Non-profit

The Prison Fellowship

Website:

prisonfellowship.org%20

Location:

Lansdowne, VA

Tax ID:

62-0988294

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $42,418,289
Expenses: $41,622,107
Assets: $22,373,417

Formation:

1977

Type:

Non-profit

President:

James Ackerman

President's Salary:

$385,461[25]

The Prison Fellowship (also known as Prison Fellowship Ministries or PFM) is a nonpartisan, Christian organization that advocates for criminal justice reform. PFM advocates for a restorative approach to criminal justice, which includes federal and state policies that support proportional punishment, constructive prison culture, and second chances at employment and social integration for individuals with criminal records. [1]

The Prison Fellowship is an associate member of the State Policy Network, a coalition of state-level policy organizations that advocates for free market policy solutions. [2]

History

The Prison Fellowship was founded in 1976 by Chuck Colson, who pled guilty to obstruction of justice during the Watergate scandal. After serving time in prison, Colson became a leading advocate for criminal justice reform and formed PFM to mobilize the Christian church to serve prisoners, former prisoners, and their families. [3]

Activities

The Prison Fellowship is a nonpartisan, Christian organization that advocates for criminal justice reform. PFM advocates for a restorative approach to criminal justice, which includes federal and state policies to implement proportional punishments, constructive prison culture, and reintegration programs for individuals with criminal records. [4]

The Prison Fellowship advocates for what it calls a “new and radical model” for criminal justice reform, which providing victims of crimes with restitution, protection, and other assistance; providing a just process with proportional punishments for criminal offenders; and enabling communities to facilitate justice through education, support, and safety initiatives. [5]

In light of COVID-19, the Prison Fellowship’s 2021 policy agenda includes supporting the use of emergency funding through the Second Chance Act to support former prisoners re-entering society during the pandemic. PFM has also advocated to remove Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) exclusions that would otherwise deny emergency financial aid to small business owners with criminal records. PFM has also advocated for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to push the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to expand its use of home confinement and compassionate release during COVID-19. [6]

The Prison Fellowship has claimed that while the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 reduced the disparities in penalizing powder and crack cocaine crimes, the justice system’s approach to such offenses is still unjust and racially discriminatory. PFM has advocated for the implementation of legislation to provide a more consistent approach to sentencing. [7]

The Prison Fellowship has argued that the BOP should expand the First Step Act to include faith-based programs, like PFM’s Prison Fellowship Academy. PFM claims that along with humane treatment, such programs can help prisons promote transformation and good citizenship among prisoners. PFM also supports reducing barriers to reintegration for formerly incarcerated people, supporting bipartisan legislation that seeks to remove such barriers. PFM has supported bills including the RE-ENTER Act, which would allow U.S. district courts to issue federal certificates of rehabilitation for reformed convicts; the Driving for Opportunity Act, which seeks to prevent states from suspending driver’s licenses for unpaid fines; and the Ed ACCESS Act, which seeks to reduce barriers to accessing federal programs for convicted felons. [8]

The Prison Fellowship has played a role in the passage of several influential, bipartisan criminal justice reform bills, including the Prison Rape Elimination Act, the Second Chance Act, the Fair Sentencing Act, the First Step Act, and the Fair Chance Act. It has also been influential in restoring the Pell Grant for formerly incarcerated students and allowing small business owners with criminal records to access the Paycheck Protection Program during the COVID-19 pandemic. [9]

Funding

The Prison Fellowship is funded by donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations. While the Prison Fellowship does not disclose its donors, tax filings show donations from the left-leaning Pew Charitable Trusts, which contributed $643,278 between 2015 and 2018;[10] the libertarian Charles Koch Foundation, which contributed $614,400 between 2015 and 2018;[11] and the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation, which contributed $650,000 between 2014 and 2018. [12]

People

Staff

James Ackerman is the president and CEO of Prison Fellowship. [13]

Tammy Boyle is the vice president of strategic gifts at PFM and the former executive director of the American Cancer Society. [14]

Kelly Friedlander is the vice president of marketing and communications at PFM and former president of the board of the Western Fairfax Christian Ministries. [15]

Heather Rice-Minus works as senior vice president of advocacy and church mobilization at PFM. Rice-Minus was the former director of the U.S. Prisons and Policy Program at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. [16]

Natika Washington is the vice president of corporate sponsors at PFM and the former director of global programs and gender integration at the U.S. Department of State. [17]

Board Member

PFM board member Shaun Alexander sits on the board of the right-of-center Stand Together Foundation, a charitable organization associated with businessman Charles Koch. [18]

W. Brian Byrd serves as a member of the Fort Worth City Council and as an executive pastor for Christ Fellowship Fort Worth. [19]

Nathan Burl Cain is the commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the founder and CEO of the Global Prison Seminaries Foundation. Cain is the former warden of the Louisiana State Penitentiary. [20]

Louis Green formerly served as Chief Deputy Director of the State of Michigan, president and CEO of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, and interim president of the National Minority Supplier Development Council. [21]

Monique Miles is a former staff attorney for the Immigration Reform Law Institute. [22]

