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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2013 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Tyler woman receives TDCJ Restorative Justice Award

Photo of Award Winner(s) TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston, Connie Hilton, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett and TBCJ Vice-Chair Tom Mechler (l-r).

(Austin) - Connie Hilton of Tyler was presented the 2013 Restorative Justice Award. The award is part of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards presented each year by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).

The award was presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Oliver Bell and Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Executive Director Brad Livingston during a ceremony held in Austin. Hilton is one of 20 recipients from across Texas recognized for their volunteer efforts to help state offenders and those who are on parole or probation.

“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.

In September 1990, Ms. Hilton was a victim of a heinous crime that resulted in the death of her husband. Hilton is currently the Northeast Regional Coordinator for Bridges to Life and has implemented the program on numerous units. Her testimony is remarkable and by actively participating in Bridges to Life she is able to educate offenders. According to her colleagues, she believes in helping offenders understand the importance of taking responsibility for their actions, and that changing a person’s heart is not easy and it doesn’t always happen but she feels she needs to continue to try. Prior to volunteering for Bridges to Life she served as a participant on victim impact panels for the Victim Services Division.

Norman is one of thousands of concerned volunteers who 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. Annually, approximately 18,000 volunteers make 163,000 visits to criminal justice facilities and work with offenders who are on supervision, donating over 526,000 hours of service.

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