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This month's Spotlight is Berks DOLAN CONSTRUCTION INC.

Berks Connections / Pretrial Services

Founded in 1975 as the Berks County Prison Society, BerksConnections / Pretrial Services ("BCPS") is a non-profit agency that serves a unique role throughout our community. BCPS serves thru two operating units –

BCPS/BerksConnections provides volunteer and staff-based outreach to inmates, youth, their families and the community. BerksConnections makes connections between inmates at the Berks County Prison and people in our community who care about them and who can help them. BCPS serves as a link between incarcerated parents and their children, between ex-offenders seeking a positive reintegration back into our community and people and agencies who can help, and between at-risk youth in our neighborhoods and at the Berks County Youth Center and positive role models and activities;

BCPS/Pretrial Services serves as the Court-appointed Bail agency for Berks County and assists Berks County government agencies by providing personnel and support to a number of criminal justice programs. BCPS/Pretrial Services staff work to ensure that supervised defendants released by the Courts on bail adhere to all conditions of their release (including drug screening and counseling/treatment programs), appear at all court proceedings, report any changes in status and refrain from illegal activity.

Connecting People Who Need Help with People Who Care

The BCPS/BerksConnections Mission:

• To reduce recidivism and help forge positive outcomes for inmates at the Berks County Prison and detained youth at the Berks County Youth Center;
• To provide community-based outreach to inmates and their families;
• To provide services and support to ex-offenders and to aid their reintegration back into our community;
• To provide safe and positive recreational activities for the children of inmates and other at-risk youth; and
• To serve as a link between the community, social service agencies and the Berks County criminal justice and juvenile justice systems.

Programs for Incarcerated Adults

BCPS programs are a vital link between inmates at the Berks County Prison and their community to which they will re-enter.
Mentoring - A BCPS Volunteer Mentor offers support to a “matched” inmate through regular visits, and can offer simply an opportunity for conversation, or specific skills and support like tutoring, literacy and GED assistance. Mentors let an inmate know that their community still cares.
Group Events - BCPS staff and volunteers host a number of ongoing events at the Berks County Prison. These events, held monthly and to celebrate holidays, provide a connection between inmates and their community.
The Mothers’ Voice Project - Mothers’ Voice maintains the crucial bond between incarcerated parents and their children at home. BCPS staff and volunteers help to record an inmate reading a story for their children. Parents also record brief personal messages to remind their child that they are being thought of even though they’re apart. The tape and the book are then delivered to the child. Birthday and holiday cards are also sent from parent to child.

Programs for Juveniles

BCPS programs provide a needed role model for the children of incarcerated parents and other at-risk youth.
Mentoring - BCPS Juvenile Mentors provide an adult companion for children and youth, someone to talk to and enjoy time with on a regular basis. BCPS staff carefully match each Volunteer Mentor and child.
FUNdamentals - The FUNdamentals Program teaches life skills to youth and promotes self-esteem through learning experiences, volunteering and fun activities with positive adult role models.
Group and Holiday Activities - BCPS staff and volunteers host parties for children with parents in prison and at-risk youth during holidays like Easter, Halloween and Christmas, coordinate gift drives during the Easter and Christmas holiday seasons, and host monthly events for youth detained at the Berks County Youth Center.

Re-Entry and Reintegration

Most Berks County Prison inmates will re-enter our community. Unfortunately, over 50% will again return to prison. BCPS programs are designed to aid re-entry and reduce recidivism. BCPS works to assist the re-entry efforts of ex-offenders, serving as a connection between the criminal justice system and the community.
Assessing Needs & Coordinating Services - BCPS assesses inmates’ critical post-release needs and acts as a referral source for community-based assistance.
BCPS is a founding member of the Berks Community Resources Network, a group of non-profit social service and government agencies that work with individuals involved in the Berks County criminal justice and juvenile justice systems.
Providing Information and Referrals - BCPS publishes a community-wide Guide to Services, and can provide referrals and information about Housing, Employment, Drug, Alcohol and Mental Health Counseling and Treatment, Education and Literacy to individuals. These individuals include defendants on pretrial release; inmates at Berks County Prison and ex-offenders re-entering the community.


BCPS volunteering is rewarding and simple. You can choose an activity that can involve an hour or more each week, a couple of hours a month, or a few hours a year. Depending on your activity, BCPS staff may assist you in obtaining clearance at the Prison or a child-centered background check. Volunteer opportunities are available at the Prison, Youth Center, or throughout the local community.

As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, BCPS relies on the generosity of our community for both volunteer-based assistance and financial support. Please visit our website and learn more about how we've been connecting people who need help with people who care:


BCPS | Berks County Courthouse | 633 Court Street – 16th Fl | Reading, PA | (610) 478-6920


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