LOCKDOWN COMMUNITY PARTNERS
DRAMA CLUB. Founded in 2013, in New York City, Drama Club is an organization that provides theatre programming to young people who are incarcerated, court-involved and systems-involved. We are a mobile drama club, bringing our classes into juvenile detention centers, jails and community centers throughout the city. Drama Club’s mission is to provide theater training and positive mentor relationships to New York City youth throughout each step of their journey through the criminal justice system: detention, placement and aftercare. We are committed to providing New York City’s most vulnerable youth the opportunity to laugh, play, and cultivate life skills through improvisational theatre.
THE FORTUNE SOCIETY’s mission is to support successful reentry from incarceration and promote alternatives to incarceration, thus strengthening the fabric of our communities.
We do this by:
Believing in the power of individuals to change;
Building lives through service programs shaped by the needs and experiences of our participants; and
Changing minds through education and advocacy to promote the creation of a fair, humane, and truly rehabilitative correctional system.
Founded in 1967, The Fortune Society’s vision is to foster a world where all who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated will thrive as positive, contributing members of society. We do this through a holistic, one-stop model of service provision. Our continuum of care, informed and implemented by professionals with cultural backgrounds and life experiences similar to those of our participants, helps ensure their success. We serve over 7,000 individuals annually via three New York City locations: our service center in Long Island City, Queens, and both The Fortune Academy (“the Castle”) and Castle Gardens in West Harlem. Our program models are recognized both nationally and internationally for their quality and innovation.
NYC TOGETHER interrupts the school to prison pipeline by shifting mindsets from what is to what could be. By pushing past the punishment paradigm in practice, we are supporting the new DOE and NYPD policies that are often challenging to implement because of traditional culture and norms. NYC Together is focused on challenging ingrained mindsets that suggest punishment is the only tool for modifying behavior. We believe that cultivating the strengths of our police officers and student members leads to significant, positive results. In officers weekly meaningful collaborations with local youth who are most impacted by system involvement, our officers create powerful alternatives to conventional, adversarial responses to crime and disorder, leading to increased public safety and improved academic outcomes for our youth.
PEN AMERICA PRISON AND JUSTICE WRITING PROGRAM. PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. For more than four decades, PEN America’s Prison Writing Program has amplified the writing of thousands of imprisoned writers by providing free resources, skilled mentors, and audiences for their writing. We are proud to share our deepening commitment to confronting our era of mass incarceration with the launch of the PEN America Writing For Justice Fellowship.
PROJECT LIBERATION provides a paradigm-shifting personal development platform for women across all stages of criminal justice involvement, while simultaneously using national advocacy and engagement to raise awareness and political will around the issues and needs that specifically face and affect demographically and culturally diverse women.
REHABILITATION THROUGH THE ARTS’s mission is to use the transformative power of the arts to develop social and cognitive skills that prisoners need for successful reintegration into the community. RTA also seeks to raise public awareness of the humanity behind prison walls. That mission has evolved since 1996, when Katherine Vockins attended a graduation of the New York Theological Seminary at Sing Sing Correctional Facility and casually asked an inmate if there was any theatre in the prison. The answer was no, but there was plenty of interest and plenty of talent. One year later, the Theatre Group Katherine formed presented an original piece to the prison population. The play was about their own lives - drugs, gangs, crime and bad decisions - but also about the possibility of change and redemption. In time, participants, observing changes in their own attitudes and behavior, changed the organization's name to Rehabilitation Through The Arts. The mission continues to evolve, as RTA alumni seek to sustain the creative experience they found so meaningful inside. Our first project in the community was to develop a play about the challenges of reentry; we plan to launch an ongoing alumni program in 2018.