SCI Mercer

The State Correctional Institution at Mercer initially was established as a State Regional Correctional Facility (SRCF) on June 23, 1978. Located in Findlay Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, SRCF Mercer opened on July 5, 1978, receiving short-term male county offenders from 14 Northwestern Pennsylvania counties.  

Capacity at that time was 180 minimum security inmates with a staff complement of 100. SRCF Mercer was designed as an open, campus-like setting positioned on 304 acres of land and was classified as a Level 2 (L-2) facility. In 2008, SRCF Mercer changed from a regional facility to a State Correctional Institution.  

On July 1, 2008, the custody level of the institution changed to a level 2-3 facility. Throughout the years, there have been various construction projects undertaken, leading to the current inmate population of 1,489 inmates. 

SCI Mercer is unique in that it operates solely on electrical power.  The facility is equipped with nine diesel powered emergency generators to maintain essential services in the event of a power failure.  In addition, the facility operates its own wastewater treatment plant.

SCI Mercer was initially accredited by the American Correctional Association in May 1984 and has successfully achieved reaccreditation every three years since that time.

This facility features 13 housing units with both cells and dormitory-style housing. The average inmate age at SCI is 39.

Prison Insights

SCI Mercer

Go back

What Do Inmate Families Think?

Go back

What Do Former Inmates Think?

Go back

What Do Employees Think?

Go back
Sorry, there are no insights for this section of the facility yet.
Overall Score = /10
Total Respondents =

Visiting Hours and Rules

Visiting Days/Times at SCI Mercer are as follows:

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

NOTE: The visiting room is closed the first Thursday of every month.

MAX Number of Visitors per Inmate: 8 (5 adults | 3 children)

Vending Machine: No money is allowed in the visiting room. Purchases can only be made using a venda card. A machine in the lobby will be available for visitors to obtain the card and load money onto it. It costs $5 for the card with a $3 credit.

Visiting Rules

  • Vehicles must be locked while on prison property. Windows must be rolled up/closed. All equipment must be secured in or on your vehicle (such as ladders, tool boxes).
  • 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.
  • Cell phones and/or pagers are not permitted inside the SCIs. They must be properly secured in your locked vehicle prior to entering the SCI.
  • Any kind of device, whether worn or hand held, that has the capability of audio and/or video/photography recording and/or cell phone capabilities is NOT permitted. This could include, but is not limited to, eye glasses, tie tacks, lapel pins, wrist watches, pens, etc.
  • No purses, bags, diaper bags, etc., are permitted.
  • Due to space restrictions, visits may be terminated on a first in, first out basis, to make room for visitors that may be waiting.
  • Visiting room officers may assign specific seating locations for visitors and inmates, especially for those who are suspected of or have displayed problems with obeying procedures.
  • 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.

Video Visitation

Video visitation is a free service offered to inmates and authorized visitors, and all inmates are eligible to participate. The visiting rules for Video Visitation are generally the same as those for visiting in the facility.

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 Mercer
801 Butler Pike
Mercer, PA 16137

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number

(724) 662-1837

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

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

How to Call an Inmate

Inmates at SCI Mercer 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 for the processing of ALL MONEY ORDERS sent to inmates in all Pennsylvania correctional institutions AND all online and over-the-phone credit card transactions.

Family and friends must deposit money into an inmate's account through JPay, either online or through lobby kiosks at each individual state prison. 

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)

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)

ALL 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

Programs For Inmates

Academic and Vocational Education:

The Education Building at SCI Mercer was originally a bowling alley located in Meadville, Pa.  The building was donated, disassembled and reassembled on-grounds using both contractor and inmate labor.  Educational classes include:

  • Academic Education through GED level
  • Vocational Education:  Building Trades, Business Education, Auto Mechanics, Custodial Maintenance and a Barber Manager Program  

All vocational programs at SCI Mercer offer official trade-based certifications, i.e., NCCER certifications for the Building Trades and Custodial Maintenance; ICDL computer certification for the Business Education Program; and the Automotive Repair Program offers the PA Auto Inspection certificate.

Community Work Program (CWP):

The CWP program involves taking selected inmates with outside clearance who are near completion of their sentence into the community to perform voluntary, unskilled labor for governmental and non-profit public service agencies.  The goals of this program are to enhance community relations and for the inmates to accomplish useful work, to make a contribution to society, and to develop a strong work ethic and a feeling of self-worth.  

In 2012, the CWP program performed a total of 9,376 hours of community work for an estimated savings to the community of $67,976, utilizing the current minimum wage of $7.25/hour. Some of the projects completed by the CWP crew include:

  • Painting (interior and/or exterior) at local churches and at the New Castle Armory, New Castle Cathedral, Scottish Rite Cathedral; as well as yard work at the churches and local campgrounds
  • Painted the pool and walls at the Buhl Community Recreation Center in Sharon, PA, saving the Center $17,000 in labor costs.
  • Cleanup at local fairgrounds, including Lawrence County, Mercer Grange, Jefferson Township, and Stoneboro
  • Local Interstate and Highway litter cleanup
  • Washing/waxing fire trucks for the Farrell and Hermitage Fire Departments
  • Loading/unloading food at local food banks

CARE Canine Program:  

In May of 2011, SCI Mercer, along with Stray Haven Animal Shelter in Greenville, implemented a dog training program with inmates as the dog handlers/trainers. The program was named CARE (Corrections Adoptive Rescue Endeavor).  

Having this training program at the prison not only frees up space at the shelter, but also provides the training and socialization needed to make the dogs more adoptable.  It also provides the inmates a skill that could be utilized upon release back into the community.

Pictures of SCI Mercer

Careers at SCI Mercer

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