INDIANAPOLIS – Phyllis Newton, a member of Broadway UMC in Indianapolis with years of service and deep passion for the Indiana Women’s Prison ministry, was recently named IWP’s Religious Services Volunteer of the Year.

She received a quilt made by the offenders. She also received a standing ovation from the 150 volunteers, guests, staff and offenders present for the annual IWP volunteers event.

Newton was chosen from more than 400 volunteers at IWP. She was honored for her work as an instructor-mentor in the PLUS unit of the prison and for her service in United Methodist Women.

Chaplain Steve Hall, director of Chaplaincy Services for the Indiana Department of Correction, was in attendance. He said that due to the economy and state-wide financial situation, the Department of Correction (DOC) has had to cut staff and program funding in all of the state’s prisons. He said, because of this fact, volunteers have been a blessing to the prison system. He said, statewide, volunteers have provided (with their time and program skills) what would equal to be about $4 million annually to DOC facilities.