The State Correctional Institution at Rockview is a medium-security prison for male inmates that is located outside of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. It is operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
Prior to World War I, Warden John Francies' exposure of the overcrowded conditions and the unhealthy environment at Western Penitentiary led to legislation for the development of a rural penitentiary. A special committee surveyed 33 sites before choosing 4,300 acres in Centre County, which were purchased at $50 an acre. Additional acreage was obtained from adjacent state forestland.
Located six miles south of Bellefonte and six miles northeast of State College; this new prison had been originally conceived in 1878, when Huntingdon had been decided upon but the enabling legislation was not passed until 1911. The State Correctional Institution at Rockview was originally intended to be a maximum-security prison to replace Western Penitentiary. The expense was not to exceed $1,250,000, and $300,000 was provided for planning purposes. The original law was signed by Governor John K. Tener in 1911.
The General Assembly changed its mind and the legislation was passed in 1915 to make the new institution a maximum-security prison designed to take the place of both Eastern and Western Penitentiaries.
This did not come to pass, however, although the first cell block at Rockview was built for maximum-security purposes. Under Governor Gifford Pinchot, in the 1920's, the plans were changed to provide that Rockview would become a medium-security institution operated as a branch, or farm, prison by the Western Penitentiary. Its capacity was 1,012 with 500 maximum and 512 medium minimum-security cells.
Rockview is also the site of the administration of the death penalty, again reintroduced to Pennsylvania in 1978. The deputy warden building was completed in December 1914, and the first execution took place on February 23, 1915. The Commonwealth has executed 350 persons by means of electrocution.
On November 29, 1990, Governor Robert P. Casey signed into law Senate Bill 637 that replaced the electric chair with lethal injection as the state's method of executing convicted killers. The electric chair was removed and sent to the Pennsylvania Museum. The old institution hospital building has been renovated into an execution complex complete with the equipment necessary for lethal injection, rooms to accommodate various department and institution staff, news media witnesses, victims witness and other authorized individuals.
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Visiting Hours and Rules
Visiting Days/Times at SCI Rockview:
CLOSED first Monday of every month, except holidays
Monday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Tuesday | Wednesday: CLOSED
MAX Number of Visitors per Inmate: five (includes children)
Vending Machine: Vending Card
- 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.
- Cell phones and/or pagers are not permitted inside the SCIs.
- 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.
Virtual visitation is available at SCI Rockview. This is a free service being 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.
1 Rockview Place
Bellefonte, PA 16823
Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/BzGJPT1PE7WKZTiJ6
General Phone Number
Inmate Mailing Address(es)
Inmate Name, Inmate Number
PO Box 33028
St Petersburg, FL 33733
How to Call an Inmate
Inmates at SCI Rockview 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.
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
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)
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
Programs For Inmates
Academic and Vocational Education:
- Academic Education through GED Level.
- Vocational Education: HVAC, Barber School, Business Education, Electricity/Residential Wiring, Masonry, Pre-Vocational Skills Class, Money Smart, Act 143 Victim Awareness
- All vocational classes offer industry-recognized certifications specific to the trade skills taught in the program.
- Inside Out Dad’s Parenting Program
- Sex Offender Moderate-High Intensity
- Sex Offender Low Intensity
- Sex Offender Booster Program
- Sex Offender SNU Groups
- Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD)
- Therapeutic Community
- Outpatient Therapy Group
- Dual Diagnosis
- AA/NA/SOS Support Meetings
- Peer Tutor Groups
- Thinking for a Change
- Violence Prevention
- Batterer’s Intervention
- Impact of Crimes
Mental Health Programs
- MH Education
- MH Peer Group
- MH Community Re-Entry Group
- Dual Diagnosis Group
- MH SOP
- Seeking Safety
The Pennsylvania Correctional Industries Wood Furniture Factory began operation at SCI Rockview in February 2008. It services many Pennsylvania state agencies, non-profit agencies, and Pennsylvania subsidized agencies.
Community Work Program:
The Community Work Program provides crews to assist with DCNR, Non-Profit Organizations, Other Correctional Facilities, Federal and Local Government.
Pictures of SCI Rockview
Careers at SCI Rockview
If you are interested in a career with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, you can find out more information about available jobs at SCI Rockview by clicking here.