Holmesburg Prison

August 01, 2000

Two weeks ago Democracy Now! reported that Police Commissioner John Timoney was planning to jail protesters in the Holmesburg prison, Philadelphia’s largest county jail. The Holmesburg prison however is not just any prison. Holmsburg is infamous for a host of medical experiments that were conducted between the early 1950s and the mid-1970s on inmates in exchange for a few dollars. These experiments ranged from testing products like perfumes and detergents to exposure from chemical weapons and radioactive isotopes.


  • Allen M. Hornblum, the author ??Acres of Skin; Human Experiments at Holmsburg Prison and is currently completing a new book on prisons in Philadelphia.
  • Leodus Jones, a victim of the Holmsburg experiments and the Director of a support service for families of prison inmates.