Partakers College Behind Bars program provides opportunities for incarcerated inmates in the state of Massachusetts to obtain four-year college degrees while doing time in prison.
Their mission statement says that Partakers “works to help advance the rehabilitation of inmates and to bridge the divide that separates those inside and outside prison. Through it’s College Behind Bars mentoring program, inmates build trusting relationships, enhance skills critical to completing a college degree, and significantly increase their chances for success when returning to the community.”
Partakers has access to a number of Massachusetts state prisons, serving as a link between prisoners and society. They currently have more than 300 volunteers who enter prisons as mentors and tutors, supporting over 100 prisoners. These prisoners often take on leadership roles inside the walls, as well as outside when they return to their communities.
Partakers is a 501© (3) non-profit organization that relies on volunteers and donations to run the College Behind Bars program. The program offers a number of ways to help educate and rehabilitate prisoners.
it is crucial that prison time be used to rehabilitate and educate prisoners so that they may lead productive, even inspiring lives as leaders and role models when they return to their communities.
Mentoring : Sponsoring teams serve as academic mentors to prisoners enrolled in the Boston University Prison Education Program. Mentors support prisoners in reaching their goals for academic achievement and personal and/or spiritual growth while they work toward completing their college degree.
CORRESPONDENCE COURSES: Partakers offers prisoners with shorter sentences (at minimum security facilities and pre-release centers) the opportunity to enroll in correspondence courses to increase their potential for successful re-entry and for continuing their education upon release.
ENTRANCE EXAM PREPARATION: Boston University requires prisoners to take an entrance exam to qualify for participation in its “Bridge to College” program. Partakers volunteers tutor prospective students to prepare them for the exam and increase their chances of gaining admission to the program.
In addition to the mentoring programs, Partakers lobbies with legislators on bills that affect prisoners. They also use volunteers and former prisoners to help educate the public outside of prison on the importance of prison education in reducing the rate of recidivism.
To quote Partakers and their College Behind Bars program: “has made a significant impact on individuals and larger society. We believe that without compassion there is no justice. As a faith-based organization, we support every individual’s inherent worth and their capacity to grow and change.”
If you would like to explore ways to volunteer or donate to the College Behind Bars program, please feel free to visit their website.