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.
LEGACY OF HOPE
The Charles Colson Legacy of Hope award is bestowed annually on a person or foundation that has invested faithfully and generously in the restoration of those affected by crime and incarceration. With visionary stewardship, the awardee has enabled Prison Fellowship to make significant advancements in our mission.
Lee and Louise Sundet
Lee and Louise Sundet have been beloved friends and supporters of Prison Fellowship for nearly four decades. Born and raised in Spring Grove, Minnesota, Lee and Louise take great pride in their hometown—and their love for the Lord and for His kingdom has led them to serve their local community and beyond. Lee cherishes many memories of visiting prisons on Easter weekend—a tradition started by Prison Fellowship’s founder, Chuck Colson. Together, Lee and Louise have faithfully supported dozens of organizations serving disabled people, youth and families, and more.
Peter and Gail Ochs
Peter and Gail Ochs have been dear friends and devoted supporters of Prison Fellowship for over three decades. They have a heart for sharing God’s compassion and message of salvation to hurting and struggling people. This calling has driven them to impact and inspire the lives of thousands, including through Peter’s service on the Prison Fellowship board for 18 years. Their reach has also extended far beyond our nation, bringing the hope of Christ to some of the poorest countries in the world through the work of First Fruit, Inc. Peter and Gail have remained faithful friends and trusted partners of Prison Fellowship as the Lord has expanded our work across this nation.
Mike and Nancy Timmis
Mike and Nancy Timmis have been friends and devoted supporters of Prison Fellowship for nearly 30 years. Their influence and ministries have extended far beyond the Detroit area, touching lives around the globe. Together, they have championed causes that provide hope and eternal value, serving on the boards of directors for Prison Fellowship and Alpha, as well as founding many schools throughout Africa.
Prison Fellowship honored Michael and Nancy Timmis with the 2018 Charles Colson Legacy of Hope Award for their decades-long commitment to prisoners, reconciliation, and restorative justice. As dear friends of Prison Fellowship, the Timmises have walked alongside our ministry and blessed our work for decades with their wisdom, time, and treasure.
Wayne Hughes Jr. has given an incredible amount of his time and resources so that those incarcerated have opportunities for rehabilitation. His support of expanding The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI) classes in prisons throughout California continues, resulting in over 1,500 inmate students getting the chance at this transformational education. His advocacy includes his dedication to policy change, such as his backing of Proposition 47, successfully reducing penalties for nonviolent crimes. His passion for assisting in restoration of hope and humanity for the least of these includes the creation of the non-profit foundation, Serving California, whose efforts include supporting reentry and recovery homes that shelter men and women who have been victims of crime.
David and Charlotte Cauwels
David and Charlotte Cauwels have spent decades generously investing in the restoration of those affected by crime and incarceration. For nearly 40 years, the Cauwelses have taught, discipled, and trained prisoners. David served on the Prison Fellowship Board of Directors for 31 years before he was appointed director emeritus. Recently, the Cauwelses helped establish an in-prison seminary in their home state of New Mexico.
By giving generously of their time and resources in a variety of ways, David and Charlotte have helped make sure that Chuck Colson’s legacy of hope continues. Their son, Paul, has followed in his parents’ footsteps and engaged wholeheartedly in the ministry as a board member and a generous supporter of Prison Fellowship.
ADVOCATE OF HOPE
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.
Marcus Bullock and Rev. Dr. Sylvia Bullock
Since 2018, Prison Fellowship has partnered with the Bullocks and Flikshop, an app founded by Marcus, to serve prisoners’ families and unlock second chances. Flikshop allows users take photos from their phones, Facebook, or Instagram accounts and deliver those photos directly to a loved one in prison as postcards, for as little as 79 cents each. Today, Flikshop has access to more than 2,700 jails and prisons across the U.S. More than 170,000 people have sent half a million postcards through the platform. And Flikshop’s impact doesn’t stop there—Marcus and Sylvia, are tireless advocates for reducing recidivism nationwide.
“Every single postcard … is a moment that can be cherished in a prison cell and experienced over and over again in that person’s memory,” Marcus says.
Representatives Doug Collins, R-Ga., and Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) were presented the 2019 Charles Colson Advocate of Hope Award for their work on the FIRST STEP Act and its eventual passage in December of 2018. The FIRST STEP Act is the first step in transforming federal prisons into safe and effective facilities that will reduce recidivism and strengthen our communities and economy. The legislation expands rehabilitative programming and earned-time credit opportunities. It also reduces and clarifies mandatory minimums and better provides for the needs of federal prisoners. “In addition to cosponsoring the FIRST STEP Act from its inception, Representatives Doug Collins and Hakeem Jeffries worked tirelessly, always in a bipartisan manner, to pass this critical legislation late last year that paves the way to rehabilitate federal prisoners, protect public safety, and provide opportunities for incarcerated men and women to be released sooner for good behavior,” said James Ackerman, President and CEO of Prison Fellowship. “Representatives Collins and Jeffries are receiving the Charles Colson Advocate of Hope Award due to the simple fact that they crafted this bipartisan bill in a manner that reflects their shared belief in human dignity and potential.”
