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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2012 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

West Texas Ministry Receives Governor's 2012 Criminal Justice Volunteer Award

Photo of Award Winner(s)

(Austin) - During ceremonies in Austin today, Cliff Buchanan and Shawna Mitchell accepted the Governor's 2012 Criminal Justice Volunteer "Religious Service" Award on behalf of the Golden Eagle Ministries.

The award was presented by Oliver Bell, Chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, and TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston.

"Each of this year's award recipients personify a selfless dedication to helping offenders succeed both while incarcerated, and once they're released," said Livingston.

Golden Eagle Ministries is a small, independent ministry located in Abilene, which serves the Big Country area of Texas. A large part of their ministry is to Native American offenders located on the Price Daniel unit in Snyder, Texas. They minister to approximately 150 men through their ceremony services and educational classes. Their volunteers travel to Snyder from various parts of Texas and New Mexico to serve two full days a month within prison walls.

They devote countless hours of preparation and education throughout the month. All their materials, as well as gas and travel expenses are funded "out of pocket" by the volunteers or private donations. Their program fosters spiritual growth as well as provides offenders education and tools to live a better life once they are released from the prison system.

Cliff Buchanan has volunteered at the Price Daniel Unit for five and half years. He received an industrial management degree from Texas Tech University. He is also the owner of a computer consulting firm. Buchanan has four children and seven grandchildren.

In addition to volunteering with Golden Eagle Ministries, Shawna Mitchell is the co-founder of the Abilene Holistic Network. When she is not volunteering her time, Mitchell enjoys spending time with family and pets.

Golden Eagle Ministries is one of 6 organizations and 13 individuals from across the state recognized today for their efforts to help offenders and those who are on parole or probation.

Note to media: For more information, contact Jason Clark, TDCJ Public Information Officer, at 936-437-6052 or by e-mail at jason.clark@tdcj.texas.gov.