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2010 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

G4 - Faith Based Row, Most Innovative Program

2010 Governor's Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

The G4-Faith Based Row is an off-shoot of the very successful Faith-Based Dorm program that is being implemented at units across the state. The difference in this program is in the classification of the offenders that participate. G4 offenders are classified as medium custody because of behavioral problems, and as a result, live with certain restrictions. A G4 offender wrote "If you can't act right in society, you go to prison. If you can't act right in prison, you go to medium custody."

Through the innovative efforts of Warden Vernon Pittman of the Wynne Unit, his staff, and some very dedicated and motivated volunteers, a row in the medium custody wing on the Wynne Unit became a faith-based row and lives began to change. The G4 offenders began to meet with offenders in the Faith-Based Dorm each week in Life Change Groups.

The program emphasizes Bible education, personal accountability, and ministry to others. The result was powerful. The G4 offenders began to make serious changes in their behavior and in their life, and they began to promote out of this restricted custody level through the classification process. The Wynne Unit now has a faith-based row on a general population cellblock so those offenders can to continue their spiritual journey. As an added benefit, the Faith-Based Dorm offenders gained leadership and discipleship skills. For its innovation and progressiveness, the G4-Faith Based Row program has been selected to receive the volunteer award for Most Innovative Program.