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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2015 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Huntsville Man 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, George Nelson and Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston.

(AUSTIN) – George Nelson of Huntsville, Texas was presented the TDCJ Employee Volunteer Award during the Governor’s 2015 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 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.”

Mr. Nelson is a TDCJ Information Technology Department employee who serves as the chairperson for the Christian Restorative Justice Mentors Association (CRJMA). He works with youthful offenders to help them be more effective men upon their release. He also coordinates the 30-year old New Birth Bible Study program that is designed to help men develop and mentor other men. He has also served as a coordinator for marriage seminars to help offenders maintain their relationship with their spouses while incarcerated. Mr. Nelson has also coordinated the Possum Talks Parenting Workshop three times a year to help offenders maintain a healthy relationship with their children.

Mr. Nelson says he does not have time for hobbies or recreational activities although in the past he was a certified SCUBA diver and went spearfishing while living in Florida. He has diving experience in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, as well as in the Caribbean, Mexico and Philippines.

Mr. Nelson 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.