August 1, 2017, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Free. Reception to follow. Since 1970, changes to national and local laws have resulted in a dramatic increase in prisoners, a prison construction boom, and increasing costs for taxpayers. These laws have increasingly empowered the legislative branch of government, while shifting power away from the judicial branch. An advocate for returning sentencing discretion to judges, Jeffrey K. Sprecher has authored a book calling for the end of both the Pennsylvania Sentencing Commission and mandatory sentences. Jeffrey K. Sprecher, author of Justice or Just This? A Constitutional Trespass, has served as a judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County, Pennsylvania, since his election in 1991. He is assigned to the Criminal Division for murder cases, the Civil Division, and the Juvenile Court Division. This event is part of Eastern State's ongoing Searchlight Series of events addressing issues in contemporary corrections. The Searchlight Series discussions take place the first Tuesday of every month, free and open to the public. No reservations required.
September 10, 2017, 6:30 am – 10:00 am
Members only. Members have exclusive access to photograph parts of the penitentiary in the early morning light. Event includes light refreshments after 9 am. Space is limited. Members will receive an email with reservation details. Note: This is a members-only event. Join today!
September 22, 2017, 7:00 pm – November 11, 2017, 9:00 pm
Select nights, Sept. 22 through Nov. 11. Tickets starting at $19. Terror Behind the Walls, America’s largest haunted house, is called “perfect for Halloween” by The New York Times, named #1 in the nation by Forbes, and featured on NBC’s TODAY Show. Terror Behind the Walls takes place inside the massive, castle-like walls of Eastern State Penitentiary and is consistently ranked among the top haunted attractions in America. All proceeds from Terror Behind the Walls benefit the preservation of Eastern State Penitentiary, a National Historic Landmark. Terror Behind the Walls does not affect operation of the historic site, which remains open for tours every day from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. For FAQs, preview videos, and tickets, visit terrorbehindthewalls.com
November 11, 2017, 12:00 pm – November 12, 2017, 7:00 pm
Standard Admission. Eastern State is one of the most photogenic locations in America. Each year photographers travel from all across the globe to photograph the penitentiary. Each member may submit one color and one black and white Eastern State Penitentiary photograph for the annual Members Photo Contest. Photos remain on view throughout the weekend. Visitors to the historic site can cast votes for their favorite images throughout the weekend. On Sunday afternoon at 4:00 pm, two sets of winners are announced in the color and black and white categories. A guest judge selects one set of winners, and the results of the weekend’s voting are also announced. Each first place winner from the Members Photo Contest has the opportunity to schedule a four-hour, private, behind-the-scenes photo shoot of Eastern State Penitentiary. Photo contest guidelines will be available online soon.