ALERT - Visitation
YouTube icon image 

Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2015 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Orange 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, LaDonna Bell and Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston.

(AUSTIN) – LaDonna Bell of Orange, Texas was presented the Leonard Davis 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.”

The award is named in recognition of Leonard Davis who passed away in 2009. He was the honored recipient of this award in 2005, 2007, 2008 and posthumously in 2010 when the award was renamed in his honor.

Mrs. Bell is the wife of retired chaplain George Bell and served as a volunteer with him before his retirement and continues to this day. Her volunteerism is essential to managing the administrative aspects of the chaplain’s office at the Stiles Unit in Beaumont. She manages phones and sorts mail for the 3,000-bed offender unit while also assisting correctional staff with other duties. She has contributed more than 1,550 hours to TDCJ during fiscal year 2014.

When not volunteering at the Stiles Unit, Mrs. Bell enjoys bowling and camping with her family.

Mrs. Bell 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.