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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2016 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Wimberly Woman Receives Governor's Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

Photo of Award Winner(s) Standing from left to right: Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Dale Wainwright and Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston. Seated from left to right: Mr. and Mrs. Hartman.

(AUSTIN) – Deborah Hartman of Wimberly, Texas was presented the Chaplaincy Department Award during the Governor's 2016 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award program today.

The award was presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Dale Wainwright and TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston during a ceremony held in Austin.

"The unwavering dedication of these volunteers to help others succeed is truly inspiring," said Livingston. "The impact of their efforts will be felt across the state of Texas for many years to come."

"Volunteering is not a choice for the men and women being recognized today," said Wainwright. "They see it as a responsibility and for that we're thankful."

Ms. Hartman is the Central Texas Regional Coordinator for Bridges to Life, a volunteer led program working with offenders to help them "accept responsibility and cease to commit further crimes."

Ms. Hartman became interested in Bridges to Life after visiting the program's booth at a conference in Houston. She was working for Victim Services in Hays County so she knew full well the pain and suffering felt by crime victims. But she also struggled at her job that required 100% advocacy for victims because her husband had been involved in an accident where he was driving while intoxicated and was permanently disabled. So, she was fully aware of the pain on both sides. Bridges to Life offered an opportunity to "bridge the gap" between the two sides with faith, love, forgiveness and reconciliation at its core.

When not volunteering with Bridges to Life projects at the Travis County State Jail, the Kyle Unit, the Lockhart Correctional Facility or the Halbert Unit, Ms. Hartman enjoys gardening, boating and being a grandmother.

Ms. Hartman is one of 15 individuals and 6 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 FY2015, there were over 22,000 volunteers who provided a total of 262,442 hours of service.

Note to media: For more information, contact Jason Clark, TDCJ Public Information Director, at 936-437-6052 or by e-mail at jason.clark@tdcj.texas.gov – For high resolution photos of award recipients, contact Jene Andersen at jene.andersen@tdcj.texas.gov.