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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2015 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Groves 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, Maureen Whiteside and Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston.

(AUSTIN) – Maureen Whiteside of Groves, Texas was presented the Chaplaincy Department 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 today 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. Whiteside has been a volunteer at the Stiles Unit in Beaumont for 17 years.

Her home was in Livingston, Texas when she felt God’s call to serve in Beaumont. She now teaches Voyager while also preaching and providing religious services and entering the volunteer’s visits into the computer. She was asked to become the Certified Volunteer Chaplains Assistant (CVCA) for the unit’s first faith-based dorm because of her faithfulness, availability and dependability.

Ms. Whiteside also increased her hours from part-time to almost full-time when the staff chaplain retired. Her loyalty, boldness, caring and concern have made a difference.

When not volunteering at the Stiles Unit, she is a hairdresser. Her hobbies and recreational activities include craftworks and fishing.

Ms. Whiteside 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.