Bob Milligan formerly served as Chair of the U.S. Department of Commerce. [23]

Thomas Usher is the former president and CEO of U.S. Steel. [24]

References

  1. “Justice Reform.” Prison Fellowship, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.prisonfellowship.org/about/justice-reform/. ^
  2. “The Network: Virginia.” State Policy Network, 2021. Accessed April 24, 2021. https://spn.org/directory/#VA. ^
  3. “Our Founder, Chuck Colson.” Prison Fellowship, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.prisonfellowship.org/about/chuck-colson/. ^
  4. “Justice Reform.” Prison Fellowship, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.prisonfellowship.org/about/justice-reform/. ^
  5. “Justice That Restores.” Prison Fellowship, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.prisonfellowship.org/about/justicereform/justice-that-restores/. ^
  6. “Prison Fellowship Agenda for the 117th Congress and the New Administration.” Prison Fellowship, 2021. Accessed May 4, 2021. https://www.prisonfellowship.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/PF-Federal-Agenda-2021.pdf. ^
  7. “Prison Fellowship Agenda for the 117th Congress and the New Administration.” Prison Fellowship, 2021. Accessed May 4, 2021. https://www.prisonfellowship.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/PF-Federal-Agenda-2021.pdf. ^
  8. “Prison Fellowship Agenda for the 117th Congress and the New Administration.” Prison Fellowship, 2021. Accessed May 4, 2021. https://www.prisonfellowship.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/PF-Federal-Agenda-2021.pdf. ^
  9. “Prison Fellowship Agenda for the 117th Congress and the New Administration.” Prison Fellowship, 2021. Accessed May 4, 2021. https://www.prisonfellowship.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/PF-Federal-Agenda-2021.pdf. ^
  10. Pew Charitable Trusts, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2015-2018, Schedule I, Part II. ^
  11. Charles Koch Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2015-2018, Part XV, Line 3a. ^
  12. Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2014-2018, Part XV, Line 3a. ^
  13. “Leadership Board.” Prison Fellowship, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.prisonfellowship.org/about/leadership-board/. ^
  14. “Leadership Board.” Prison Fellowship, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.prisonfellowship.org/about/leadership-board/. ^
  15. “Kelly M. Friedlander.” LinkedIn, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellymfriedlander/. ^
  16. “Heather Rice-Minus.” LinkedIn, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/heather-rice-minus-b5187064/. ^
  17. “Leadership Board.” Prison Fellowship, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.prisonfellowship.org/about/leadership-board/. ^
  18. “Shaun Alexander.” LinkedIn, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/shaun-alexander-5a13b719a/. ^
  19. “W. Brian Byrd.” LinkedIn, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/w-brian-byrd-a7b17214/. ^
  20. “Office of the Commissioner.” Mississippi Department of Corrections, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.mdoc.ms.gov/About/Pages/Office%20of%20the%20Commissioner.aspx. ^
  21. “Louis Green.” LinkedIn, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/louisgreen/. ^
  22. “Monique Miles.” LinkedIn, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/milesmonique/. ^
  23. “Robert S. Milligan Elected Chairman of U.S. Chamber.” U.S. Chamber of Commerce, June 9, 2009. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.uschamber.com/press-release/robert-s-milligan-elected-chairman-us-chamber. ^
  24. “Thomas J. Usher.” Bloomberg, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.bloomberg.com/profile/person/1429394. ^
  25. Prison Fellowship Ministries, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2019, Part VII, Section A, Line 1a. ^

Coalition Memberships

  1. State Policy Network (SPN)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: January 1, 1977

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Jun Form 990 $42,418,289 $41,622,107 $22,373,417 $7,847,800 N $40,975,390 $76,674 $329,964 $2,091,391 PDF
    2018 Jun Form 990 $46,553,892 $39,275,454 $22,037,917 $8,489,134 N $43,940,900 $78,133 $165,196 $1,990,232 PDF
    2017 Jun Form 990 $38,620,075 $36,633,583 $15,459,044 $7,944,442 N $37,283,678 $81,829 $130,787 $1,917,833 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $41,522,173 $37,876,032 $13,415,460 $7,908,144 N $40,291,176 $130,914 $165,007 $2,090,005 PDF
    2015 Jun Form 990 $39,901,871 $37,669,093 $13,537,924 $11,916,492 N $38,036,999 $285,153 $147,998 $2,648,149 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $38,102,163 $43,516,721 $15,311,985 $15,469,330 N $36,429,665 $95,004 $173,150 $3,019,375 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $40,765,296 $37,424,431 $18,014,525 $12,869,565 Y $39,003,352 $92,516 $133,835 $1,906,593 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $41,022,998 $39,278,488 $14,711,454 $15,115,898 Y $40,018,244 $108,662 $268,898 $1,639,009 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $46,003,296 $45,685,033 $17,037,018 $18,938,308 Y $39,003,038 $5,397,803 $200,069 $2,175,542 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    The Prison Fellowship

    1150 CONRAD CT
    Lansdowne, VA 21740-5905