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2019-2020 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Houston Group Receives Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

(AUSTIN) –Moms in Prayer International of Houston, Texas was presented the Susan Cranford Award during the Governor’s 2020-2021 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards program today. The award is given to an individual or organization that has shown a desire to improve criminal justice programs for females.

The award was presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Patrick O’Daniel and TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier during an online ceremony. Accepting the award was Lee Anne Robbins with Moms in Prayer International.

“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.”

Moms in Prayer International has been meeting at the Carole S. Young Medical Facility since April 2010 and at the Santa Maria Hostel since April 2013. Moms in Prayer International is a community of praying mothers who believe that lives and whole communities are changed forever as they gather to pray. During their meetings, inmates give heartfelt testimonies of how their children have been changed because of their participation in Moms in Prayer International. Volunteers and inmates continue to pray for safety, protection, caring teachers and success in school for their children. The volunteers assist with Angel Tree gift events, Day with Mom, Blessing of the Hands (for unit staff) and a Christmas party for BAMBI mothers.

The Susan Cranford Award is named as a tribute to Susan Cranford who passed away in March 2007 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. She was a former Windham School District and TDCJ employee for over 28 years, many of them as the Warden at the Gatesville Unit. She also served as Assistant Director of the State Jail Division and the Director of the Private Facilities Division. Her innovative thinking and relentless desire to improve criminal justice programs for females gained her a well-deserved national reputation as an expert on women’s issues in the field of corrections, from both staff and offender perspectives.

Moms in Prayer International is one of 6 organizations and 16 individuals 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 served a total of 394,214 volunteer hours.

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