Department of Corrections Volunteers: Changing the Future

Thousands of volunteers work with inmates at the S.C. Department of Corrections every year. Among them are volunteers with Gospel Express Ministries, seen in the photos above and below.
Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give." Volunteers are special people who unselfishly donate their time and energy towards inmates in need. They are the cherished resources of the South Carolina Department of Corrections. They supplement staff, provide programs and services that might not otherwise be available, and bridge the gap between the community and the correctional setting. There are no special education, race, sex, religion, or marital status requirements — just a desire to work with those less fortunate and a willingness to learn and follow the rules.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What do prison volunteers do?
How can you become a volunteer?
How do I contact a chaplain at an institution?
What do prison volunteers do?
  • Counseling: Individual, group and family.
  • Education: Volunteers serve as tutors teaching inmates basic reading and writing skills.
  • Mentoring: Volunteers serve as role models by mentoring an inmate who has not received an outside visit in the last year.
  • Pre-Release Preparation
  • Recreation: Volunteers serve as coaches or referees for numerous team sports. Also, community teams compete against inmate teams in various sports.
  • Religious Programs: Volunteers serve as leaders of worship services, study groups and instructional classes. They also participate in religious celebrations.
  • Seminars: Volunteers serve as instructors who teach a variety of classes on how to cope with incarceration and how to effectively re-enter into one’s community. For example, topics include anger management, job interviewing skills and parenting skills, etc.
  • Staff Assistance: Volunteers help perform clerical and administrative functions.
  • Substance Abuse: Volunteers serve as sponsors of Alcoholic Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous groups that help inmates cope with the problem of addiction.
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How can you become a volunteer?
  • Contact the Volunteer Coordinator, who is generally the Chaplain, at the institution where you wish to provide volunteer services.
  • Submit an applicationand agree to go through a personal interview.
  • Attend an orientation/training session that is appropriate to the services rendered. Registered Volunteers are trained in the rules, regulations and needs of the institution. Guest Volunteers are briefed prior to providing their services.
  • Abide by all Agency policies, in particular, the contraband policy, the employee/inmate relationship policy, the hostage policy and the media contact policy.
  • Recognize that correctional employees will monitor your contact with inmates.
  • Respect all inmates’ privacy.
  • Ask questions if you have them.
As a volunteer, you can work with inmates directly by becoming either a Registered or Guest Volunteer. Registered Volunteers commit to scheduled weekly visits, whereas, Guest Volunteers perform a specific service either on a one-time-only or once-a-month basis. You can also serve inmates indirectly, for example, by assisting the Volunteer Services Branch with projects or an institution with chapel fund raising efforts, etc.

NOTE: Volunteers must be at least 18 years old or have written parental consent and be accompanied by an adult who is an approved Department of Corrections’ volunteer. Applications completed to volunteer with the South Carolina Department of Corrections Volunteer Program should be mailed to the institutional Chaplain/Volunteer Coordinator location, where you would like to provide services.

Questions: Call the Volunteer Services Coordinator,
Angela Solomon-Williams (803) 896-8776.

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Contact Information:
P. O. Box 21787
4444 Broad River Road
Columbia, SC 29210
James Brown (803) 896-8504
Branch Chief of Pastoral Services
Islamic Affairs Headquarters
Broad River Road
P.O. Box 21787
Columbia, S.C. 29210
Abdallah Al-Ansari (803) 896-1231

Ordered by institution. Click on the institution name for driving directions
Name Institution Phone Number
Porter, John Allendale (803) 734-0653
Stokes, Cleveland Allendale (803) 734-0653
Hendricks, Steven Broad River (803) 896-2133
Drayton Jr., Lester Broad River (803) 896-2893
Jones, Timothy Broad River (803) 896-3110
Faulk, Trevor Broad River-M (803) 896-3110
Truitt, Larry Camille-Graham (803) 896-1252
Cruse, Guy R. Camille-Graham (803) 896-1796
Woods, Jr., Artemas Evans (803) 896-4931
Brewer, Annette Evans (803) 896-4970
Aidoo, Aaron Goodman (803) 896-1780
Miller, Steven Kershaw (803) 896-3383
Potoka, Gerald (Gerry) Kershaw (803) 896-3354
Cannon, Michael Kirkland (803) 896-2063
Utley, David Kirkland (803) 896-2062
Jamison, Delcinia Leath (803) 896-1000
Cain, Leonard Lee (803) 896-2485
(Vacant) Lee (803) 896-2484
Cuttino, James Lieber (803) 896-3711
Fortner, Phillip Lieber (803) 896-3739
Keller, Jimmie Livesay (864) 594-4915
Neal, Lance MacDougall (803) 734-0459
Hankerson, Bobby McCormick (803) 734-0330
Parker-Barber, Nedenia McCormick (803) 734-0330
Witherspoon, Lavern Manning (803) 935-6081
Bartelle, Norma (VC) Palmer (803) 734-9487
Epps, Larry Perry (864) 243-4700
(Vacant) Perry (864) 243-4700
Pollak, Charles (Chuck) Ridgeland (803) 896-3249
Wren, Phillip Ridgeland (803) 896-3248
Wilson, Jeffrey (Jeff) Trenton (803) 896-3051
McKnight, Edward Turbeville (803) 896-3155
(Vacant) Turbeville (803) 896-3154
(Vacant) Tyger River (803) 896-3546
Painter, Russell (Russ) Tyger River (803) 896-3632
McBeth, Sherman Wateree River (803) 896-3428
(Vacant) Wateree River (803) 896-3429
(VC) denotes Volunteer Coordinator
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