Mark Holden, the senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of Koch Industries Inc., has proven indispensable in advancing justice that restores in America. He has helped lead criminal justice reform initiatives such as removing criminal history questions on initial employment applications and programs designed to help former prisoners reenter society, along with pushing for changes to federal sentencing mandates. This work has taken place among grassroots organizations and the White House.
Holden has built bridges across the aisle to garner support for criminal justice reform, mobilizing a coalition of lawmakers, the private sector, and grassroots. His leadership has paved a path of bipartisan support for proportional punishment, constructive prison culture, second chances, and safer communities.
As the recipient for the 2018 Charles Colson Advocate of Hope Award, Holden exhibits a passion for biblical principles of justice that is rare and valuable. He is committed to pursuing criminal justice reform at the federal and state levels.
Louisiana, previously the leading incarcerator in the nation, passed a landmark package of justice reform legislation in 2017. To achieve this, Prison Fellowship worked with Gene Mills, the head of the Louisiana Family Foundation, among others. The leadership and experience of Gene Mills cleared a path for believers to be a powerful voice in this process, and his God-given talent of bringing diverse constituents together—including law enforcement, policymakers, victims of crime, and pastors—helped to guide this vital achievement.
Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas)
Sen. John Cornyn’s leadership has blazed a trail toward a future of proportional punishment, constructive prison culture, second chances, and safer communities in our country. Throughout his career, he has remained a diligent, compassionate public servant.
An outspoken champion for criminal justice reform on Capitol Hill, Cornyn has tirelessly supported responsible legislation that works to break the cycle of crime, respecting and defending prisoners’ needs for effective correctional programming. He pursues smart reforms based on both hard evidence and unwavering compassion. His balanced, forthright views reflect a core belief in the dignity of people, and the people he serves are better off for it.
SERVANT OF HOPE
The Charles Colson Servant of Hope award is bestowed annually on a prison administrator, policymaker, or volunteer who has demonstrated servant leadership in changing the culture behind bars—making prison a place of renewal and second chances—through the message of hope, redemption, and restoration.
Susan is a community volunteer and has been an advocate for justice involved individuals since 2007. She is an active volunteer in organizations such as Stand in the Gap and Bible Study Fellowship, and has been a high impact volunteer for Prison Fellowship’s Tier-2 Academy program at Kate Barnard Correctional Center since 2018. She serves on the Board of Oklahoman’s for Criminal Justice Reform as the Community Advocate for Oklahoma’s Marginalized Women, is a Circle Voices for Change member of the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition and serves on the OK Justice Reform Oversight Implementation Commission. Susan co-founded Living Hope Women’s Ministry, a transitional ministry for women coming out of prison and is a former Board member of Stand in the Gap Ministries.
For decades, Carol Vance has been an integral part of the Prison Fellowship Academy, which began in Houston and is now modeled throughout the nation. Carol was a close friend of Chuck Colson’s, and he still invests his time as an instructor and mentor in weekly classes. Carol has been a faithful servant for nearly 30 years, sharing his passion for restoring lives and making prison a place of hope and renewal.
John Baker is the founder of Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12-step program. Prison Fellowship partners with the organization to bring its curriculum designed to help people address their hurts, habits, and hang-ups to Prison Fellowship Academy sites around the country. In addition to prisons, Celebrate Recovery is now in over 30,000 churches, and it’s in 20 different languages, 32 countries, and universities. The incarcerated men and women who participate in the program can continue the program by connecting with a group on the outside. John and Celebrate Recovery groups across the country are partnering with Angel Tree to give children the gift of Christmas. In 2018, 209 Celebrate Recovery groups served 5,807 kids in 39 states.
John is committed to bringing the hope of the Gospel and Christ’s offer of restoration to men and women in prison. For his continuing impact on incarcerated individuals and many others, Prison Fellowship honored him with the 2018 Charles Colson Servant of Hope Award.
Warden Randy Grounds is an imposing figure, but his ready smile immediately puts you at ease. As you talk with him you realize that he is first and foremost a humble, wise, and exemplary Christian. In his work environment, his soft-spoken voice conveys a heart-felt concern for the staff and inmates in his facility. After graduating from UCLA, Randy started his career in 1979 with the El Dorado County Probation Department where he worked for 11 years. During that time, he was assigned within a juvenile facility and as a probation officer. In 1991, he began his work with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation where he has been employed for 23 years. He has worked at 4 different prisons including Tehachapi, Solano, Soledad, and Salinas Valley State Prison. This work encompassed all custody levels (I through IV), as well as the Security Housing Unit.
He has held positions of correctional counselor, supervisor, classification and parole representative, facility captain, associate warden, chief deputy warden, and warden. Randy was the warden for the Correctional Training facility, Soledad, prior to being reassigned as warden for Salinas Valley State Prison.
Burl Cain, the legendary former warden of Louisiana’s Angola State Penitentiary, has long had an enduring and restorative impact in correctional environments. At Angola, one of the bloodiest and most notorious prisons in America, Cain provided the transformative leadership the facility needed.
Cain regularly reinforces the truth that all prisoners’ lives are meaningful, even those who will spend the rest of their days behind bars. His work has promoted the development of safe, humane institutions and positive, life-changing programs for men and women behind bars. His refusal to tolerate a violent, substandard prison has helped generate a culture of dignity and mutual respect. He has also consistently promoted the idea that faith changes lives, even in prison—especially in prison.