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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2011 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Wilhelmenia S. Howard
Criminal Justice Administrator

Photo of Award Winner(s)

Wilhelmenia S. Howard has served the state of Texas over 25 years. Early in her career she was entrenched with providing supportive programming to the offender population. She has worked with male and female offenders on death row, and she started several group programs for offender in general population, covering topics such as family and domestic violence. She also started a special program for women serving time for injury to or murder of a child. In 2005, Ms. Howard became the warden of the Plane State Jail and Henley Unit in Dayton, Texas, the largest female complex in Texas. Because of its proximity to Houston, Texas, these facilities have a large volunteer base with a myriad of programs and activities offered for the offenders. Warden Howard is always very gracious to accommodate and encourage the volunteers while maintaining operations of this nearly 3,000 offender complex and more than 560 employees. Her success in working with the offender population is in part due to the sensible grounding she encourages the women to develop, which is to “take the emotion out of your decision so you can make better choices.” For her service to ensure programs are available for offenders to make better choices, restore lives as well as relationships, Wilhelmenia S. Howard has been selected to receive the volunteer award for Criminal Justice Administrator.