Monthly Archives: March 2014

Hopeworx Member of the Month for February


Bryan Stoffregen is our oldest volunteer at HopeMarket, Inc… He is an original member since its inception. Bryan joined HopeMarket in 2009, and collaborated with its formation, set-up, Equal Dollar affiliation, as well as donation pick up and set-up. He is skilled in carpentry, and fixes many of the furniture items received that might need minor repair. Anything that needs to be assembled becomes Bryan’s project! He is a wiz with anything wood or metal!

          Bryan is a member of our Consumer Satisfaction Team (CST). He surveys individuals in Inpatient Residential, Career Services, CHIPPS, and Crisis Residential Programs, documenting their input concerning the services they are receiving. CST has been a crucial instrument for change in the way mental health services are delivered in Montgomery County.

          Bryan also transports volunteers and workers, to and from work sites and the HopeMarket. It was the van that he drives that was hit (while it was parked), by a driver that also hit many other cars.  Bryan enjoys being of service, and also supports our organization with his dedication, motivation, and all around positive attitude!!!

Inmates with Mental Illness Need Advocates

Raymond Federici, a CPS in Chester County, shared the following information about the Pennsylvania Prison Society:

Dealing with roadblock. one that you can relate to,,, so i put my energies into finding information and resource.
The Pennsylvania Prison Society is a long standing volunteer advocacy that also has open membership. Don’t know if its possible for hopeworks to join as a program, but i know they accept individual membership.something I am looking into for myself. Officially sanctioned by the state assembly PPS members can make visits, and can not be denied access unless there is a riot or something.!special-reports/czth
Here is the link to the Pennsylvania Prison Society. They recently published a a US DOJ report detailing the results of its investigation into the use of solitary confinement on prisoners with serious mental illness at the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution at Cresson in Cambria County, Pa. The department found that Cresson’s use of long-term and extreme forms of solitary confinement on prisoners with serious mental illness, many of whom also have intellectual disabilities, violates their rights under the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
there also a report of a study/ survey of all the county prisons in the commonwealth.
I highlighted the following comment.
2. Warehousing the mentally ill
Almost every prison administrator in this study reported high rates of
incarceration for people with mental illness, and most admitted the prison
was not suited to provide the treatment services needed for this population.
Informal estimates of inmates with mental illness ranged from 20‐30%. With many state hospitals closed or closing, few treatment options exist for people with severe mental illness and criminal charges. Two wardens reported asking a judge to remove charges or reduce sentences to make a mentally ill inmate eligible for non‐forensic inpatient or community programs.

Some counties are working to address the issue. Two counties in this study had received grants from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and
Delinquency (PCCD) to conduct system utilization mapping for the mentally
ill. Another county partnered with the local chapter of the NAMI PA, Main Line (National Alliance on Mental Illness)on Mental Illness (NAMI) to bring a mental health clinic into the prison. However, according to many interviewed for this study, the issue persists.