PLATINUM2023

Yokefellow Prison Ministry of N.C., Inc.

Building Trusting Relationships: Listening | Caring | Encouraging

aka Yokefellow Prison Ministry   |   Goldsboro, NC   |  https://yokefellowprisonministry.org/

Mission

In response to the call and example of Christ, the purpose of Yokefellow Prison Ministry is to develop personal relationships between inmates and volunteers, individually and in community, which will create a nurturing, non-judgmental environment in which each will feel free to examine and share their lives and thereby experience the forgiveness, healing, and power of God's love.

Notes from the nonprofit

Yokefellow Prison Ministry has been serving NC inmates for over 50 years using a unique relational/active listening, small group ministry model and expanded its services to returning citizens in 2018. This ministry is provided in nearly half and has expanded during the pandemic to include residential reentry/post-prison services. We need financial support to continue expanding to the remaining prisons and to grow the residential reentry/post prison program. Because most of our services are provided by volunteers, the cost of expanding the ministry is low, especially when compared with the cost of not providing this ministry. Because of Yokefellow Prison Ministry, numerous returning citizens have changed the course of their lives, becoming productive members of society. We need your help to continue reducing the recidivism rate in the state of North Carolina, which benefits not only those we serve but also their families, friends, community, and society at large.

Ruling year info

1973

Executive Director

Carlton Gooding

Development & Marketing Administrator

Jennifer Burns

Main address

PO BOX 375

Goldsboro, NC 27533 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

56-1059009

NTEE code info

Services to Prisoners/Families (I43)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The three-year recidivism rate in North Carolina is 40%.[1] Not only does a return to prison affect inmates, but it also affects their families, friends, and victims of their crimes. Important needs of those in prison or recently released from prison are to “feel heard,” accepted, and loved. Since 1969, Yokefellow Prison Ministry has been providing small group, relational listening ministry to inmates in prisons across North Carolina. When someone listens to their stories, inmates discover hope that perhaps their lives can be different. Inmates “yoke together” with Christian volunteers from the local community and develop relationships. Over time, the inmates grow to recognize that they have value, both to the volunteer and, by extension, to God. In 2018, Yokefellow extended its services to ex-offenders/returning citizens; currently these services include in-person and virtual meetings. [1] https://bjs.ojp.gov/sites/g/files/xyckuh236/files/media/document/rpr34s125yfup1217.pdf

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Prison Ministry

Yokefellow Prison Ministry is a diverse interdenominational ministry that has been working since 1969 to lower the rate of recidivism in our communities. This is done through hosting small group active listening ministries which allow trained volunteers and incarcerated individuals the opportunity to "yoke up" with each other and to develop personal relationships. Through these relationships, each person can share and examine their lives and come to experience forgiveness and healing and know the power of God's love. Yokefellow Prison Ministry is not a worship service, Bible study, or opportunity to teach a predetermined lesson; it is an opportunity for incarcerated people to have an opportunity to talk about things that are on their minds and to know that they are valued as individuals, cared for, and heard. Yokefellow Prison Ministry is currently operating ministries in nearly half of the prisons in the state with the eventual goal of having an active group in every facility.

Population(s) Served
Incarcerated people

Similar to the Prison Ministry, Yokefellow's Residential Reentry and Aftercare programs are conducted by trained volunteers who lead weekly small group meetings that are tailored to individuals transitioning from prison/ those who have already completed their sentences and have returned back to society. These meetings are hosted in residential reentry facilities and local churches that offer space to hold the meetings. As with the Prison Ministry, Yokefellow meetings are not opportunities for worship, preaching, teaching, or Bible study, but rather they are opportunities for participants to have the opportunity to talk about what they have to say or are concerned about and on providing them with knowledge, empowerment, and tools that can help them post-incarceration to be a successful and productive member of society. As of January 2023, there are 10 Residential Reentry/Aftercare locations with the goal of adding additional locations across the state.

Population(s) Served
Ex-offenders

The Virtual Aftercare ministry follows the same model as the Prison Ministry and Residential Reentry/Aftercare programs, only in an online format. These meetings are hosted via Zoom and are open to anyone who wants to participate through the use of a computer or a smartphone. Participants are not obligated to use their cameras or to speak unless they choose to. While the target participation group is still formerly incarcerated people, the Virtual Aftercare meetings do present the opportunity to include family members of those experiencing incarceration and those beyond the boundaries of North Carolina.

Population(s) Served
Ex-offenders

Where we work

Awards

Grant for helping reduce recidivism 2022

Bob Barker Company Foundation

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Average number of volunteers ministering weekly

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Incarcerated people

Related Program

Prison Ministry

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

2017 was an estimate. We began tracking this data in 2018. 2020 includes Jan-Mar with prisons closed to volunteers Mar 2020 to early 2021 for COVID-19. 2022 is reopening facilities as allowed by DPS

Percentage of NC prisons with active Yokefellow ministries

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Incarcerated people

Related Program

Prison Ministry

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

See notes above regarding closures and repopulations. We are awaiting permission from DPS to resume other locations

Average number of inmates served weekly

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Incarcerated people

Related Program

Prison Ministry

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

See notes above regarding closures and repopulations. 2022 includes facilities that have been able to reopen; we are waiting for permission to reopen others.

