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IDOC and IDJJ recognize 2014 Volunteers of the Year 

Featured are winners and nominees of the 2014 IDOC and IDJJ Volunteer of the Year, including Volunteer Services Manager Marcy Morris (front, left). Lois Hammitt (with plaque) accepted the IDOC Volunteer of the Year Award on behalf of her husband, Wayne Hammitt. Bob Jones (with plaque) was named IDJJ Volunteer of the Year.

SPRINGFIELD – May 21, 2014 – The Illinois Department of Corrections and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice held a ceremony today to recognize their facility volunteers of the year and present awards to the IDOC and IDJJ 2014 Volunteer of the Year.

Wayne Hammitt at Western Illinois Correctional Center was named the recipient of the IDOC 2014 Volunteer of the Year and Bob Jones at Illinois Youth Center-Harrisburg was named the recipient of the IDJJ 2014 Volunteer of the Year. Hammitt and Jones were among volunteers of IDOC adult correctional centers and adult transition centers and IDJJ youth centers who were being honored for their outstanding leadership and dedicated efforts in providing positive change in the lives of offenders and youths.

“Today’s theme, ‘Volunteers Are The Heroes Among Us,’ is reflective of how our volunteers make a positive impact in the lives of offenders,” said IDOC Director S.A. “Tony” Godinez. “Through their commitment and giving attitude, every situation is an opportunity for success. Volunteers come into our facilities and help fill in the programming gaps, through their ministering, teaching and support. But it doesn’t stop there. Their endeavors reach far outside the prison walls. By helping an offender, they have positively impacted the inmate’s family, friends and our communities. Their positive influences assist in the successful reentry of offenders and help reduce recidivism.”

“Volunteers play a significant role at the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, through the mentoring of the youth in our care,” said IDJJ Acting Director Candice Jones. “Their teachings and words of encouragement are important to the welfare of our youth. Through their positive guidance, youth are able to gain valuable life skills that play a vital part when returning to their families and communities.”

Wayne Hammitt

Wayne Hammitt at Western Illinois Correctional Center was named the recipient of the IDOC 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award. His wife, Lois Hammitt, and daughter, Cindy Anderson, accepted the award on his behalf. Featured from left are Volunteer Services Manager Marcy Morris, IDOC Director S.A. “Tony” Godinez, Cindy Anderson, Lois Hammitt, and IDOC Assistant Director Gladyse C. Taylor.

Wayne Hammitt is being recognized for his 25 years of exceptional volunteer efforts at Western Illinois Correctional Center. He began volunteering at the facility when it opened in 1989 and has also volunteered at Jacksonville Correctional Center since 1992. Hammitt has been an indispensible part of the Chaplaincy Program. At Western Illinois Correctional Center, he has helped conduct worship service every Sunday and returned on Monday evenings to run Bible study for offenders. Hammitt also has served in a supportive and primary role at Jacksonville Correctional Center on Tuesday evenings where he conducted Bible study. He enjoys the respect of offenders and staff collectively and has always been willing to make necessary changes to comply with the requests of the facility. In addition to his volunteer work at the Illinois Department of Corrections, Hammitt has volunteered in nursing homes in Jacksonville and Beardstown by holding worship services. This is an example of a true volunteer. His distinguished commitments over the past 25 years have been his faithfulness in volunteering and eagerness to provide ministry and offering assistance.

Bob Jones

Bob Jones at Illinois Youth Center-Harrisburg was named the recipient of the IDJJ 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award. Featured from left are IDJJ Deputy Director of Programs Heidi Mueller, IDJJ Acting Director Candice Jones, Bob Jones, Chaplain II Lee Jewett and Assistant Superintendent of Programs Angie Isaacs.
Pastor Bob Jones is being recognized for his outstanding commitment of enriching the lives of youth at Illinois Youth Center-Harrisburg through ministry. Jones has been a faithful volunteer at the center since 1996. During his volunteering, he has taught a variety of chapel services. He is prompt, prepared and professional in the way he treats youth and staff. This past year, he taught a Bible study for 37 Monday evenings, allowing youth to experience spiritual growth. Even as his age progressed--come rain or shine, snow or sleet--he has been dedicated in his volunteer efforts. Jones, who will be 96 this year, has led a full and interesting life. He has been a soldier, pastor, entrepreneur, family man and a steadfast volunteer at IYC-Harrisburg. He served in the U.S. Army in World War II. Upon his return from the war, his career span has included operating skating rinks and grain and trucking businesses as well as farming in Southern Illinois. In addition, he served as pastor for numerous churches. Eighteen years ago, at the age of 78, he applied at IYC-Harrisburg as a volunteer.

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, more than $5 million in time and goods were donated to the incarcerated. Those interested in the IDOC Volunteer Services Program can contact Marcy Morris, volunteer services manager, at 217-558-2200 ext. 6101.