Gov. Corbett Directs Community Corrections to Help Habitat for Humanity

Jun 21, 2013, 10:24 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Earlier this year, Governor Tom Corbett directed Corrections Secretary John Wetzel to make sure residents of the state's Community Corrections Centers were helping to improve local communities.

Recently, 12 residents of the Wernersville Community Corrections Center completed a four-month Habitat for Humanity project by refurbishing a house in Berks County.

"I strongly believe that our community corrections centers should be assets to the communities," Corbett said. "As such, I have directed our corrections department to expand its offenders' volunteer work with programs such as Habitat for Humanity around the state."

Working alongside community volunteers, the team cleaned, sanded and painted a Reading home to making it a suitable and attractive place to live.

Kerry Kerschner, director of the Wernersville CCC, met with the Berks County Habitat for Humanity to establish participation guidelines and to determine the exact needs of the organization's projects.

"Being able to give back to the community is a great way for offenders to connect and form positive relationships that aide in their successful return home after incarceration," Corbett said.

"Habitat for Humanity embodies community improvement through renovating buildings and improving quality of life. We are pleased to have started this partnership and plan to expand this work throughout the state," Wetzel said.

"I consider this to be a win-win partnership," Wetzel said. "Future sites have been chosen and will continue to include labor from center residents."

Habitat for Humanity, which began in 1976, is an international agency dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide, working to make adequate, affordable shelter.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity, visit

Media contact: Sue Bensinger, DOC, (717) 728-4026

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Corrections