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IDOC and IDJJ recognize 2017 Volunteers of the Year

SPRINGFIELD – April 10, 2017 – The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) held a ceremony today to recognize their facility volunteers of the year and present awards to the IDOC and IDJJ 2017 Volunteer of the Year. Miguel Inugay at Western Illinois Correctional Center was named recipient of the IDOC 2017 Volunteer of the Year Award and Larry Durfee at Illinois Youth Center-Harrisburg was named the recipient of the IDJJ 2017 Volunteer of the Year. Inugay and Durfee 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.

The directors of IDOC and IDJJ commend the efforts of their respective agency volunteers.

“Volunteer services are far reaching when they plant seeds of transformation that change offender behavior to better themselves through programming, education and becoming a productive member of society,” said IDOC Acting Director John Baldwin. “Our volunteers are important to us for they share a common goal with the department of inspiring and preparing offenders for a successful journey home.”

Volunteers at the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice provide invaluable service through their mentoring of youth in our care,” said IDJJ Director Heidi Mueller. “Through their words, actions and willingness to share their valuable time, they provide caring and support that is critical to youth well-being and necessary to foster positive outcomes. Through these dedicated efforts, our volunteers show youth their lives matter, and the youth gain valuable life skills that help strengthen successful reintegration.”

Miguel Inugay

Featured are IDOC Acting Director John Baldwin (left) and IDOC 2017 Volunteer of the Year Miguel Inugay.

Miguel Inugay is a valuable asset to the Illinois Department of Corrections in his exemplary role as volunteer. Inugay serves at Western Illinois Correctional Center as a member of Berean Prison Ministry. His steadfast devotion to the ministry and volunteering are most noteworthy as he additionally volunteers at Illinois River and Hill correctional centers. Inugay’s volunteer efforts at Western Illinois Correctional Center extend back to 1997 when he started serving there as a volunteer. In 2001, he began making regular weekly visits, driving two hours to the center each Saturday to conduct Bible study for Spanish-speaking offenders. On his way home, he also volunteers at Illinois River Correctional Center to conduct Bible study for its Spanish-speaking offenders. While leading his Bible study, he has the ability to balance his role of teacher and counselor. He is respected and enjoyed by staff and brings stability and hope to offenders. His continued dedication to make the two-hour drive represents commitment, determination and faithfulness in making a positive difference in the lives of others. Inugay also was named Western Illinois Correctional Center Volunteer of the Year in 2004 for his exceptional volunteer leadership.

Larry Durfee

Featured are IDJJ IYC-Harrisburg Superintendent William Peyton (left), IDJJ 2017 Volunteer of the Year Larry Durfee and IDJJ Deputy Director Rob Vickery.

Larry Durfee started volunteering in the reading tutor lab at Illinois Youth Center-Harrisburg in the summer of 2015. During 2016, he served the center’s youth 47 times, donating close to 300 hours of his time. In addition to helping youth with their reading, he also assists them with English, science, math, history, geography and the center’s on-line program. Durfee has tutored more than 40 youth at the center; two have obtained their high school diplomas as a direct result of his assistance. Durfee is a man of special character. He is patient, soft spoken, credible and empathetic toward the plights of youth whom he teaches. As a result, the boys treat him with the upmost respect. Durfee, who is in his upper 70s, works seamlessly in the juvenile correctional environment. As a young man, he served in the U.S. Army as a legal clerk and was later transferred to Germany as a radio operator. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and served as an administrator at a Christian school in Montana. Durfee mentors youth with his gentle, quiet and caring nature as well as his life experiences that he shares with them. His efforts to help youth earn their high school diploma or GED contribute to their ability to work toward higher education or obtain a job upon release, all which can help reduce recidivism.

At IDOC, volunteers assist in various ways, ranging from mentoring and meeting 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. For more information on IDOC’s Volunteer Services, please contact the volunteer services coordinator at the respective IDOC correctional center. The facility phone numbers are featured under the facilities link at www.illinois.gov/idoc.

Volunteers work with youth at IDJJ facilities in traditional activities, such as mentoring and religious ministries. They also work in non-traditional partnerships with facilities, such as providing emotional rehabilitation through one-on-one training with therapy dogs; art therapy and skill development through art clinics with area schools; and music lessons with instrumental instructors. IDJJ volunteers collaborate with youth and staff to offer holistic treatment and programming options beyond the traditional models. For more information on IDJJ’s Volunteer Services, please contact IDJJ at 217-557-1030.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​