SCI Forest

SCI Forest is a maximum-security prison for male inmates that is located in Marienville, Pennsylvania. It houses approximately 2,300 inmates.

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ search for a new correctional facility location caught the attention of Forest County Commissioners in 1998. At that time the area was in need of economic improvement due to the shut-down of a major employer; the Commissioners decided a state-run correctional facility would be a boost to the area and they began their quest to bring a DOC facility to Marienville. 

Seven years and numerous community meetings later, SCI Forest became a reality overcoming obstacles, including delays and a change in the facility design. SCI Forest is a 64-acre compound with 26 buildings including 11 housing units, three inmate dining halls, hospital, education and religious complex, warehouse, utility plant, and administration building. 

In addition, there are two large recreational yards and individual recreation areas for each housing unit. The first inmates arrived on October 28, 2004. SCI Forest was accredited by the American Correctional Association in 2006 and has successfully achieved reaccreditation every three years since that time.

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SCI Forest

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Visiting Days/Times at SCI Forest:

Monday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday: CLOSED

MAX Number of Visitors per Inmate: 5 adults | 5 children
Vending Machine: Vending Card

Cash is not allowed in the visiting room. You must purchase a vending card in the lobby in order to use the vending machines. There is an initial fee, usually $2, for each vending card. The remaining balance on the card may be used for vending machine purchases. 

Visiting Rules

  • Vehicles must be locked while on prison property. Windows must be rolled up/closed.
  • NEVER bring any gifts or money for the inmate. This must be done through JPay. Prisons will NOT accept money to be placed on an inmate’s account.
  • No cell phones.
  • Any kind of device that has the capability of audio and/or video/photography recording and/or cell phone capabilities is NOT permitted. 
  • No purses, bags, diaper bags, etc.
  • Unused visits per week may not be carried over into the following week. It’s a “use them or lose them” rule.
  • At most facilities, lockers are available for use. Some lockers may require a deposit ranging from 25 cents to $10. Items not permitted in the visiting room should either be left in your vehicle or placed in the locker. All vehicles and lockers are subject to search.

Visitors with infants

If you have a baby as a part of your visiting group, you may take these items into the visiting room:

  • Up to three UNOPENED, commercially prepared and vacuum-sealed containers of baby food per infant. All containers will be opened by the inspecting officers.
  • Up to three clear plastic bottles of pre-mixed formula/white milk per infant.
  • Up to three diapers per infant. Diapers must be loose so they can be inspected.
  • Up to three pull-ups or training pants per infant.
  • A reasonable number of wipes.

Video Visitation

Video visitation is a free service being offered to inmates and authorized visitors, and all inmates are eligible to participate. To sign up and schedule a visit, check out the visitation scheduler system. For complete details, read the Video Visitation Visitors Guide


Physical Address

SCI Forest
286 Woodland Drive
Marienville, PA 16239

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number

(814) 621-2110

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Smart Communications/PADOC
SCI Forest
Inmate Name, Inmate Number
PO Box 33028
St Petersburg, FL 33733

How to Call an Inmate

Inmates at SCI Forest can’t receive incoming phone calls, but they do have access to phones during certain hours. For complete details on how to call an inmate in Pennsylvania, please click here.

How to Send Money

The Department of Corrections (DOC) uses JPay to send money to inmates in all Pennsylvania correctional institutions. Family and friends must deposit money into an inmate's account through JPay, either online or through lobby kiosks at each individual state prison. 

Money Orders

A Deposit Slip MUST be filled out and submitted with EVERY money order. Slips are available at the money order section of the JPay website, visiting rooms, and the DOC's website.


DEPOSIT SLIP (pdf) (Spanish)

Money order deposit slips must have the following information CLEARLY TYPED in order for the funds to be posted to the inmate account: Handwritten forms are subject to delay.

• Correct inmate ID #
• Inmate name
• Sender’s name and address

DO NOT send money to any other individual, website, or Email account. Money orders are NOT accepted at any state correctional institutions.

For JPay information, call 800.574.5729
JPay Frequently Asked Questions Information Sheet (pdf)

Programs For Inmates

Academic Education through GED level

Vocational Education:  Building Custodial Maintenance; Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning; Business Practices; Auto Technology; Barber School; Masonry; Computer Aided Drafting; Electricity; Construction Building Trades

Sex Offenders

  • Sex Offender Moderate-High Intensity
  • Offender Low Intensity
  • Special Needs Sex Offender Booster Program


  • Pre-Vocational Skills Class
  • MoneySmart Program
  • Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD)
  • Therapeutic Community
  • Parole Violator
  • Outpatient Therapy Group
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • AA/NA/SOS Support Meetings
  • Offense Related
  • Thinking for a Change
  • Act 143 Victim Awareness
  • Violence Prevention
  • Batterer’s Intervention
  • Health Care Programs
  • Medication Education
  • Hepatitis C Treatment Education

PAWS Program

The dog program at SCI Forest is Pups Assisting Wounded Soldiers (PAWS), and through it dogs from the Elk County Humane Society are socialized and trained by inmates. The dogs spend 12 weeks at Forest learning basic obedience, walking on a loose leash, and coming when called.

While in the program, the dogs visit the Special Needs Unit (SNU) and the Psychology Department. In these venues, the dogs are used as an adjunct to psychotherapy. Additionally, dogs that show promise for specialized work will be screened by Wags 4 Warriors, an organization that supplies dogs to veterans with traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Community Work Program:

The Community Work Program assists local non-profit organizations. They also participate in the PennDOT Agility Program where CWP inmates provide services such as mowing and painting at PennDOT facilities and PennDOT provides surface treatment to the parking lots and other paved areas.

Pictures of SCI Forest

Careers at SCI Forest

If you are interested in a career with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, you can find out more information about available jobs at SCI Forest by clicking here.