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2019-2020 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Sam Houston State Professor Receives Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

(AUSTIN) – Dr. Carolyn Moore of Huntsville, Texas was presented the Judy Burd Award from the Windham School District during the Governor’s 2020-2021 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards program today.

The award was presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Patrick O’Daniel and TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier during an online ceremony.

“These volunteers give their time and talents to help others throughout Texas,” said O’Daniel. “They selflessly serve because they feel a responsibility to help others.”

“These volunteers dedicate themselves daily to helping others succeed,” said Collier. “In the coming years, the scope of the precious time and effort that they invested will be evident across the State of Texas.”

Dr. Moore is Professor of Music at Sam Houston State University and has brought music therapy to the youthful inmates at the Ellis Unit for the past three years. She assembles a team of students from the university two and four times annually. They spend a week at a time teaching the students about various instruments provided by the Windham School District. Dr. Moore and the students work with the inmates all week with the goal of presenting a concert on Friday. During this short time, the students can play, as a band, a song or two and then display their individual talents to WSD and TDCJ staff. The students learn to accomplish something they have never done before and sometimes discover a gift that they did not know they had. They also learn to work with one another as a team while the class provides a positive incentive for good behavior.

The award is named in tribute to curriculum specialist Judy Burd who was employed with the WSD where she developed the nationally recognized pre-release program CHANGES. She was also the WSD volunteer program coordinator and, in that capacity, encouraged many to give their time in service to others. Judy Burd was well qualified for this role as she volunteered at the local alternative education program and for several years taught adult education at night in her community, helping many to learn to read and write.

Dr. Moore is one of 16 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 FY2020, there were 19,589 volunteers who served a total of 220,502 hours.

Note to media: For more information, contact Jeremy Desel, TDCJ Director of Communications, at (936) 437-6052 or by e-mail at jeremy.desel@tdcj.texas.gov.