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Washington State Penitentiary Wins Charitable Award for Library

November 30, 2022

By Brendan Baptiste Department of Corrections
child holding a gift

Prison Fellowship is an organization that takes a restorative approach to those affected by crime and incarceration. As a Christian based organization, they use their faith and Biblical beliefs to reach out and aid incarcerated individuals who would like their faith to be a guidance for their actions. They have found when incarcerated find balance, they will continue to make positive progress in other areas of their lives such as mending broken relationships with friends and family.

Every year the Prison Fellowship participates in Angel Tree Christmas, which brings incarcerated families together on Christmas by delivering a gift, gospel message and a personal message of love on behalf of their mom or dad behind bars.

The Prison Fellowship recognizes the work of chaplains (religious coordinators) in prison facilities as they support incarcerated parents throughout the year and during a potentially difficult holiday season. This year, the religious coordinator at the Washington State Penitentiary (WSP) was awarded the Children’s Champion Award. This award is given to the religious coordinator at the facility with the highest increase in percent of participation in the Angel Tree Christmas program between 2021 and 2022. WSP saw an increase of 200% in incarcerated parent signups since 2021.

As a result of their efforts, the Prison Fellowship will allocate a charitable award to the facility. This award will be exclusively directed towards the correctional facilities library. A credit in the amount of $200 will be available to use through Tyndale Publishing to procure literature or materials for the library. The award will also add WSP into a drawing for a $1000 donation in the future.

For those who have spent extended periods of time incarcerated, books can be a blessing and a welcomed mental getaway. Reading may help individuals avoid returning to a life of crime after completion of their sentence. At the most basic level, reading provides improvements to vocabulary and literacy. Reading can also be used to view the experiences of others to build empathy, to escape in a fictional story or to obtain knowledge to upgrade a skill. This is why the Angel Tree Prison Partner Award is so special.

Congratulations to the Washington State Penitentiary and we appreciate your efforts in connecting families during the holiday season.

For more information on how the Washington State Department of Corrections assists incarcerated individuals express and exercise their religion of choice, visit our website.