2007 Annual Report

Thresholds in Delaware County – President’s Report

The year 2007 saw Thresholds continue to serve inmates at The State Correctional Institution in Chester, the George. W. Hill Correctional Facility in Thornton, and teenagers at the Delaware County Juvenile Detention Center, and we once again trained a dedicated group of new volunteers. Attached are individual reports that address the details of the three Programs.  At this point, it is suffice to say that the continuing growth in these areas is a tribute to the Program Coordinators.

Tina Stanton was relatively new in her role at the start of the year, but very quickly had S.C.I. –Chester running like a well-oiled machine.  The cycles are well planned and she has no trouble attracting both willing inmates and dedicated teachers.  We have a very successful program at S.C.I. and that is very much to Tina’s credit.

At the Hill, Connie Roggio started in her position at the beginning of the year and truly “hit the ground with both feet running.”  Not only did she keep the program going, but she also expanded into the women’s block- an area that was not being served.  While doing a great job at the Hill, she continued to coordinate the Volunteer Training Weekends.  She also does an excellent job being the administrative hub of our organization.

Jerry Nowell, as a volunteer, continues to coordinate the program at the Juvenile Detention Center.  Jerry has added needed regularity to the program in spite of the change in Program Manager at the facility. He truly has a gift for what we do.

Please review their individual reports for insight into these core areas of our mission.

In March 2007, we held an all day workshop addressing the critical needs of our organization, namely: Retention of Volunteers, Publicity, Curriculum, and Funding.  In addition we spent considerable time discussing “Re-entry”.  What’s out there?  What fits our mission?  And what do we want to do about it?  In the months to come you will be hearing more on this subject.

Another important item that came out of our workshop was the identification of a much-needed position – a Development Coordinator.  This position will be a liaison to various Government Agencies, local Service Organizations and other areas.  It will also have publicity responsibilities. This position will coordinate our funding endeavors and explore possible new funding sources.  One charitable organization was impressed with this proposal to the extent that they granted us funding of $6000 in order to initiate the position.  You will be hearing more about this in the very near future.

Also in our future is the possibility of having a fully funded college intern to work with us during the summer.  Swarthmore College has such a program and is quite enthused with the job description that we forwarded to them.  As you can imagine, there could be a lot of benefits to Thresholds should this happen.  Again, you’ll hear more on this as it evolves.

All in all, I fully expect 2008 to be a very exciting year for all of us who share in this passion we call THRESHOLDS.

Bill Murphy

President, Board of Directors

Thresholds in Delaware County-Juvenile Detention Center

Over the past half-dozen years 29 different teachers have participated (including some from Delaware state and Chester County).

We have taught 195 young people and 181 have graduated.2007 year brought a new Program Director to the Juvenile Detention Center. He is Ron Johnson, a former Philadelphia Eagle player. Ron has become a true advocate for the Thresholds program in Lima.  Ms. CeCe is a constant positive presence for the young women.  Jim Phillips, who prepares our certificates, supports the program in many ways.  Jim is a role model for the young men in the Center.In 2007, because the transition took several months, five cycles were completed. Altogether we graduated 16 girls and 9 boys.  Director Ron Berry is also recognized for seeing the value of Thresholds as a tool for developing productive lives.


Jerry Nowell, JDC Coordinator

Thresholds in Delaware County – SCI-Chester Summary

It is a beautiful thing to see a classroom of Thresholds micro teachers sitting opposite their clients, talking, teaching and learning, working together with a shared mission of making life better.  It is equally beautiful to see a circle of men sitting as one group with their macro teachers, Threshold volunteers among them, interacting at amazing levels, learning, sharing and thinking in new ways.  Each class has its own personality, becoming a unique whole made up of unique, important and irreplaceable individuals.  Although volunteers from the outside must not “fraternize” with those inside, unavoidably there are real feelings there. Call it love or something else, a strong force is at work in any Thresholds session, and it is all unique, important, and irreplaceable.  Our clients often tell us so, and we know so from our own experience.

