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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2016 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Palestine Man 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, Travis Morris and Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston.

(AUSTIN) – Lieutenant Travis Morris of Palestine, Texas was presented the TDCJ Employee Volunteer 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."

Lieutenant Morris is a 15-year veteran of TDCJ assigned to the Michael Unit in Tennessee Colony. He says his motivation to become involved in volunteer activities with the agency were his parents who are both ordained ministers. "Out of four other brothers, two are also ministers," said Lt. Morris. "I felt like it was my responsibility as a Christian to bring the word of God to the offenders so they could find God's love." He does this by leading the Celebrate Recovery program at the Gurney Unit in Palestine as a volunteer.

Lieutenant Morris has been a public servant most of his adult life with 18 years of service with the volunteer fire department in Jewett and 10 years of service with the EMS in Jewett.

When not at work or volunteering, Lieutenant Morris enjoys fishing, hunting and golfing.

Lieutenant Morris 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 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.