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April 28, 2010

Carter, Crittenden named recipients of the Illinois Department of Corrections 2010 Volunteer of the Year Award
“Volunteers…Caring About the Needs of Others.”

SPRINGFIELD - Gerald Carter at Logan Correctional Center and Chaplain Richard Crittenden at West Side Adult Transition Center were named the recipients of the 2010 Volunteer of the Year Award for the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) at a recognition ceremony held today in Springfield.  Carter and Crittenden were among volunteers of the state's 28 adult correctional centers and eight adult transition centers, who were being honored for their outstanding leadership and dedicated efforts in providing positive change in the lives of inmates.

“Volunteers throughout the world help lighten the burden of others,” said IDOC Director Michael P. Randle.  “This year's theme, ‘Volunteers…Caring About the Needs of Others,’ reflects the valuable assistance of volunteers inside the prison system.  Without the resources of our volunteers, the agency could not provide the needed programs and services that help prepare inmates to successfully return home to their families and communities.”

Gerald Carter

Gerald Carter has demonstrated his devotion to the prison ministry at Logan Correctional Center for more than 36 years.  During this time, he has served on various committees, helped obtain a baptistery, taught Bible classes and worked on special events, such as the Holy Fest.  His assistance with the 2009 Holy Fest was invaluable; he was instrumental in numerous areas, including guest speakers.  Carter has encouraged offenders through his dedication, Bible lessons and honest sincerity.  He began his prison ministry with the Gideon International Bible Society and currently ministers as a group leader with the Logan Bible Fellowship.  He and his team represent the Jefferson Street Christian Church in Lincoln where Carter has served as an elder and trustee and leads the prison ministry team.

Chaplain Richard Crittenden

Chaplain Crittenden of Elzabad Ministries has provided volunteer services to West Side Adult Transition Center since 1989.  He is known throughout the westside community as a pillar of strength, faith, inspiration and kindness.  He oversees religious services for the center and conducts counseling and worship services, Bible study and provides mentorship and baptisms.  His ministries are open to all residents and their family members.  Crittenden conducts Men’s Fellowship Services on Saturdays and Sundays and regular church services on Sundays.  He is a valuable mentor and has a positive impact on staff as well as residents.  Residents look forward to his counseling sessions, noting that he leads them in the right direction and focuses on  preventing recidivism.  His nomination reads, “Chaplain Crittenden is a man of honor and exemplifies everything that a volunteer should be.”

At IDOC, volunteers assist in various ways, ranging from mentoring and meeting the religious needs of inmates to offering alcohol and drug rehabilitation such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.  Volunteers tutor, hold church services and Bible studies as well as parenting, art, music, poetry and literacy classes.

Some 6,500 volunteers provide programs and services at IDOC that otherwise would not be available to the incarcerated men and women.  During the past year, volunteers have donated more than $3.5 million in time and goods to the incarcerated.  The agency is responsible for managing more than 80,000 inmates and parolees.

Those interested in the Volunteer Services Program at IDOC can contact Marcy Morris, volunteer services manager, at 217-558-2200 ext. 6101.



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