South Carolina Department of Corrections


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 application and 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 Geohaghan (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
Chaplains / Volunteer Coordinators
* = Volunteer Coordinator
† = Volunteer Chaplain
Click on the Institutions for driving directions

Name Institution Phone Number
Porter, John Allendale (803) 632–0653
Stokes, Cleveland Allendale (803) 734–0653
Eason, Steven Broad River (803) 896–2133
Vacant Broad River (803) 896–2893
Aidoo, Aaron Broad River (803) 896–2133
Major, James Camille–Graham (803) 896–1252
* Brasington, Daniel Catawba (803) 324–5361
* Edwards, Doris Coastal (843) 740–1630
Cannon, Michael Evans (803) 734–4931
Woods, Jr., Artemas Evans (803) 896–4931
Witherspoon, Lavern Goodman (803) 896–3154
Miller, Steven Kershaw (803) 896–3354
Potoka, Gerry Kershaw (803) 896–3354
Houser, John Kirkland (803) 896–2063
Utley, David Kirkland (803) 896–2062
† Yoder, Joe Kirkland (803) 896–2240
Jamison, Delcinia Leath (803) 896–1029
Cain, Leonard Lee (803) 896–2485
Madison Jr., Obie Lee (803) 896–2509
Cuttino, James Lieber (803) 896–3711
Vacant Lieber (803) 896–3711
Keller, Jimmie Livesay (864) 594–4915
† Kersh, Jason Livesay (803) 734–1375
* Syphertt, Capt. Tina Lower Savannah (803) 648–8865
Neal, Lance MacDougall (803) 734–0459
Hankerson, Bobby McCormick (803) 734–0330
Parker-Barber, Nedenia McCormick (803) 734–0330
Cruse, Guy R. Manning (803) 935–6081
* Bartelle, Norma Palmer (803) 734–9487
Epps, Larry Perry (803) 737–4700
Whitworth, James Perry (803) 896–4700
Pollak, Charles Ridgeland (803) 896–3245
Wren, Phillip Ridgeland (803) 896–3248
Thomas, Victor Trenton (803) 896–3051
Bennie Colclough Turbeville (803) 896–3155
Bradley, Debra Turbeville (803) 896–3154
Edmisten, Allen Tyger River (803) 896–3546
Painter, Russell Tyger River (803) 896–3632
Aidoo, Aaron Walden (803) 896–8580
McBeth, Sherman Wateree River (803) 896–3428
Drayton, Lester Wateree River (803) 896–3429
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