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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2017 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Splendora Woman Receives Governor's Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

Photo of Award Winner(s) From left to right: TBCJ Chairman Dale Wainwright, Keynote Speaker Judge Sharon Keller, Plane State Jail Chaplain Debbie Dunn, and TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier.

(AUSTIN) – Debbie Dunn of Splendora, Texas was presented the TDCJ Employee Volunteer Award during the Governor's 2017 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award program today.

The award was presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Dale Wainwright and TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier during a ceremony held in Austin.

"It takes a special kind of person to give of their time and expect no material reward," said Bryan Collier, Executive Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. "The contributions these volunteers make are invaluable and have a lasting impact on the public safety of our fellow Texans."

"By giving of their time and their gifts as volunteers, these award recipients are helping build a better community not only for themselves but for everyone whose lives they touch," said Wainwright.

Ms. Dunn began serving as a TDCJ volunteer in March 2006 and is now a chaplain at the Cleveland Unit and the Plane State Jail in Dayton. She ministers to staff, offenders and volunteers. She also has a ministry called "Lifeseekers" and travels extensively to minister at other TDCJ units statewide. She has been described by volunteers and staff as courageous, passionate and encouraging while always delivering a message of hope.

Ms. Dunn is one of 12 individuals and 9 organizations from across the state recognized for their efforts to help inmates and those who are on parole or probation. They donate many hours of their personal time every year with the goal of changing the lives of convicted offenders, and aiding and comforting their victims.

In FY2016, there were over 24,500 volunteers who provided a total of 390,711 hours of service.

Note to media: For more information, contact Jason Clark, TDCJ Public Information Director, at 936-437-6052 or by e-mail at – For high resolution photos of award recipients, contact Jene Andersen at