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2019-2020 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Cuero Woman Receives Governor’s Criminal Justice Administrator Award

(AUSTIN) – Valerie Maciel of Cuero, Texas was presented the Criminal Justice Administrator 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.

“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.”

Ms. Maciel has worked at the Stevenson Unit in Cuero for more than 16 years. She started as a mailroom clerk and has worked her way up to her current position as Chief of Classification. Several years ago, the unit lost its chaplain. Ms. Maciel asked if she could do the work of the chaplain and, without missing a beat, began to do so. She developed well-established relationships with the volunteers and was involved with many of their activities. During the pandemic, she has facilitated many FaceTime calls, civil commitment interviews and substance abuse interviews. She arrives at the unit daily by 5:30 a.m. and begins walking the unit to ensure there are no COVID-19 issues. When the current chaplain needed to quarantine, she stepped right into his shoes ensuring that all chaplaincy lay-ins were issued and that all live and DVD services were shown accordingly. She puts her heart and soul into providing for the inmates in the absence of a chaplain.

Ms. Maciel 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.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice extends its congratulations to Valerie Maciel, Chief of Classification at the Stevenson Unit, on being named Criminal Justice Administrator of the Year.

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