Thresholds continues to be a meaningful presence at SCI-Chester, though over the last year the pool of teachers dwindled some, making our classes a bit smaller than they might have been.  Volunteers who taught for some time have moved away or become busy with family and other matters.  A number of new volunteers, who would have liked to teach at SCI-Chester, found their lives leading them in other directions.  However, fifteen dedicated teachers taught at SCI in 2007, most of them completing three or four cycles and beginning a fifth.  Toward the end of 2007 our teacher list has grown nicely.  A couple of long-time volunteers have come back to SCI-Chester to teach, and quite a few newly trained volunteers have signed up and were cleared to teach there.   From the fall Volunteer Training Workshop, four new trainees started teaching the December SCI cycle, and four new teachers have applied to start in early 2008.  We are almost back up to 25 volunteers, the limit set by the prison.  This is remarkable and very good news, as it will help reduce the number of men on our waiting list and help get them to Thresholds before they are released.

There were four complete Thresholds cycles at SCI-Chester in 2007, and a fifth was begun.

63 requests were received in 2007.  76 potential clients were interviewed.  48 began the program and 40 graduated.  Of those who did not graduate, 4 quit and 2 were released.

In November we tried something new and had a reunion “refresher” macro session for Thresh olds graduates who were still at SCI-Chester.  Of those alumni still around, we had a very nice session with eleven of our past clients and seven teachers, two of them lifers.  It proved to be a very rewarding experience, and we plan to continue holding such sessions in the future.

In September the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections honored Thresholds volunteer Key Murray with their SCI-Chester Volunteer of the Year award. Key has volunteered with Thresholds since 1992 and continued teaching at SCI-Chester after moving to Wilmington in 2002.  Key faithfully drives up I-95 to Chester week after week, and his clients benefit greatly from his wise and compassionate teaching. The Thresholds program at SCI- Chester is very fortunate to have Key to depend on for so many years, and he has been both fun and helpful to us less experienced Thresholders.  The State’s award makes us all proud.

The Thresholds clients at Chester continue to be enthusiastic and very grateful for the program, and there are always new men requesting Thresholds.  I have not needed to advertise Thresholds in the prison all year as the news spreads so well by word of mouth. Coming to us with such positive recommendations, our new clients’ expectations likely are high, but I do believe we meet them, and with all these great new volunteers in 2008 we will be able to do that much more.  Many thanks to everyone.


Tina Stanton, SCI-Chester Thresholds Coordinator

Thresholds in Delaware County

George W. Hill Correctional Facility Summary

What an honor to be the Thresholds Office Manager and Program Manager at the Hill!   After organizing the tiny Thresholds office, it was moved to a location that gave Thresholds more contact with other teaching groups.  Thresholds has a roomy cubicle near the Parenting, AIDS Awareness, Family Planning, After Care and the Delaware County Intermediate Unit.  Proximity to these programs helped me in my learning curve about the ways of the Hill.

My main contact with GEO managers is Tom Savage, Assistant Warden for Programs, who never let me down when I had a scheduling concern or needed to ask about policy and procedures.  David Robinson, the Chaplain, started working here soon after I arrived, and he is the Volunteer Coordinator.  But he is more than that.  David is a caring man and truly does the Lord’s work at the Hill.  The teachers, counselors, records and filing staff all made me feel comfortable right away.   Mike Shank, the head counselor, also was a source of information and helped pave my way here.  The IT guys saved me more than once.

The job of Thresholds is to teach the six-step decision-making program.  In 2007, 130 men and 58 women signed to take Thresholds.  Of the 188, 102 were graduated or released while taking Thresholds.  Classes for women were reinstated.  Of the 102 graduates, 33 of them were women.

Thresholds also began teaching in the DUI Building.  The officers and counselor there are most interested in giving the inmates as much program as possible, despite the limited space available.  18 of the 102 graduated from the DUI Building.  At the end of the year, space was allocated to Thresholds to teach

2 evenings.  One goal for 2008 will be to start evening classes at DUI.

A total of 42 teachers taught micro and macro at the Hill last year.  Micro teachers taught 1,469.5 hours – a staggering number for volunteers in one institution.  The hours for macro graduates were 752.5.    Our heroes at the Hill taught a phenomenal 2,222 hours.  Thanks to Mike Prentice who has taught macro for many years and to Pat Cahill is a macro teacher-in-training.

Working with Bill Murphy and Fran Cook, who are my immediate supervisors is a pleasure.  They guide, teach, counsel and make my job too easy.  Dick Bergesen and Jerry Nowell, the other Board Officers, are also appreciated for their patience with me.

My goals in 2008 are to increase the presence of Thresholds at the Hill.  And to graduate more clients, and to help get Re-entry going, and to…


Connie Roggio, George W. Hill Program Manager

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