2009 Governor's Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards
Mark Warren, "Nancy Hees" Award-Parole Division
Mark Warren has demonstrated excellent volunteer service that has positively and dramatically impacted the lives of parolees. Mr. Warren volunteers three times a week facilitating a substance abuse class for parolees in San Antonio, Texas. His classes are overflowing, with as many as 63 individuals in attendance.
As an ex-offender, he knows the culture, the life and the language of the parolees. He is prepared each week to discuss what it takes to be successful on the outside. His message is direct and simple and he packages it with life lessons that he has learned while striving for successful re-entry. He uses humor and experiences that the parolees can identify with. When asked why they attend Mr. Warren's class, one parolee responded that Mark's insight speaks to his life so that he can think through issues, problems and concerns. Mark Warren has been selected to receive the Parole Division Nancy Hees Award.
This award is named in recognition of Nancy Hees who passed away in February 2005 after a courageous battle with cancer. Nancy, a TDCJ employee at the time of her death, worked in the Parole Division admirably for more than 14 years. Ms. Hees' dynamic character and devotion to helping others positively influenced the lives of many parolees and their families. Her heartfelt compassion and generosity built a bridge of communication between parolees and the Agency's administration and established the Division's Ombudsman's Office as a reliable information resource for offender families.