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Kevin Gay, founder and CEO of Operation New Hope, will receive the Medal of Honor, The Florida Bar Foundation’s highest award for non-lawyers on June 16th. Operation New Hope was founded in 1999 to rebuild Jacksonville’s challenged communities and give felons an opportunity to lead productive lives upon their release from incarceration.

While recidivism rates in the U.S. are nearly 70 percent in the three years after a prisoner is released, Jacksonville’s program has a 35 percent rate. Operation New Hope has assisted more than 3,700 ex-offenders and has built or restored nearly 80 homes in East Jacksonville and Springfield.

The award recognizes someone who is not an attorney, but has made a contribution to the improvement of the administration of justice. Bill Sheppard was the lawyer recipient in 2004 for the foundation’s Medal of Honor and nominated Gay for this year’s award. “Kevin has demonstrated both great commitment and success in providing aid to those in our legal system who need it the most,” said Sheppard in a news release.

To read a full article published by the Daily Record on Kevin Gay and Medal of Honor click here.