"In the past several years, our nation has rediscovered that
reaching out to help others is essential to our well-being," said
Roger E. Walker Jr., director of the Department of Corrections.
"Volunteers are the ones who unselfishly give of themselves and step
forward in times of need. We saw it after Sept. 11, we saw it after
Hurricane Katrina. And, closer to the home front at Corrections, we
see it every day in our prisons. I am very proud of the agency's
employees and volunteers alike. Together, they stand strong as one
family and move the department forward by providing positive change
in the lives of inmates."
"Volunteers play a significant role in
our agency through the mentoring of incarcerated youth," said Kurt
Friedenauer, acting director of the Department of Juvenile Justice.
"Their teachings and words of encouragement are important to the
well-being of the youth. Through their positive guidance, youths are
able to gain valuable life skills that play a vital part when
returning to their families and communities."
Phillip L. McLaurin
Phillip L. McLaurin, a college counselor for SIU-Edwardsville,
has provided volunteer services at Southwestern Illinois
Correctional Center in East St. Louis since 2004. He assists
offenders to achieve educational goals and develop self-esteem and
vocational skills through various programs. During this past year,
he has given offenders the opportunity to become a positive asset to
the communities they return to and has also increased their
awareness of continued substance rehabilitation. His professionalism
and motivating attitude brings an enhancement to the programs
established to help offenders become productive citizens upon their
return to the community.
McLaurin also participates as a volunteer in the Pre-Start
program and illustrates various skills and techniques for successful
job interviews. Through his volunteer services, offenders have
experienced a change in their attitude and outlook on life. This has
been evident by the increased number of men requesting information
on various vocational programs and educational and job opportunities
offered to offenders.
As stated in his nomination, McLaurin sets standards for others
to follow. His tireless efforts, genuine attitudes and concerns have
made an impact in the lives of those who are less fortunate and have
set standards for others to follow.
Tim Tomlinson is an Ivy League emeritus associate director of the
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. He began
dedicating his time to IYC-Pere Marquette in March 2005 as an
educational tutor. Since then, a number of youths have graduated
from eighth grade, high school or obtained their GED. During
graduation ceremonies, Tomlinson served as the center's guest
speaker and encouraged youth to strive to be the best they can.
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Tomlinson's passion of helping others is evident in the hours he
volunteers weekly. He was instrumental in serving as coordinator of
the center's new program called GROWE, an acronym for garnering
responsibility, ownership and work ethic. GROWE is a horticulture
program focusing on learning through the personal care of various
trees, plants and flowers. Tomlinson has students research the
plants' origin and then empowers and encourages the students to
provide slide presentations to both youth and staff on the
difference between annuals and perennials.
Tomlinson is a valuable resource for IYC-Pere Marquette.
According to his nomination, his passion, commitment and expertise
More than 5,000 volunteers provide programs and services that
otherwise would not be available to the incarcerated men, women and
youth located within the departments of Corrections and Juvenile
Justice. During the past year, volunteers have donated more than $2
million in time and goods to the incarcerated.
At the two departments, 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, conduct church
services and Bible studies, and lead parenting, art, music, poetry
and literacy classes.
The Department of Corrections operates 28 adult correctional
centers and eight adult transition centers as well as various work
camps and boot camps. The agency is responsible for managing more
than 80,000 inmates and parolees.
The Department of Juvenile Justice operates eight youth centers
and oversees 1,400 incarcerated juveniles. Through this department
created in July 2006, young offenders receive individualized
services, including educational, vocational, social and emotional
services that will help enable them to become productive adults. In
addition to the services provided inside juvenile facilities, the
new department also provides transitional and post-release treatment
programs for juveniles, including counseling, mental health and
If you are interested in the Volunteer Services Program at the
Department of Corrections, contact Marcy Nolan, volunteer services
manager, at 217-522-2666, ext. 6101.
[Text from news release from the
Department of Corrections and the
Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]