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2013 Volunteer of the Year Award 

IDOC Volunteer of the Year Award

Featured from left are IDOC Chief of Operations Jesse Montgomery; Hugh Bishop, recipient of the IDOC 2013 Volunteer of the Year Award; and IDOC Assistant Director Gladyse C. Taylor.

SPRINGFIELD - April 23, 2013 – Hugh Bishop at Danville Correctional Center was named the recipient of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) 2013 Volunteer of the Year Award at a recognition ceremony held today in Springfield. Bishop was among volunteers of the agency’s adult correctional 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 Make a Difference," is reflective of the positive impact our volunteers make in the lives of offenders,” said IDOC Director S. A. Godinez. “Many inmates struggle to adjust to prison life, but our volunteer program helps these offenders set personal goals, encourages them to participate in programming and shows them how to maintain bonds with family throughout their incarceration. The positive influences of volunteers assist with an inmate’s adjustment to prison life as well as their successful re-entry into the community after prison which helps decrease recidivism.”

Hugh Bishop

Bishop serves as a volunteer instructor and trainer for the Education Justice Project Group at Danville Correctional Center. There he leads a group within the project called Language Partners. His efforts include teaching inmates to become peer instructors to help tutor other inmates in English as a Second Language. Bishop ensures that the methods inmates use in peer instruction are measurably effective. His commitment to transforming lives is seen through his dedication. During 2012, he visited 64 times and logged 220 hours at the center. His efforts are all encompassing as his service also includes overseeing other volunteers and leading one-day workshops to help encourage and train those who are waiting to get a seat in the year-long class. Bishop motivates students to succeed in the program and believes the structure of the classroom requires excellence at every level. The success of the program is most noteworthy. Inmates who have English deficiencies at the center have made great strides through the program with their communication skills. In addition, the inmates who serve as peer instructors are learning significant interpersonal skills that are invaluable to them as they prepare to reenter society.

Featured are volunteers of the agency’s adult correctional centers, who were being honored for their outstanding leadership and dedicated efforts in providing positive change in the lives of inmates.

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 nearly $4.5 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.