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  4. Steve Higgs named recipient of the IDOC 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award

Steve Higgs named recipient of the IDOC 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award 

SPRINGFIELD - April 4, 2012 – Steve Higgs at Big Muddy River Correctional Center was named the recipient of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award at a recognition ceremony held today in Springfield. Higgs was among volunteers of the agency’s adult correctional and transition centers, who were being honored for their outstanding leadership and dedicated efforts in providing positive change in the lives of inmates. "This year’s theme, "Volunteers Give From The Heart," serves a special purpose, both inside and outside the prison walls," said Director S.A. Godinez. "Our volunteers come into our prisons and help fill in the gaps with their ministering, teaching and support. But their endeavors reach far outside the prison walls. By helping an inmate, they have positively touched the inmate’s family, friends and community. At IDOC, a major goal is the successful reentry of inmates into society. The agency’s volunteers assist us in working toward that goal by providing inmates with valuable programs and services that help them successfully return home."

Higgs, who has served as an IDOC volunteer for nearly two decades, is being recognized for his exceptional mentoring to inmates. His commitment to the ministry is evident in the services he provides to various prisons, including Big Muddy River Correctional Center. Over the years, he has developed an excellent rapport with offenders in providing ministry. As part of his volunteer work, he conducts a well-received Bible study, performs individual baptisms and oversees components of the Fatherhood Initiative Program at the correctional center. Higgs’ distinguished commitments are his eagerness to provide ministry and to graciously offer assistance. Higgs, who performed the most hours of volunteer service at Big Muddy River Correctional Center, is also one of the longest tenured volunteers at the facility. Last year alone, he visited the correctional facilities 152 times.

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. At IDOC, thousands of volunteers provide programs and services that otherwise would not be available to the incarcerated men and women. During the past year, volunteers donated some $5 million in time and goods to the incarcerated. Those interested in the Volunteer Services Program at IDOC can contact Marcy Morris, volunteer services manager, at 217-558-2200 ext. 6101.