ALERT - Visitation
YouTube icon image 

Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2014 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Alvin Man Receives Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

From left to right: Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Oliver Bell, Claude Sumrall, Keynote Speaker Judge Cathy Cochran and Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston.

(Austin) – Claude Sumrall was presented the Correctional Institutions Division volunteer award during the Governor’s 2014 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award program today.

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. Sumrall 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 Chaplain’s Assistant Claude Sumrall began his ministry 22 years ago with the Prisoners Bible Institute at the Wynne Unit. He currently volunteers at the Stringfellow, Ramsey and Carole Young Units and in the past has volunteered at the Wynne, Darrington, Clemens and Terrell Units. He has worked in several capacities over the years including the GRAD program, mentoring and Bible study, as well as overseeing the faith-based dorm and assisting the unit Chaplain with administrative duties.

Volunteer Chaplain Sumrall truly cares about the well being of the offenders he ministers to and his sincerity shows through his compassion and commitment to those men and women. “Volunteering in prison is what I love doing,” he has said more than once. “I would not be happy doing anything else.” As a volunteer, Sumrall has gone above and beyond his commitment by helping unit administration in an “acting chaplain” capacity when a unit chaplain was unavailable.

Claude says he was motivated to volunteer after attending several prison crusades where he saw a need and felt a call from God to the prison ministry. Claude and his wife Patsy have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. He lists time with family, fishing, golf and all sports as his interests.

Claude is one of thousands of concerned volunteers who, like him, 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 145,000,000 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 jason.clark@tdcj.texas.gov – Photos of award recipients will be available on the TDCJ Web site at http://www.tdcj.texas.gov. For high resolution photos, please contact Jene Andersen at jene.andersen@tdcj.texas.gov.