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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2016 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Houston Woman Receives Governor's Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

Photo of Award Winner(s) From left to right: Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Dale Wainwright, Marleah Baird and Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston.

(AUSTIN) – Marleah Baird of Houston, Texas was presented the "Religious Service" 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. Baird is a Certified Volunteer Chaplains' Assistant who has worked with the Alpha Ministry for nearly ten years at the Wallace Pack Unit in Navasota where they have coordinated a faith-based dormitory. Not long ago, she was named the coordinator of the merged ministries of Alpha and Prison Fellowship. Over the years she has recruited other volunteers when attending churches, community meetings and wherever an open door is presented to her.

When not involved in her volunteerism, she enjoys painting and spending time with her eight grandchildren.

Ms. Baird 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.