2010 Governor's Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award
Wilbert Burney, "Nancy Hees"; Award-Parole Division
As teacher, leader, and mentor at the San Antonio Metro Parole Office, Reverend Wilbert Burney has brought encouragement, support, and hope to parolees. Under his leadership and direction, the faith-based substance abuse program he oversees has been a shining star, helping the parolees reach a new level of awareness and problem solving. Approximately 40 offenders faithfully participate in his program knowing that they will receive an in-depth message on how to positively address their drug and alcohol, as well as sexual, addictions. They are taught practical lessons that have a direct impact on addressing their problems. He and his corps of volunteers take time before each meeting to sit and talk with the parolees, which builds on the relationship between teacher and student, and demonstrates their accessibility to help and mentor when needed. Through this spirit of cooperation and faithful service, Reverend Burney has contributed to the San Antonio District Resource Center achieving a higher level of success. For his devotion to this success, Reverend Burney has been selected to receive the Parole Division's prestigious "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.