Berks County Prison Society, Incorporated dba Berks Connections/Pretrial Services

A Life Improvement Business

aka Berks Connections/Pretrial Services   |   Reading, PA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Berks County Prison Society, Incorporated dba Berks Connections/Pretrial Services

EIN: 23-1969810


Berks Connections/Pretrial Services 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


Co-Executive Director

Peggy Kershner

Co-Executive Director

Nicolle Schnovel

Main address

19 N. 6th Street 4th Floor

Reading, PA 19601 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Corrections and penology

Prison alternatives

Rehabilitation of offenders

Services for offenders


Show more subject areas

Population served info





Economically disadvantaged people

Show more populations served

NTEE code info

Services to Prisoners/Families (I43)

Prison Alternatives (I44)

Rehabilitation Services for Offenders (I40)

What we aim to solve

This profile needs more info.

If it is your nonprofit, add a problem overview.

Login and update

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

Pre-and Post-Release Case Management-
Based upon the results of a Needs Assessment performed upon a resident’s entry into the Berks County Jail System’s Community Reentry Center (CRC), BCPS staff provides referrals and information about housing, employment, drug, alcohol and mental health counseling and treatment as well as education and literacy. BCPS staff also develops and administers Transition Plans for residents of the CRC to define a pre- and post-release course of action for both the case manager and the client to ensure successful reentry into the community.

Workforce Development Services-
BCPS provides employment readiness workshops, job search assistance, and retention support for residents of the CRC (pre and post release), residents of the Wernersville Community Corrections Center, those on state parole, and Treatment Court participants. An evidence based curriculum, Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Offenders Seeking Employment (CBI-EMP), is delivered in two State Correctional Institutions. BCPS is also able to provide CBI-EMP in the Berks County Jail through the support of Justice Assistance Grant.

Community volunteers support BCPS workforce development programs and initiatives by serving as mock interviewers and by providing employment readiness assistance at the CRC and at our Career Fairs.

Financial Literacy-
BCPS provides financial literacy education in a group setting and one to one budget coaching and assistance for DOC Workforce Development and Housing program clients. In addition to educational sessions, BCPS staff provides financial coaching when employment is obtained to help individuals reach their financial goals.

Housing Services-
BCPS provides Housing Services to individuals preparing to reenter the community from the CRC, the Wernersville Community Corrections Center and those in the community on parole who are facing homelessness. Services include assistance in obtaining stable affordable housing, rent and utility assistance, case management, tenant education, and budget counseling.
In October 2018, BCPS began offering mentoring services through a contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, which allows us to serve both individuals in State Correctional Institutions and individuals on State Probation/Parole who reside in Berks County. Our Reentry Mentoring Specialist aids clients in developing an individualized wellness plan, provides early intervention services to clients that are experiencing difficulties or exhibiting behaviors that are indicative to a backslide, and facilitates both group and one-to-one workshops. Mentoring services are also a critical component offered in our R3 program.

Job Development-
The BCPS Employment Development Specialist works within the community to develop and maintain relationships with employers to encourage opportunities for workforce development program clients who successfully complete the program. This position helps ensure that individuals referred for employment are a good match for the employer’s needs and provides ongoing retention support and assistance to the employer.

Reentry Support Services-
For returning citizens, obtaining valid identification, transportation and work- specific clothing often stands in the way of seeking and securing employment. BCPS is committed to assisting clients with removing barriers to their success and covers the cost to obtain the required identification, bus passes or work attire necessary for employment.

Computer Based Learning Center (CBLC)-
The CBLC is available for use by BCPS workforce development, R3, housing and CRC clients to search and apply for jobs, create, update and email resumes, conduct apartment searches and improve basic computer skills. Staff is available for guidance and assistance. The CBLC is funded in part by the United Way of Berks County.

