Louisiana Resident Presented with 2017 Charles Colson Advocate of Hope Award
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Prison Fellowship®, the nation's largest outreach to prisoners, former prisoners and their families—and a leading advocate for criminal justice reform—has awarded the 2017 Charles Colson Advocate of Hope Award to Gene Mills, President of the Louisiana Family Forum and Louisiana Family Forum Action.
Mills is a consistent voice of biblical values in the Pelican state. Gene espouses the belief that God is interested in all areas of human experience, including our systems of justice. Gene is a husband, father, ordained minister, and a signatory of the Justice Declaration.
"With 40 years of experience pursuing justice for those impacted by crime and incarceration, Prison Fellowship is pleased to have the partnership and friendship of Gene Mills. As the 2017 Advocate of Hope, Gene exhibits a passion for biblical principles of justice that is rare and valuable."—Craig DeRoche, senior vice president of advocacy and public policy at Prison Fellowship.
2017's unprecedented justice reform measures in Louisiana have caught the eye of the nation, demonstrating that even the state with the highest rates of incarceration can be transformed to a more effective and restorative system that offers proportional punishment and opportunities for a second chance. Without the leadership, integrity, and passion of Gene, such reforms would have been impossible.
CHARLES COLSON ADVOCATE OF HOPE AWARD
The Charles Colson Hope Awards, sponsored by Prison Fellowship, recognize people who have faithfully and courageously worked to restore those affected by crime and incarceration. Charles Colson, who founded Prison Fellowship 40 years ago, was at ease with presidents, prisoners, wardens, pastors, laypeople, and legislators.
In all times and places, he was a passionate advocate for incarcerated men and women, and their families, sharing his faith in the Gospel and honoring the God-given value and potential of each person. His impact on prison ministry, prison culture, and prison reform has been broad and lasting. In keeping with his inspiring legacy, the Charles Colson Hope Awards honor people who, in following his example, have been role models to others and brought restoration through their sphere of influence.
The Charles Colson Advocate of Hope award is bestowed annually on a person with a record of faithful, unswerving, 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.