His appointment was made official by HFP Board of Directors at their quarterly meeting in Spring Lake last week.
Tjapkes, of Grand Haven, has been with the organization for six years.
“I want to thank the Board of Directors for their faith in me,” Tjapkes said. “I came on six years ago, not knowing what to expect but hoping I could be the bridge that takes this organization into the future. I see this as the next logical step in making that happen.”
Tjapkes succeeds his father, Doug Tjapkes, and is the second president in the history of the organization. Humanity for Prisoners — originally known as Innocent — was founded by Doug Tjapkes and Maurice Carter in 2001. The prisoner advocacy agency is a non-profit organization serving inmates in all of Michigan’s state prisons.
A team of staff members, volunteers and professional advisors responds to more than 600 calls a month, helping inmates with real, everyday needs. Prisoners having problems with medical care and seeking help with filing Freedom of Information Act requests make up nearly 30 percent of all contacts received.
Doug Tjapkes will remain on staff at Humanity for Prisoners, focusing on fundraising and public relations.
“I’m happy to have my dad here to assist me as we both transition to the new phase for ourselves and for this organization,” Matt Tjapkes said. “Doug’s name has been synonymous with Humanity for Prisoners since its inception. Having his wisdom and input as we move forward will be key for the organization’s continued success.”
Both father and son are well-known as radio broadcasters as well. Matt, a sports broadcaster, has worked for 92.1 WGHN covering Grand Haven Buccaneer football and basketball for the last three years, after covering Muskegon Catholic Central athletics for the previous five years. He also works for the Spartan Sports Network, primarily covering Michigan State University softball.
Doug owned and operated WGHN in Grand Haven from 1964 through 1983.
Humanity for Prisoners has offices in Spring Lake, and is solely supported by gifts and contributions. To learn more, visit www.humanityforprisoners.org.