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2019-2020 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Amarillo Doctor Receives Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

(AUSTIN) – Dr. Michael Ryan of Amarillo, Texas was presented the “Judy Burd – Windham School District” Award during the Governor’s 2020-2021 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards program today.

The award was presented by Chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice 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. Ryan has been a volunteer in the Education Department at the Clements Unit for more than a year. His volunteerism began while working with one of the senior students who had limited literacy skills. When that inmate transferred off the unit, Dr. Ryan began working as a roving tutor in the classroom. He has worked in several literacy classes where he has tutored many inmates who struggle with mathematics. Many of the students he has tutored are now close to completing their GED tests.

The award is named in tribute to curriculum specialist Judy Burd who worked for the Windham School District where she developed the nationally recognized pre-release program called CHANGES. She was also the Volunteer Program Coordinator for the district who encouraged others to give of their time in service to others. Judy Burd also taught adult education classes at night in her community where she helped many people learn to read and write.

Dr. Ryan 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 jeremy.desel@tdcj.texas.gov.