Population(s) Served
Incarcerated people

Pretrial Interviews and Assessments-
Pretrial Officers conduct post-arrest interviews and assessments of criminal defendants and furnish the verified assessments to the judiciary, either prior to bail being set or at the preliminary hearing. BCPS utilizes the Pretrial Assessment Tool of the Ohio Risk Assessment System (PAT-ORAS) to assess the risk of a defendant committing a new offense while under pretrial release or failing to appear for court. BCPS also assists with jail population management. Pretrial staff conduct a monthly review of the jail population to assure that low risk defendants are not needlessly incarcerated due to their inability to post bail. We are pleased to see that on average, the true pretrial population (those held only on a bail) hovers around 20%, which is well below the national average. For those defendants that are classified as low risk and are deemed appropriate for pretrial release, Pretrial Officers will provide the assessments to defense counsel and recommend that a motion is made to modify the bail to release the defendant on an unsecured bail. In 2018, Pretrial Officers conducted 2,355 interviews and provided 2,187 assessments to the court.

Pretrial Supervision-
BCPS provides supervised release for criminal defendants who would otherwise remain in jail until the final disposition of their case. Pretrial Officers utilize the results of the PAT-ORAS to set conditions that are based on the risk that individual poses and to ensure both court appearance and public safety. Pretrial Officers provide drug and alcohol program referrals for individuals facing drug related charges and for those identified as having a drug or alcohol problem. BCPS also oversees the Community Release Bail Program, which was designed to ensure that the economic circumstances of a person will not subject him/her to punishment before trial. In 2018, Pretrial Officers supervised 840 defendants. The appearance rate for defendants under our supervision was 96% and the re-arrest rate was 6%.

Treatment Courts-
BCPS provides personnel and support for the Berks County Treatment Courts. BCPS interviews and assesses most treatment court applicants and provides referrals for drug and alcohol testing and treatment. Treatment Courts include DUI, Drug and Alcohol and Mental Health Courts. The Treatment Courts provide an intensive combination of court-ordered treatment and regular interaction with the Treatment Court Judge and the team, including the Public Defender’s Office, Adult Probation Office, TASC, SAM, Inc., the District Attorney’s Office, treatment providers and BCPS.

Population(s) Served
Incarcerated people

Mother’s/Father’s Voice Program-
The Mother’s/Father’s Voice program allows incarcerated mothers and fathers of young children to record a story on video. The child receives the book and DVD as a gift from their parent. The child can then watch the video of his/her parent reading while following along in the book. Birthday and holiday cards may also be included to celebrate milestones in their child’s life. This provides a sense of closeness between the parent and child that would otherwise not be possible. In 2018, 763 books were read and sent to children through this special program.

Family Connections Events-
BCPS staff and volunteers host social events each year that join incarcerated parents with their children and caregivers. Our Family Connections Picnic is held in September at the BIG Vision Sports Complex and serves as a United Way Day of Caring site. Children spend quality time with their parents by sharing a meal, playing games, making crafts, and enjoying the outdoors. Our Family Connections Holiday Party is held in December at the Community Reentry Center. Families enjoy a delicious holiday meal, games and crafts and the children get a special visit from Santa Claus! Generous contributions from United Way volunteers allow us to provide gifts for all the children in attendance. These events provide the opportunity for much needed contact between children and their incarcerated parents within a positive environment.

Holiday Gift Drives-
BCPS enlists volunteers throughout the community to provide holiday gifts for children of individuals who are incarcerated or involved in the criminal justice system. Some volunteers choose to deliver the gifts themselves, while other gifts are collected and distributed at a special holiday event hosted by West Lawn United Methodist Church.
Family & Friends Coping with Incarceration Support Group-
BCPS staff and volunteers lead a monthly support group for the families and friends of individuals involved in the criminal and juvenile justice systems. Meetings are held on the 1st Thursday of the month from 7 to 9PM.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Since 2007


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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    BCPS serves individuals with justice involvement including pretrial, pre-release, and post-release.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls,

  • 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,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • 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,


Berks County Prison Society, Incorporated dba Berks Connections/Pretrial Services
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31
Financial documents
2020 BCPS 2020 Audit 2019 BCPS 2019 990 Final 2018 2018 Financial Statement 2017 BCPS FS 12.31.17 FINAL.pdf
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2020 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 10.71 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2020 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 2.1 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2020 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 17% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

