Restoring hope with dignity

Our History

jjp headshotIn 1955, Dr. Joseph Peters, a psychiatrist working at Philadelphia General Hospital, was approached by state probation and parole officers to provide services to men who had been committed to prison for sexual crimes and were ready to be released to the community. Dr. Peters assembled a small group of psychiatrists, reviewed the literature on current treatments, and began to offer psychotherapy to these parolees. As the program grew, in 1965, services were expanded to include treatment for victims of sexual abuse as well. The program became known as the Center for Rape Concern.

Following Dr. Peters' death, in 1979 the program was re-named the Joseph J. Peters Institute. At its location in Center City Philadelphia, the program expanded again, this time to begin serving children.

The team grew to include psychologists, social workers, and other mental health counselors. Throughout the late 1970s and the 1980s, the Institute became known for its expanded service delivery, national research grants, the development of specialized instruments for assessing individuals with sexual behavior problems, programs designed to successfully treat child and adult survivors of sexual abuse, and programs to successfully treat adult and juvenile sexual offenders.

In 2002, the Institute moved to 100 South Broad Street in Center City Philadelphia. Shortly thereafter a new location was developed for the provision of Adult Offender Services and to house a new partial hospitalization program serving individuals with sexual behavior problems and mental health or developmental disabilities. In 2012, all Survivor Services were brought together at 100 S. Broad Street, and all Offender Services (later re-named “Safety & Responsibility Services”), were moved to a site a few blocks away, at 1211 Chestnut Street.

In 2015, JJPI again expanded our mission to serve those suffering from a wider variety of traumatic experiences at our Survivor Services Program and also began providing treatment to those who harm others through interpersonal violence in our Safety & Responsibility Program.