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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2017 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Girl Scouts Beyond Bars Receives Governor's Criminal Justice Volunteer Award

Photo of Award Winner(s) Members of Girl Scouts Beyond Bars are recognized at the Governor's Volunteer Awards. Pictured with TBCJ Chairman Dale Wainwright, Keynote Speaker Judge Sharon Keller, members of Girl Scouts behind Bars, and TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier.

(AUSTIN) – Girl Scouts Beyond Bars (GSBB) based in Austin, Texas received the "Best Family Program" 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.

Girl Scouts Beyond Bars (GSBB) was established in 1992 as a partnership between the National Institute of Justice and the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland. The program began in Austin in 1998. GSBB has family involvement with over 800 girls and their mothers nationwide. There are nine girls that visit the Woodman State Jail in Gatesville each month to participate in GSBB with their incarcerated mothers. The program seeks to break the cycle of intergenerational crime by providing support services, increased visitation and relationship building opportunities to girls grades K-12 and their affected families. Since its inception, none of the girls who have participated have been arrested. Mothers in the program have completed Commercial Driver License (CDL) programs and electrician training and have found gainful employment upon their release. 

Accepting the award for Girl Scouts Beyond Bars (GSBB) was Dominque Graves of Austin.  

Girl Scouts Beyond Bars (GSBB) is one of 9 organizations and 12 individuals 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