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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2018 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Houston Man Receives Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

Photo of Award Winner(s) From left to right: TBCJ Chairman Dale Wainwright, Michael Mitchell, Supreme Court Justice Jimmy Blacklock, and TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier.

(AUSTIN) – Michael Mitchell of Houston, Texas was presented the “Religious Service” award during the Governor’s 2018 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.

“Each of these award recipients has given countless hours of volunteer service within the TDCJ and we are extremely grateful for their efforts,” said director Collier. “They help to make a profound impact on the lives of thousands of offenders and, in doing so, make Texas safer. They are truly everyday heroes.”

Chairman Wainwright said, “These award recipients are giving of their time and gifts to help build better communities throughout Texas. We are extremely thankful for the volunteers we recognize with these awards. They selflessly serve others out of a sense of responsibility to their fellow Texans and to the offenders.”

Mr. Mitchell is a Certified Volunteer Chaplains’ Assistant who has been volunteering at the Stringfellow Unit in Rosharon since September 2011. He manages the Protestant Choir and band and teaches a diverse curriculum in the faith-based dorm, as well as the general population. He also gives a sermon each month during worship services. His volunteerism has been instrumental in the success of Family Day, faith-based dorm graduation ceremonies, volunteer and staff appreciation days and the “Day with Dad” event. The staff of the Stringfellow Unit consider him a great asset to their operations as he assists offenders with the opportunity to become better members of society upon their release.

Mr. Mitchell is one of 14 individuals and 7 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 FY2017, there were 23,288 volunteers who provided a total of 395,207 hours of service.

Note to media: For more information, contact Jeremy Desel, TDCJ Public Information Director, at 936-437-6052 or by e-mail at jeremy.desel@tdcj.texas.gov – For high resolution photos of award recipients, contact Jene Andersen at jene.andersen@tdcj.texas.gov.