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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2014 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Cleburne Woman Receives Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

Photo of Award Winner(s) From left to right: Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Oliver Bell, Carla Hooton, Keynote Speaker Judge Cathy Cochran and Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston.

(Austin) – Carla Hooten was presented the Susan Cranford Award during the Governor’s 2014 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award program today. The award is given to an individual who has shown a desire to improve criminal justice programs for females.

The award was presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Oliver Bell, and TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston today during a ceremony held in Austin. Hooten is one of 15 individuals and 6 organizations from across the state recognized for their efforts to help inmates and those who are on parole or probation.

“These men and women give their time not for monetary reward,” said Livingston. “They volunteer because they have a personal passion in seeing others succeed. We are grateful for their selfless dedication.”

Certified Volunteer Chaplains Assistant Carla Hooten assists at the Hobby/Marlin complex wherever she is needed. When the Marlin Unit went from housing male to female offenders, she impressed the administrators with her willingness to become familiar with agency policies and procedures as related to her duties as Certified Volunteer Chaplains Assistant. With her extensive knowledge she was instrumental in assisting the newly assigned unit chaplains in becoming acclimated to their new duties at the Hobby/Marlin complex.

The Susan Cranford Award is named as a tribute to Susan Cranford who passed away in March 2007 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. She was a former Windham School District and TDCJ employee over 28 years, many of them as the Warden at the Gatesville Unit.

She also served as Assistant Director of the State Jail Division and the Director of the Private Facilities Division. Her innovative thinking and relentless desire to improve criminal justice programs for females gained her a well-deserved national reputation as an expert on women’s issues in the field of corrections, from both staff and offender perspectives.

Hooten is one of thousands of concerned volunteers who, like her, 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, some 21,000 volunteers make 145,000 visits to criminal justice facilities and work with offenders who are on supervision, donating some 460,000 hours of service.

Note to media: For more information, contact Jason Clark by e-mail at – Photos of award recipients will be available on the TDCJ Web site at For high resolution photos, please contact Jene Andersen at