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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2015 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Tomball 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, Terry Theall-Jones and Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston.

(AUSTIN) – Terry Theall-Jones of Tomball, Texas was presented the “Religious Service” 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.”

Ms. Theall-Jones first volunteered in a correctional facility 18 years ago and found the experience very rewarding. She then started Truth and Compassion Ministries as an outreach project with three other women who volunteered once a quarter to visit a prison. A year later they were ministering to three or four units once a month. Truth and Compassion Ministries now has 42 volunteers who run a faith-based life skills class called Quest for Authentic Manhood, an Adults Relating to Kids (ARK) parenting class, a class discussing the Seven Areas of Life Training (S.A.L.T.) and Voyager classes.

Marriage and anger management seminars are now part of Truth and Compassion Ministries, as well. The outreach program has also been instrumental in assisting with offenders’ needs at the Stringfellow Unit in Rosharon, Texas.

When not volunteering, Ms. Theall-Jones enjoys reading and singing and spending time with her 8 children and 11 grandchildren.

Ms. Theall-Jones 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.