Number of aftercare (post-incarceration) ministries

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ex-offenders

Related Program

Residential Reentry/ Aftercare Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2021, Yokefellow added four meetings in residential reentry homes across the state. These meetings are open to residents of the particular facility. Three other meetings are open to all.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

At the beginning of 2020, Yokefellow Prison Ministry was active in 67% of prisons in the state of North Carolina serving currently incarcerated people. In 2018, Yokefellow realized the need to offer ongoing services post-release from traditional incarceration in order to help former offenders/ returning citizens remain successful at not returning to prison. Yokefellow answered this call by launching the Aftercare Ministry, which meets both in person and online. The COVID19 pandemic seriously impacted Yokefellow Prison Ministry's ability to minister to currently incarcerated people as prisons were closed to outside volunteers. Currently, our main goal is to resume our core mission which is to minister to currently incarcerated people inside North Carolina prisons. Yokefellow staff remains in constant contact with the administration at all facilities that had active Yokefellow ministries and will resume ministry as we are able.

At the same time, Yokefellow Prison Ministry is also dedicated to growing our program and expanding the services we offer to former offenders/ returning citizens. The Aftercare Ministry which started in 2018 has expanded to include both in-person and virtual meetings. The virtual meetings are open to all who wish to participate and can be accessed via computer or smartphone using the Zoom platform. In 2021, Yokefellow also launched ministries in four residential reentry homes across North Carolina, ministering to people recently released from prison and going through the process of fully reentering society. Yokefellow is planning to add new locations to this program in 2022. Funds are needed to cover the cost of recruiting and training volunteers in local communities across the state. Adding more local ministries to each prison will move Yokefellow Prison Ministry one step closer to its goal of making active listening small group ministry available to every person affected by incarceration in the state.

Yokefellow Prison Ministry has an excellent reputation for serving inmates across the State of NC since 1969. The ministry builds upon this strong reputation to open doors to expand the ministry to prisons that do not yet have this ministry established. The Board and staff recruit and train Christians in the local community to minister to those in prison, ensuring the volunteer base is racially-diverse and interdenominational. Volunteers are taught the value of active listening ministry and provided with specific tools to help inmates “feel heard” and valued. This format of ministry is distinguishable from other Christian ministries, which tend to focus on Bible study, worship services, or proclaiming the gospel.

Yokefellow Prison Ministry has been providing active listening ministry in prisons across the state of North Carolina since 1969. Its Board is composed of people with extensive prison experience, including retired prison chaplains (federal and state), a former state prison superintendent (warden), and ex-offenders/returning citizens. All volunteers receive training for providing relational active listening ministry to inmates.

Yokefellow Prison Ministry has remained a vibrant and growing organization across the state of North Carolina since 1969. Yokefellow Prison Ministry received its 501(c)3 status in 1972. Since then, Yokefellow Prison Ministry came to serve 37 out of 55 (67%) of the prison facilities in the state of North Carolina. The ministry is conducted by trained volunteers who lead weekly meetings of small groups inside North Carolina’s correctional institutions.

In 2018, Yokefellow Prison Ministry expanded its program to include services to former offenders/ returning citizens through Yokefellow meetings hosted at a local church. These meetings follow the same format that is offered in the prison facility, just on the outside the prison walls and with a focus on remaining successful post-release and not returning to prison. In 2020, Yokefellow launched a virtual meeting that has the potential of reaching former offenders/ returning citizens outside the borders of North Carolina. These meetings are offered via Zoom and can be accessed by anyone with a computer or smartphone. In 2021, Yokefellow Prison Ministry launched meetings in four transitional residential reentry homes across the state. Yokefellow Prison Ministry is working to continue expanding this ministry as well by adding more locations in residential reentry homes across the state.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve, We need prison approval and IRB supervision to be permitted to collect feedback from inmates.

Financials

Yokefellow Prison Ministry of N.C., Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Yokefellow Prison Ministry of N.C., Inc.

Board of directors
as of 02/09/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

David Morton

Retired

Term: 2020 - 2023

Leon Morrow

Hickory Grove United Methodist Church

Gary Cagle

Fidelity Bank

Ken Ripley

Retired

Rob Ferry

TGB Partnership

Yvette Morrow

Stephen Couch

Couch Oil Company

Chris Holland

Retired Federal Bureau of Prisons

Kelvin Sellers

Pastor Second Chance Community Church

Chris McLean

Caterpillar

Twyla Philyaw

Retired

Dwight Hunter

Wayne Opportunities

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/9/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/09/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.