Mission & Justice: Partakers

The definition of a Partaker is one who joins with others to learn, to share of oneself; one who imparts, communicates, makes known.

It is through Partaker’s “College Behind Bars” that we have met Manuel(an inmate at a Department of Correction’s facility)… and maintain an ongoing relationship with him.

“Crime ravages the human. Education empowers the soul.” Camille O. Cosby


Partakers’ vision statement is that “As a faith-based, non-profit organization, Partakers is committed to advancing restorative justice, rehabilitation, and the healing transformation of both prisoners and society.”

It’s mission is to reduce prisoner recidivism through education and civic engagement.

It’s goals are to:

  • Provide opportunities and support for inmates to obtain four-year college degrees in prison.
  • Advocate for humane prison environments and sensible programs that foster accountability, responsibility and rehabilitation.
  • Encourage prisoners to exercise their authority as members of a community both while in prison and in the neighborhoods to which they will return.
  • Serve as a source of education and information on the prison system and on issues of criminal justice and criminal justice reform.
  • Negotiate with prison authorities to increase the reach of educational and rehabilitation programming for prisoners.
  • Recruit, train, support and supervise community volunteers and prisoner volunteers to serve as models, mentors and leaders.
  • Provide individuals, faith communities, seminarians, and graduate students with information, access, supervision and support in prison settings.
  • Initiate and maintain rehabilitative programs.
  • Foster trust and mutual respect among partakers.
  • Provide educational opportunities to heighten the citizenry’s knowledge of criminal justice issues.
  • Seek financial and human resource support to sustain and enhance Partakers’ programs and initiatives.

Did You Know? (from Partakers’ website):

  • The United States now has the highest rate of incarceration in the world: two million people are behind bars.
  • The U.S. prison population has increased 400% in the past 20 years.
  • Ninety-seven percent of incarcerated individuals return to society, yet only ten percent receive substantial rehabilitative programming while in prison.
  • At the current rate, one in twenty Americans will be incarcerated at some point in their lives.
  • In 1980 about half the people entering state prison were violent offenders; in 1995 less than a third had been convicted of a violent crime.
  • If you are a black male, you have a 1 in 4 chance of ending up behind bars.
  • If you are Latino, you have a 1 in 6 chance of ending up behind bars.
  • If you are a white male, you have a 1 in 23 chance of serving time.
  • Why does the color of your skin load the game of life so heavily against you? View this race.pdf at Partakers’ site.
  • Of the 80,000 women now imprisoned, about seventy percent are non-violent offenders. Seventy-five percent have children.
  • An incarcerated person’s chances of succeeding once they leave prison increase exponentially if they have a college degree. The average recidivism rate is 60%: with a degree, it is less than 11%.
  • In 1990, there were 350 college prison programs in the United States. Today there are a dozen; Massachusetts having one of the few remaining programs.

Partakers’ address is: 230 Central Street, Auburndale, MA 02466

Their Phone is: 617-795-2725

Their website is: Partakers (www.partakers.org)

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