This Saturday, September 26, Pope Francis arrives in Philadelphia. His visit marks the first time the city of Philadelphia has hosted a sitting pope since Pope John Paul II visited the Benjamin Franklin Parkway during his visit to the United States.

While Francis is visiting the U.S., one of his goals will be to visit people who have been incarcerated for their crimes.

Philadelphia prison system officials selected inmates from the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility to meet with Pope Francis this Sunday. The main criterion for being selected was that an inmate could not be someone who was constantly violating rules and policies.

Why the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility

During his historic visit to Philadelphia, Francis will be visiting the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility – the largest jail in Philadelphia. The facility houses approximately 3,000 of the 2.2 million Americans currently incarcerated in the U.S.

In a speech made to Congress yesterday, Francis spoke about capital punishment, suggesting that the death penalty is not the answer but rather, society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crime.

Francis is scheduled to meet with approximately 100 inmates this Sunday, many who have been charged with drug charges, murder, rape, robbery, and assault. His visit to the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility will help show that the church serves all people – even those who have been marginalized in society as a convicted criminal.

Traffic Restrictions in Philadelphia

Road closures in Philadelphia will take effect today as the pope spends the day in New York City addressing the United Nations. While Francis is visiting Philadelphia, I-95 will remain open to traffic with only selected ramps closed due to street closures within the city and security needs. However the following major roadways will be closed:

  • I-76 eastbound from I-476 to I-95
  • I-76 westbound from I-95 to U.S. Route 1
  • From I-76 to I-95, I-676 in both directions
  • U.S. Route 1 northbound between I-76 and Lancaster Avenue
  • U.S. Route 1 southbound between Belmont and Lancaster Avenues
  • The Benjamin Franklin Bridge

Traffic will be routed to surrounding highways. Transportation planners are already bracing for predicted gridlock on New Jersey roadways as well. In the meantime, PennDOT is coordinating with Pennsylvania State Police to station teams on open highways, downtown Philadelphia and its surrounding counties in order to improve safety measures around the city during Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia.

View All Blogs