Renewed Dining Hall Protest at SCI Coal Township: Call-in Week to Support the 22 Demands!

Prisoners at State Correctional Institution (SCI) Coal Township are renewing their protest against food cutbacks and other unjust conditions. On August 18, prisoners will stage a peaceful protest against the Dining Hall – please take action, call and write prison officials today!

In June 2014, more than 1,300 prisoners at SCI Coal Township staged a historic week-long boycott of the dining hall in protest of cuts to their food portions. Following the protest, prisoners submitted a list of 22 demands to prison officials that would improve conditions at the prisons. If you have not yet signed the petition in support of these demands, you can do so at

During the week of August 18-22, Executive Secretary Shirley Moore-Smeal and other top officials of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PADOC) will pay a visit to SCI Coal Township. A “special meal” is scheduled for them, and it will also be served to the general prisoner population. Prisoners are clear: no money should be wasted on a fancy meal for Central Office “big wigs”!

According to one participant in the protests, prisoners at SCI Coal Township "are not interested in this one-day pay-off” and “won’t be silenced by some fried chicken and steak! The ‘big wigs’ from Central Office should eat the same meager food portions and bland diet prisoners are subjected to for the other 364 days of the year when a special entourage/delegation from Central Office doesn’t visit the prison.”

Prisoners demand all special meals be eliminated from the Staff Dining Hall and General Population Dining Hall when delegations from Central Office visit DOC institutions!

Take action today – call and write:

DOC Secretary John Wetzel – (717) 728-4109
1920 Technology Parkway, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Coal Township Superintendent Vincent Mooney – 570-644-7890
SCI Coal Township, 1 Kelley Drive, Coal Township, PA 17866


  1. Inform them that you are calling in support of the prisoners at SCI Coal Township who staged a week-long peaceful protest against food cutbacks in June.
  2. Express concern that SCI Coal Township and Central Office officials have refused to address the 22 demands for improved living conditions put forward by prisoners at SCI Coal Township.
  3. State that Executive Deputy Secretary Shirley Moore-Smeal and other Central Office officials should eat from the same menu that prisoners eat from every other day of the year when they visit SCI Coal Township the week of August 18-22. PADOC’s top brass should experience the same inadequate portions that prisoners are forced to subsist on.
  4. Inform them that you and any organization(s) you work with will monitor the situation at SCI Coal Township and will hold the PADOC accountable if prisoners are retaliated against for their peaceful advocacy.
  5. Emphasize that all officials at SCI Coal Township and PADOC Central Office must immediately give serious consideration to and grant the reasonable 22 demands of prisoners at SCI Coal Township. Boycotting the dining hall for an entire week requires remarkable discipline and dedication, and should be unnecessary in order to get prison officials to do their jobs and improve the running of the prison for the benefit of prisoners, their families and loved ones, and staff.