Alabama Department Of Corrections Partners With First Lady Dianne Bentley To Reduce Domestic Violence In Alabama

Department Donates Confiscated Phones to HopeLine® from Verizon

Jul 17, 2013, 14:27 ET from Verizon Wireless

MONTGOMERY, Ala., July 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Through an initiative spearheaded by First Lady Dianne Bentley, the Alabama Department of Corrections has donated more than 4,000 phones confiscated from inmates to HopeLine from Verizon, a phone recycling program that turns no-longer used wireless devices into support for organizations working to help reduce the incidence of domestic violence and assist victims.

First Lady Bentley, who supports the cause of domestic violence awareness and prevention through a number of initiatives, first learned of HopeLine in early 2012 and challenged Governor Robert Bentley's cabinet members to collect phones for the cause. In just one month, the First Lady raised 2,500 phones, due in large part to a significant donation from the Department of Corrections, which had previously disposed of cell phones confiscated from inmates. Since then, the Department has continued to donate confiscated phones to HopeLine.

The Department of Corrections donated approximately 2,500 phones to HopeLine in 2012 and has contributed 1,553 phones so far this year.

"The Alabama Department of Corrections is pleased to support the First Lady's efforts around such a worthy cause," Corrections Commissioner Kim Thomas said.  "Cell phones in a prison setting are a real danger as contraband.  We diligently battle their illegal use and are glad to donate them to such a productive cause and to assist the First Lady.  This is just one of the many positive things we do on a daily basis."

Wireless phones given to HopeLine are refurbished and sold for reuse, generating grant dollars for nonprofit organizations to help fund education, support services and community outreach. Refurbished phones – complete with 3,000 minutes of wireless service and text-messaging service – are provided to local domestic violence agencies or local law enforcement agencies for use with their domestic violence clients.

Verizon has provided HopeLine grants to organizations across the state including the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence as well as many of its member shelters, the North Alabama Crisis Services Center, Montgomery's One Place Family Justice Center and the Exchange Center for Child Abuse Prevention in Dothan among others.

"This incredible collaboration between First Lady Bentley and the Alabama Department of Corrections has generated a substantial volume of phone donations and therefore new resources for Alabama non-profits working to reduce the incidence of domestic violence," said Jonathan LeCompte, president – Georgia/Alabama region, Verizon Wireless. "We applaud both the First Lady and the Department of Corrections for this innovative way to be a part of community change."

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SOURCE Verizon Wireless