In anticipation of the Thirteenth Annual Citizens Awards Dinner on October 26th, 2019, the Board of Directors is soliciting nominees for potential awardees. The Citizens Awards acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions outstanding individuals have made since their release from prison. Our past honorees included recipients of doctoral degrees, leaders in education and religion, advocates, policymakers, and directors of social programs.


Nominees should be formerly incarcerated persons who have been out of prison for at least three years, though exceptional cases will be considered. Some words and phrases that could describe a successful nominee include leader, catalyst for positive change, pioneer, founder, collaborator, innovator, strategist, or initiator. Nominees should be living lives in service of those truly disadvantaged and disenfranchised due to various social, political, economic, and/or environmental factors.


Applications should be completed and received by
Monday, September 23, 2019, by 5:00 p.m.


Applications may be submitted by email to Please include Citizens Awards in the subject line of your email or mail nominations to:


Citizens Against Recidivism, Inc.

137-58 Thurston Street 

Springfield Gardens, New York 11413

Attention: Nomination Committee


Award Categories

Freedom Fighter

Awarded to the person who fights for the rights and freedoms of the incarcerated/formerly incarcerated by dedicating and donating personal resources, time and talents to that effort.


Advocacy Award

Awarded to the person who through his/her dedication, leadership and efforts affected policy, regulation or legislation related to the concerns of the incarcerated/formerly incarcerated.


Bridge Builder

Awarded to the person who has taken the initiative to build bridges of understanding, cooperation and collaboration amongst people in prison, the formerly incarcerated, and those affected by encounters with the criminal justice system.


Social Action

Awarded to the person who exemplifies the spirit of social activism/change/justice through community building.


Leadership in Education

Awarded to the person whose instruction, efforts, and work facilitate the academic growth, the establishment of policies or programs that benefit those impacted by the criminal justice system


Research and Scholarship

Awarded to the person whose research and scholastic achievements analyze the implications of the criminal justice system and those whom it impacts.


Spiritual Leadership

Awarded to the person whose efforts enhance the spiritual, mental, and ethical awareness of those impacted by the criminal justice system.


The Nomination

Nominations should be consistent with the following template:

  • A salutation to the Nomination Committee

  • Your name, affiliation, and contact information

  • Half-page description of your relationship to the nominee and his/her work, including their name and contact information

  • Name and description of the organizations that the nominee is affiliated with and the capacity in which she/he has worked

  • Description of how the individual’s work has impacted the lives of other formerly incarcerated people or individuals who are disadvantaged or disenfranchised due to various social, political, economic, and/or environmental factors.

  • Explanation of why this award best suits the nominee

  • Nomination Letter should be double-spaced and not exceed three pages