Prison Clubs

MA Department of Corrections

MA Department of Corrections

Why Prison Clubs?

Some of these clubs pay the same dues as you and I, and are supported by outside Toastmasters Clubs and individuals who truly believe that WE can make a difference in the lives of those that made some serious mistakes in life choices. Some of these clubs go beyond what outside clubs do: debates with outside colleges and different groups within the prison, jeopardy nights, speech contests, training sessions on evaluations, speech writing, and more. The participants truly hunger to be better people, speaking better, using proper language and interacting with others within the prison system and volunteers like myself.

Being a prison volunteer and we have MANY that go into prisons every week, we feel safer in prison than on the street! We see the drastic changes in the inmates for the better. They get the same awards that we do, and that really makes them proud! The big issue we have is raising enough to cover their dues.

What you see on television is television. What we see in prisons is totally different. These inmates are not the thugs you are used to seeing. These inmate have feelings, families, children, dreams of their release. Toastmasters gives them some more tools for their toolbox to interact within the community, with families and friends and to change the way they think about themselves in a very positive way.

I’ll leave you with a quote from a Toastmaster behind the walls: “I’m in prison to pay for my past. I’m in Toastmasters to earn my future.”

~ Contributed by George Manoogian, nicknamed “Mr. Nice Guy” by the inmates he serves. In January 2018, George celebrated his 30th year of being a volunteer – no parole, no time off, and no release! Just helping those that need help.

Volunteer for Prison Clubs

Volunteer for Prison Clubs

Volunteer for Prison Clubs

Would you like to become a Prison Club Volunteer?
There are only three requirements to be eligible to volunteer in a prison:
  • Must be a current Toastmasters Member in good standing
  • Complete District 31 Prison Club Training
  • Complete Massachusetts Corrections Volunteer Training

Connect with the District 31 Prison Club Liaison, Stefano McGhee (DTM) to get started.

Mass Dept. of Corrections Handbook

Do We Make A Difference?

“Sir, you asked me what Toastmasters means to me, it’s two hours a week that I’m not in prison.”

~ Inmate Toastmaster Old Colony Correctional

“I’ve been incarcerated for 20 years and only in the past two years have I ever seen anyone from the outside. Sir, that is you within the Toastmasters program, I thank you so much!”

~ Inmate from MCI Norfolk

Prison Club Locations

  • Bob Rosenberg: North Central Correctional Institution or NCCI – Gardner Ma
  • Free Spirits Toastmasters Club: MCI Shirley Medium Prison – Shirley, MA
  • New Beginnings: Old Colony Correctional Institution – Bridgewater, MA
  • Sisters Mastering Correct Communication: South Middlesex Correctional Center – Framingham, MA
  • Voices of Victory Toastmasters Club: MCI Concord – 965 Elm St Concord, MA
  • Phoenix Toastmasters Club MCI: Norfolk Prison – Norfolk, MA
  • Cedar Junction Orators: MCI Cedar Junction, Walpole MA

Prison Club Management Team

Stefano McGhee – DTM
Stefano McGhee
Past District Director
George Manoogian
George Manoogian, DTM
Prison Club Advisor
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Stefano McGhee

Past District Director

Stefano McGhee – DTM, PDG, PDD, is an Enterprise Cloud Operations Manager working in Information Technology for over twenty years. He is also a Lieutenant Colonel serving as the Director of Communications for the Rhode Island Air National Guard. He has been involved in Toastmasters for close to 15 years and has served as the lead executive for District 31 twice providing rich experience in leading volunteers as part of a non-profit.

Stefano McGhee has been a member of Toastmasters since 2005. In 2005, Stefano’s wife insisted that he attend a membership night at her local club, Network Voice Toastmasters. While he would have preferred to stay at home, he finally gave in to his wife and attended the meeting and has been a member of Toastmasters ever since.

In the Fall of 2011, he earned the Distinguished Toastmaster award along with his wife. The Distinguished Toastmaster Award is the highest award in Toastmasters, awarded for successful completion of many leadership and speaking projects. Stefano is a past District Governor/Director of District 31 Toastmasters and is one of only two people in the District to hold the role twice.
Stefano works in Information Technology and is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Rhode Island Air National Guard.

Toastmasters has helped him achieve many of the great things he enjoys in his professional and military careers. A fun fact that most don’t know about Stefano is that he is currently taking flight lessons and considering a career change into the aviation industry. He enjoys, motorcycling, boating and flying every day he can.

George Manoogian, DTM

Prison Club Advisor

In the beginning for me anyway here’s the rest of the story. In 1988 a new prison in Bridgewater, MA opened and some inmates from other prisons that had Toastmasters clubs transferred there. They asked the staff about starting a club there. After the staff or inmates contacted District 31 officials, I was asked to help with the club seeing I live close by.

That started my 27 year journey of helping prison clubs. First by starting them and getting the materials they needed. Then year’s later helping with fund raising and getting their dues paid to International. It was a challenge to find out who was in what club and where they were transferred to.

Now, they years have changed the system of helping the inmates. Whereas Toastmasters is a very powerful and self-running program in most of the prisons. Normally, if no volunteer is present, no meeting. Toastmasters is one of the very few exceptions.

Now, I’m down to visiting four prison clubs, two I visit weekly, some less often. The goal is the same: If I can help just one person from returning to prison then my goal has been met.

All the best,

George Manoogian, DTM