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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2017 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Austin 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, Jackie Taylor and TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier.

(AUSTIN) – Jacqueline Taylor of Austin, Texas was presented the Pathfinder Award during the Governor's 2017 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award program today. The award is given to an individual or group that has demonstrated leadership qualities in their volunteer service and made significant contributions to the welfare of victims.

The award was presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Dale Wainwright and TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier during a ceremony 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. Taylor and her family are homicide survivors. In her volunteer work, she shares her experiences of dealing with the long-term emotional, psychological, sociological and financial impact that the crime had on them. She feels that by sharing her story she keeps the memory of her loved ones alive and hopefully serves to help recidivism. One of her goals in telling her story is to help build empathy and understanding among offenders in order to create a shift in their patterns of thought.

Ms. Taylor has volunteered her time as a victim impact panelist for over twelve years and is a shining example of how one person can truly make a difference.

Ms. Taylor 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 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 jason.clark@tdcj.texas.gov – For high resolution photos of award recipients, contact Jene Andersen at jene.andersen@tdcj.texas.gov.