We Celebrate the Life of Noble Wallace and We Grieve His Passing

Noble Wallace signs CFSAW agreement in 1999In early 1999, we were an unknown to the Department of Corrections. We approached then-Warden Noble Wallace, requesting the opportunity to work with women incarcerated at Denver Women's Correctional Facility. It is a tribute to his willingness to work with others, his openness to new ideas and his belief in the ability of people to change that we were given the opportunity to launch our Making Choices mentoring program at DWCF during the fall of 1999.

Over the past 14 years, we have trained over 200 volunteer mentors and 16 teachers. Nearly 700 women have completed the Making Choices program during incarceration, and 92% of the graduates have moved on to better lives, including successful employment, effective parenting, home ownership and community service. None of this would have happened without the vision and support of Noble Wallace.

If we had to use one word to describe Noble, it would be RELATIONSHIP. His leadership philosophy was built on the importance of relationships first. As Warden, he made regular contact with all the offenders and knew each one by name. He visited weekly with the women in Administrative Segregation and listened. He spent time with his officers and staff members and listened. He made it a point to get to know all our Making Choices volunteers, and each May he set aside an evening just to listen. He was readily accessible to our staff in the ongoing evaluation and development of our programming at DWCF.

His passing leaves a vacuum that can never be filled. We remain grateful for the opportunity he opened for us, for his willingness to stick with us in some of the early challenges and for the support he gave us in those early years. His leadership continues to bear fruit in the lives that are transformed through our Making Choices mentoring program.

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