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2019-2020 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Woodlands Doctor Receives Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

(AUSTIN) –Dr. Glenn Smith of The Woodlands, Texas was presented the Carol S. Vance Volunteer of the Year Award 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.

“Volunteering is a responsibility that these recipients have embraced wholeheartedly and for that we are extremely grateful,” said O’Daniel.

“The efforts of these award recipients are unparalleled,” said Collier. “Every day they leave a profound and lasting impression on the lives of so many across the State of Texas.”

Dr. Smith was the first Certified Volunteer Chaplain’s Assistant (CVCA) at the Hightower Unit in Dayton and has given 13 years of outstanding volunteer service to the agency, beginning with Kairos at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston. His passion for the prison ministry began after attending an Alpha program at his church. He started the first discipleship class at the Hightower Unit and recruited volunteers to teach classes and raise funds for study guides and Bibles every year. He also began quarterly praise and worship services at the Hightower Unit as an extension of the Disciple classes. In 2010, he took on the responsibility of serving as coordinator of the faith-based dorm at the Hightower Unit with help from other volunteers. He initiated the Christmas Movie Nights Festival and the mentorship program for the men graduating from the faith-based dorm. He supports the chaplains and wardens in a number of ways, including raising funds for different programs, teaching, counselling, visiting and ministering to the inmates and staff alike. As the Hightower CVCA, Dr. Smith has demonstrated a true servant’s heart for others and has had a profound impact on the entire unit.

In 1999, the Texas Board of Criminal Justice named the Volunteer of the Year Award after Carol S. Vance, former TBCJ Chairman and Board Member, former TBCJ Rehabilitation and Reentry Programs Committee chair, and current chaplaincy volunteer (since 1996) at the Darrington Unit and the Jester Unit. This award recognizes his many contributions in the development of rehabilitative programming offered to inmates to effect change.

Dr. Smith 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 FY2019, there were 22,506 volunteers who provided a total of 394,214 hours of service.

Note to media: For more information, contact Jeremy Desel, TDCJ Director of Communications, at (936) 437-6052 or by e-mail at