Prison Fellowship Accepting Nominations for Inaugural Charles Colson Hope Awards

Chuck ColsonPrison Fellowship recently announced the creation of the Charles Colson Hope Awards to recognize people who have faithfully and courageously worked to restore those affected by crime and incarceration.

Prison Fellowship was founded in 1976 by Charles Colson, a former aide to President Nixon who served a seven-month prison sentence for Watergate-related crimes. During his incarceration, Colson felt led by God to honor a promise he made to remember prisoners and their families. That promise grew into Prison Fellowship, a faith-based nonprofit that is now a leading advocate for criminal justice reform, the world's largest family of prison ministries, and the nation’s largest outreach to prisoners, former prisoners, and their families.

“Our family is delighted to honor those who continue our father’s legacy of bringing hope and restoration to those affected by crime and incarceration,” said Chris Colson, son of Charles Colson and a Prison Fellowship board member.

Over the next five months, the general public is invited to nominate people for each of the five award categories:

  • The Charles Colson Advocate of Hope award honors a person with a record of faithful and winsome advocacy for restorative criminal justice reform – a person whose leadership blazes a trail toward a future of proportional punishment, constructive prison culture, second chances, and safer communities.
  • The Charles Colson Restorer of Hope award honors a person who, with sustained compassion for the terrible weight borne by the families of the incarcerated, has come alongside them to help carry their burden, share God’s love and offer hope for restoration.
  • The Charles Colson Servant of Hope award honors a person who has brought the message of hope, redemption, and restoration into correctional environments. Whether as a prison administrator, policymaker, or volunteer, the awardee has demonstrated servant leadership in changing the culture behind bars, making prison a place of renewal and second chances.
  • The Charles Colson Champion of Hope award honors a person whose life has been directly impacted by incarceration – either as a former prisoner or as the child of an incarcerated parent. Overcoming obstacles and opposition to realize their God-given potential, the awardee is now making a full-circle significant contribution, helping others also affected by crime and incarceration.
  • The Charles Colson Legacy of Hope award honors a person or foundation that has invested faithfully and generously in the restoration of those affected by crime and incarceration, thus enabling the ministry to make significant advancements in its mission.

According to Prison Fellowship, nominations will be received until 5 p.m. ET on April 29. Posthumous nominations will also be considered.

Recipients will be announced on August 9, 2016, on the 40th anniversary of the incorporation of Prison Fellowship. To submit a nomination, visit prisonfellowship.org/hopeawards.

By NRB Staff

Published: March 31, 2016

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