David Walker, a volunteer leader of recovery classes for inmates, and Shakespeare Behind Bars, a program dedicated to helping inmates develop life skills essential for recovery and reintegration, were the recipients of the 2014 Spirit of Prodigal Award. The awards were presented at Prodigal Ministries’ annual Christmas in September Fashion Event & Dinner on September 4th.
The Spirit of Prodigal Award was established in 2012 to recognize individuals and organizations whose mission aligns with that of Prodigal Ministries. There is a common spirit among the people who walk side-by-side with ex-offenders on their journey to successfully reenter society, who take an active role in helping men and women start anew and avoid a return to prison.
About David Walker:
David has been in recovery for 28 years, and has developed a passion for helping others achieve their goals for sobriety, whether their agent is drugs or alcohol.
Several years ago, David volunteered to lead Celebrate Recovery classes at Roederer Correctional Complex, through The Bridge to Success program. While leading the classes, David is honest and forthright with the men about his struggles and what it has taken for him to overcome his addiction. He has worked the steps with many of the men, and has sponsored more than one upon release.
A frequent visitor at the Wright House and Prodigal West, David asks clients about their attendance at meetings and their progress with the step they are working. He also encourages them in their walk with the Lord, as his faith has been an important part of his recovery.
About Shakespeare Behind Bars:
In recognition of the commitment by a private organization in the community to serving former current and former inmates, Prodigal Ministries presents the 2014 Spirit of Prodigal Award to Shakespeare Behind Bars, Inc.
The mission of Shakespeare Behind Bars is to offer meaning-filled theatrical encounters to the incarcerated and post-incarcerated, allowing each offender to grapple with issues which will assist in the development of essential life skills required to facilitate their successful reintegration into society.
The program uses the healing power of the arts to transform offenders from who they were when they committed their crimes, to who they are in the present moment, to who they wish to become. Shakespeare Behind Bars offers participants the ability to hope and the courage to act despite their fear and the odds stacked against them.
Now in its 19th year, Shakespeare Behind Bars is the oldest program of its kind in North America. Currently, Shakespeare Behind Bars has eight programs in Kentucky and four programs in Michigan. The flagship program at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange, Kentucky, has a recidivism rate of less than 6% over nineteen years of continuous operation.
2014 Spirit of Prodigal Award – Honorable Mentions:
Also nominated for the 2014 Spirit of Prodigal Award and receiving Honorable Mention were Mission Crestwood and Restorative Justice Louisville.
Mission Crestwood, a ministry of Crestwood Baptist Church, includes a clothes closet and food pantry, plus an outreach program for men from the Kentucky State Reformatory upon their release as they transition back into the community.
Restorative Justice Louisville (RJL) was founded in February 2011 and is the first nonprofit in Kentucky to provide an alternative to the traditional criminal justice system. With more than 1,000 similar programs in North America, restorative justice programs facilitate joint and voluntary participation by victims and offenders to discuss the harm that was done and do what must be done to repair the harm, enabling creative solutions not used within the traditional justice system.
2015 Award Nominations:
Nominations for the 2015 Spirit of Prodigal Award will be accepted after the first of the year. If you know of an individual or organization worthy of consideration, please contact Prodigal Ministries now to ensure you receive a nomination form.