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Berks County Prison Society, Incorporated dba Connections Work

Changing Lives. Improving Communities.

aka Connections Work   |   Reading, PA   |  www.connectionswork.org

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Mission

Connections Work improves lives and creates safer, more prosperous communities by providing services, support, and community reintegration to individuals involved in the justice system and to their families.

Ruling year info

1975

Co-Executive Director

Peggy Kershner

Co-Executive Director

Nicolle Schnovel

Main address

19 N. 6th Street 4th Floor

Reading, PA 19601 USA

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Formerly known as

Berks Connections / Pretrial Services

19 N. 6th St., 4th Floor, Reading, PA 19601

EIN

23-1969810

NTEE code info

Services to Prisoners/Families (I43)

Prison Alternatives (I44)

Rehabilitation Services for Offenders (I40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Reentry Program

Connections Work provides case management to individuals with justice involvement. Staff supplies referrals and information about housing, employment, drug, alcohol, and mental health treatment, as well as workforce development services: employment readiness workshops, job search assistance, and retention support, along with an evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Interventions curriculum focused on employment.

The Employment Development Team works to develop and maintain relationships with employers to encourage opportunities for workforce development program clients who complete the program. provides ongoing retention support and assistance to the employer.

For individuals coming out of incarceration, obtaining valid identification, transportation, and work- specific clothing often stands in the way of securing employment. BCPS is committed to assisting clients with removing barriers to their success and covers the cost to obtain the required necessary for employment.

Population(s) Served
Incarcerated people
Ex-offenders
Offenders
Detainees

Pretrial Officers conduct post-arrest interviews and assessments of criminal defendants and furnish the verified assessments to the judiciary. Connections Work provides supervised release for criminal defendants who would otherwise remain in jail until the final disposition of their case.

Connections Work conducts a monthly review of the jail population to ensure defendants are not needlessly incarcerated due to their inability to post bail.

Connections Work provides personnel and support for the Berks County Treatment Courts. Pretrial Officers interview and assess treatment court applicants and provide referrals for drug and alcohol testing and treatment. Treatment Courts include DUI, Drug and Alcohol, and Mental Health Courts.

Population(s) Served
Detainees
Ex-offenders
Offenders

Mothers/Fathers Voice Program-
The Mothers/Fathers Voice program allows incarcerated mothers and fathers to stay connected to their children. Volunteers record the parent reading a story to their child(ren), and then the book and DVD are mailed to the child(ren). The child(ren) can then watch the video of their parent reading while following along in the book. Birthday and holiday cards may also be included to celebrate milestones in their childs life. This provides a sense of closeness between the parent and child that would otherwise not be possible.

Holiday Gift Project
Connections Work enlists volunteers, churches, and employers throughout the community to provide holiday gifts for children of individuals who are incarcerated or involved in the criminal justice system. In early December, the gifts are distributed at a special holiday event hosted by West Lawn United Methodist Church.

Population(s) Served
Offenders
Families
Non-adult children

Where we work

Accreditations


Since 2007

Awards

Standards for Excellence Certification 2010

Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback

Financials

Berks County Prison Society, Incorporated dba Connections Work
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Berks County Prison Society, Incorporated dba Connections Work

Board of directors
as of 01/22/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Thomas Rentschler, Esq.


Board co-chair

Brian Pinto

Albright College

Term: 2020 - 2025

Abhi Amatya

Sharon Mast

Larry Snow

Peter Terranova

Ronald Velez

Karissa Rodriguez, Esq.

Brian Pinto, CFRE

Alexia Pursley

Yamil Sanchez-Rivera

Thomas Rentschler

Leonette Stocker

Joe O'Neill

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/9/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/16/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.