed). Volunteers must have a Social Security Number.


The Glen Mills Schools (Glen Mills)

185 Glen Mills Road, Glen Mills, PA

Mondays or Tuesdays, 6-8 PM

Glen Mills is a privately run juvenile placement program for males between the ages of 15 and 19. Our tutors serve in a study hall setting, supporting students in Algebra, Geometry, and English as they work to complete high school requirements on online software. Glen Mills is a 45 minute drive from Center City and is not accessible by public transportation, but tutors can drive their personal vehicle or use a Zip Car (both reimbursed).


All Petey Greene volunteers must be 18 years or older. They must be able to supply and bring with them each week a government issued ID (passport, state ID or driver’s licence).


Thank you for reading this far and for your interest in tutoring with the Petey Greene Program. Our application consists of an online form which is at the bottom of this page.

Because of the sensitive nature of the work we do, we want to be sure we provide all of our applicants in advance as much information as possible, so that they can make an informed decision to participate. Please go through the following items below before applying:

  1. The process of becoming a tutor is selective.  We are looking for individuals who have a passion for education and a commitment to social justice and who will be able to deal with the challenges of working within a correctional facility and who will be able to develop their skills and adapt to unexpected circumstances throughout their time with us.
  2. All tutoring is done on a volunteer basis and no tutors are paid by the Petey Greene Program for their work. If you are looking for a community service opportunity for student aid, the Petey Greene program welcomes your application.
  3. All tutors will be required to pass a background check to enter the correctional facilities to tutor students. The Petey Greene Program does not control the background verification process and cannot guarantee that you’ll be approved, or how quickly you'll be approved (clearance time ranges from 1 to 3 months). 
  4. The Petey Greene Program expects that you will honor your commitment to tutoring and attend your tutoring session once a week through the academic semester, excluding exam periods and academic breaks. Attendance will be taken. If you feel that your schedule might prevent you from honoring your commitment, you may want to consider applying at another time.
  5. Please note, priority placement will be given to volunteers who are able to commit to tutoring for both the fall and spring.
  6. We will reimburse transportation to and from the correctional facilities by public transit, personal vehicle, or ZipCar.

The Petey Greene Program does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, status as a U.S. veteran or criminal record.

If you have any further questions, please contact us at