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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2015 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Woodlands 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, Jessica Middleton and Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston.

(AUSTIN) – Jessica Middleton of The Woodlands, Texas was presented the Pathfinder Award during the Governor’s 2015 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award program today. The award is given to an individual or group that has demonstrated leadership qualities in their volunteer service and made significant contributions to the welfare of victims.

The award was presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Oliver Bell and TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston during a ceremony 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. Middleton volunteers much of her time as a victim impact specialist in the Sex Offender Rehabilitation Programs at the Goree Unit (Huntsville) and Hightower Unit (Dayton).

As a result of her presentations there has been a positive results on audience members because it has shown them the devastating long-term effects of their crimes.

Ms. Middleton’s victimization has led her to a career in teaching criminal justice at the University of Houston and Lone Star College.

When not volunteering with TDCJ, Ms. Middleton enjoys spending time with her son and his family, cooking and dancing, either ballroom, salsa or country and western.

Ms. Middleton 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.