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Amicus One to One: Making a Friend and Changing Society

August 18, 2011

Amicus was founded 44 years ago on the premise that positive friendships with people on the outside can help people in prison make the changes they need to successfully rejoin community when they have finished their time of incarceration. Through Amicus One to One, volunteers are asked to form a friendship with a single inmate who is looking for a positive connection to the outside world.  Volunteers are trained, supported and specifically matched with an inmate who may still be very different from the volunteer but who shares enough in their personal outlook that friendship seems likely.

What surprises us over and over is not how valuable the One to One program is to inmates;  we know that our One to One participants are significantly less likely to end up back in prison than the average Minnesota offender. Rather it’s how life-changing and enjoyable our volunteers find the experience of making a new friend.

The following is a video we’ve been working on for much of this year which talks about the One to One experience and encourages people to volunteer. We’re grateful to many people and organizations for making this video possible, including: the Minnesota Department of Corrections, including Sarah Russel from their outstanding communications office and Steve Hammer from MCF Stillwater; Pax Christie in Eden Prairie and Unity Church Unitarian in St. Paul.  Brenda Piekarski of Pixelle8 was our video producer and she, Katherine and David did an amazing job as our creative team. If you’ve got a video to do, and want value, hard work and creativity, we highly recommend Pixelle8!

Finally, we dedicate the video to our incredible and devoted volunteers and to the One to One participants who are doing the difficult work of changing their lives and starting fresh in a society which doesn’t forgive easily.

Here it is: “Amicus; Real Change Starts on the Inside”  Enjoy, and if you’re able, consider volunteering for the One to One program yourself. Contact our Community Partnerships team. Chris or Robyn will be sure to give you the information you need to begin exploring whether this is the right opportunity for you.

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