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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2015 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

San Saba 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, Keynote Speaker Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht, Alice Smith and Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston.

(AUSTIN) – Alice Smith of San Saba, Texas was presented the Susan Cranford Award during the Governor’s 2015 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 during a ceremony held in Austin.

“We’re grateful for the efforts of these award recipients,” said Livingston.“ These everyday heroes are making a profound and lasting impact on the lives of individuals across the State of Texas.”

“Through their grace and their love, these volunteers touch the lives of many Texans,” said Bell. “They assist agency staff, and they help the offenders and their families have a chance for a better life - impacting generations to come.”

Ms. Smith is the facilitator of the San Saba Offender Choir and has been a volunteer since last April. She comes to the unit every Wednesday to conduct the choir and to prepare them for the upcoming weekend worship services. Staff members have seen offenders’ lives change for the better by participating in the program where Ms. Smith serves as a positive role model.

Ms. Smith has previous experience directing an adult church choir and organizing a children’s choir in her hometown of Dresden, Ohio.

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 for 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.

When not volunteering at the San Saba Unit, Ms. Smith enjoys photography, scrapbooking, reading, singing and taking her dog for walks in the park.

Ms. Smith is one of 16 individuals and 5 organizations from across the state recognized for their efforts to help inmates and those who are on parole or probation. They 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.

In FY2014, there were 21,492 volunteers who served a total of 427,345 hours.

Note to media: For more information, contact Robert C. Hurst, TDCJ Public Information Officer, at 936-437-6052 or by e-mail at robert.hurst@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.