Prison Relations Advisory Committee (PRAC)
Adopt A Prison
Interfaith Prison Partnership (IPP)’s Director, Hans Hallundbaek, originated the concept of “Adopt-A-Prison” in 2017 with the simple question, “If we can adopt a highway, why not our local prison?”.
Meetings, led by IPP, with the Town of Bedford, NY Supervisor (at the time, Chris Burdick), and the Superintendents of the two NYS women’s prison in Bedford – Taconic (then Superintendent Tanya Mitchell-Voyd) and Bedford Hills (Superintendent Amy LaManna) Correctional Facilities, led to a meeting in the Fall of 2019, attended by over 100 community members.
Speakers at this event in the fall of 2019 included local and state elected officials, as well as eighteen prison volunteer groups from faith, academic, justice, legal, rehabilitation, human rights and reentry organizations. The event was so successful that the Town passed a resolution establishing the first ever Prison Relations Advisory Committee (PRAC) to any town in the country. IPP Program Coordinator, Sharon Griest Ballen, was asked by the Town Supervisor to Chair this Committee and put the idea of Adopt-A-Prison into practical work with our community and our two local prisons.
Photos from an Adopt A Prison Event – Fall, 2019
Amy LaManna, Superintendent of of Bedford Hills Correctional Facility
Tanya Mitchell-Voyd, Superintendent, (retired), Taconic Correctional Facility and Amy LaManna, Superintendent, Bedford Hills Correctional Facility
Odyssey Impact table (foreground) and Puppies Behind Bars table (background) at the Adopt A Prison event
Dr. Hans Hallundbaek, Director IPP; Evan Misshula, Correctional Association of NY; Deb Rigano, Jane Silfen (staff) and a volunteer, of Hour Children; and former Town Supervisor, Lee Roberts
NYS Assembly Member
Westchester County Executive
Town of Bedford Supervisor
Rev Nicole Schwabe, Chair, Northern Westchester Interfaith Council, addressing the standing room only crowd
Rev Peter Cook, Exec Dir of NYS Council of Churches and Peter Keller, Episcopal Charities