Crime, Legal Related

Yokefellow Prison Ministry of NC Inc

A statewide ministry of reconciliation

aka Yokefellow Prison Ministry



In response to the call and example of Christ, Yokefellow Prison Ministry of N.C., Inc. motivates and encourages prisoners, yoked in personal relationships with community volunteers, to examine their lives; experience the forgiveness, healing and power of God's love; and return from incarceration with a covenant commitment to, and new disciplines for, personal responsibility and contribution to family and community.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Vita Bernhardt Alligood

State Developer

Carlton Gooding

Main Address

PO BOX 38964



Prison ministry





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Services to Prisoners/Families (I43)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Yokefellow Prison Ministry seeks to provide an open and inviting setting for inmates to provide them the opportunity to examine their lives, talk about their faith, and search for direction and purpose with others who are committed to do the same. This happens in conjunction with the help of Yokefellow volunteers from nearby churches. We seek to offer opportunities for inmates to build relationships with Yokefellow volunteers, thereby diminishing the power of their estrangement with the outside world and preparing them to reenter society with wholesome attitudes. We seek to demonstrate a concern for those who have been released and paroled, ministering to their needs and supporting others who minister to them. We seek to yoke persons through Christ for many forms of ministry: to those in prison, those released, families of prisoners, victims of crime, and persons participating in victim/offender reconciliation programs. We seek to encourage intentional spiritual growth.

Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Prison Ministry

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

According to the National Reentry Resource Center, 95% of the NC state prison population will be released from prison and return to their communities. See The goal of Yokefellow Prison Ministry is to prepare inmates to return to society as productive members and support them as they transition back to society.

The small groups Yokefellow offers consist of volunteers and inmates. The meetings usually last from 60 minutes to 90 minutes. The small groups enable the development of trusted relationships, and our volunteers follow a code of conduct and confidentiality that is explained to them in their Yokefellow training. Our volunteers are trained to be active listeners. Yokefellow is NOT a ministry of teaching, preaching, or Bible study. This does not mean that spiritual or faith matters are ignored or never addressed. Those issues are discussed freely as they come up in questions or discussion, but the goal of a Yokefellow meeting is not to teach, preach, or have a Bible study. Yokefellow meetings are small group Christian fellowships that provide a safe atmosphere for inmates to discuss personal concerns, feelings, and challenges. Yokefellow is primarily a ministry of listening and caring, a ministry that fosters an environment of forgiveness, acceptance, and belonging.

Yokefellow Prison Ministry serves 39 of NC's 57 prisons and has been active in the prisons since 1969. The practice of employing standardized faith-based programs through volunteers trained in using effective tools for reducing deviant and criminal behavior among inmates has been found to reduce the possibility of inmates returning to prison after their release. See Dodson, Kimberly D., Leann N. Cabage, and Paul M. Klenowski. "An Evidence-Based Assessment of Faith-Based Programs: Do Faith-Based Programs 'Work' to Reduce Recidivism?." Journal of Offender Rehabilitation 50, no. 6 (August 2011): 367-383. Yokefellow’s ministry model meets this definition.

Reduced recidivism rate for Yokefellow participants.

Yokefellow Prison Ministry is already active in 39 of NC's 57 prisons. Yokefellow plans to expand its ministries to the remaining prisons. The ministry also launched its first post-incarceration ministry on 8/30/18 and plans to grow this form of ministry throughout the state of NC.

External Reviews


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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

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

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
The Yokefellow Board of Directors is actively recruiting a more diverse group to fill open positions. Per the bylaws, up to 24 Directors may serve.