Volunteers inspire positive change in incarcerated population

Volunteers inspire positive change in incarcerated population

The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services’ (NDCS) mission is ‘Keep people safe.’ Keeping people safe encompasses a variety of things including agency practices, team members and community partners in the form of volunteers. NDCS is proud to support dozens of volunteers who spend their free time giving back through teaching classes to the incarcerated population, mentoring them, offering crafts, music, activities and more.

Volunteer Administrator Philana Blakely has seen how volunteers positively impact the men and women they serve every day. “A single volunteer action possesses the power to assist us in positively transforming lives in our agency culture. Volunteers give our organization the most precious things anyone would ever own; their time and talent. For this, we call them an invaluable ‘Friend of NDCS.’”

Fran Kaye is a longtime volunteer of the Nebraska State Penitentiary, Lincoln Correctional Center, Nebraska Correctional Center for Women and Tecumseh State Correctional Institution. As a retired professor from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she gives back through teaching the men about American history. But she said it’s she who also learns from them. “I’ve learned patience, kindness, courage and generosity from them.”

Kaye began volunteering with NDCS in the early 1990’s. She adds other than her family, volunteering has taken over her life in the best way possible. “People in prison desperately need cheerleaders who believe in them and help them stay in touch with the community. They also need people to teach and model life skills and job skills. So please come apply to be a ‘Friend of NDCS.’”

If you are interested in volunteering, contact NDCS Volunteer Services at 402-479-5813 or 402-479-5807.