Source: IRS Form 990 info

Berks County Prison Society, Incorporated dba Berks Connections/Pretrial Services

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Berks County Prison Society, Incorporated dba Berks Connections/Pretrial Services

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Berks County Prison Society, Incorporated dba Berks Connections/Pretrial Services

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

This snapshot of Berks County Prison Society, Incorporated dba Berks Connections/Pretrial Services’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $87,913 $126,868 -$103,354 $374,273 $23,290
As % of expenses 6.9% 7.0% -4.4% 16.8% 1.2%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $85,297 $114,294 -$129,633 $344,074 -$9,164
As % of expenses 6.7% 6.2% -5.4% 15.3% -0.5%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $1,344,817 $1,946,348 $2,268,740 $2,552,164 $1,829,044
Total revenue, % change over prior year 40.2% 44.7% 16.6% 12.5% -28.3%
Program services revenue 89.4% 87.7% 90.7% 89.9% 41.3%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.6% 0.5% 0.2% 0.3% 0.3%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 44.1%
All other grants and contributions 9.4% 11.3% 8.8% 9.7% 14.5%
Other revenue 0.7% 0.5% 0.2% 0.1% -0.2%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $1,279,247 $1,819,934 $2,362,014 $2,223,563 $1,890,911
Total expenses, % change over prior year 26.5% 42.3% 29.8% -5.9% -15.0%
Personnel 77.4% 69.2% 69.7% 69.1% 74.6%
Professional fees 2.0% 1.5% 1.6% 1.5% 1.8%
Occupancy 0.9% 2.0% 2.7% 3.2% 4.7%
Interest 0.0% 0.1% 0.1% 0.3% 0.1%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 19.7% 27.3% 25.8% 25.9% 18.7%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Total expenses (after depreciation) $1,281,863 $1,832,508 $2,388,293 $2,253,762 $1,923,365
One month of savings $106,604 $151,661 $196,835 $185,297 $157,576
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $54,491 $0
Fixed asset additions $7,595 $145,580 $0 $31,987 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $1,396,062 $2,129,749 $2,585,128 $2,525,537 $2,080,941

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Months of cash 0.9 0.9 0.6 1.5 3.5
Months of cash and investments 2.8 2.4 1.7 3.0 5.7
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 4.3 2.9 1.6 4.0 4.5
Balance sheet composition info 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Cash $93,349 $129,026 $118,216 $268,739 $552,284
Investments $207,321 $239,979 $220,699 $277,943 $351,807
Receivables $215,867 $149,935 $170,964 $220,337 $132,345
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $71,431 $217,011 $225,884 $245,363 $245,951
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 85.0% 33.8% 44.1% 47.8% 55.2%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 14.5% 13.5% 32.4% 13.8% 32.6%
Unrestricted net assets $464,493 $578,787 $449,154 $793,228 $784,064
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 $15,000 $0 N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $15,000 $0 $0 $0
Total net assets $464,493 $593,787 $449,154 $793,228 $784,064

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Co-Executive Director

Peggy Kershner

Peggy started her career with BCPS in 1985. During her tenure she has served as the Volunteer Program Coordinator, Development Director, and Deputy Director.

Co-Executive Director

Nicolle Schnovel

Nikki has been with BCPS since 2001. She started as a Pretrial Officer, was promoted to the Programming and Development Director, and also served as the Pretrial Services Director for 9 years.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Berks County Prison Society, Incorporated dba Berks Connections/Pretrial Services

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Berks County Prison Society, Incorporated dba Berks Connections/Pretrial Services

Board of directors
as of 06/16/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board co-chair

Thomas Rentschler, Esq.

Board co-chair

Brian Pinto

Albright College

Term: 2020 - 2025

Jeannie Savage

Abhi Amatya

Sharon Mast

Larry Snow

Matt Spezialetti, CFA, CFP

Peter Terranova

Ronald Velez

Karissa Rodriguez, Esq.

Brian Pinto, CFRE

Alexia Pursley

Yamil Sanchez-Rivera

Thomas Rentschler

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? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


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

  • 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.