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Volunteer efforts of Dallas parole supervisor, Gurney Unit sergeant recognized

The volunteer efforts of TDCJ employees Andrenett Hayes, a parole supervisor in Dallas, and Travis G. Morris, a sergeant at the Gurney Unit near Palestine, were recognized in April during the 14th Annual Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards ceremony in Austin.

Hayes was presented with the Criminal Justice Administrator Volunteer Award and Morris was recognized with the TDCJ Employee Volunteer Award. Donna Haggard of San Antonio, a former correctional officer and parole officer, was honored with the Carol S. Vance Volunteer of the Year Award. Nineteen awards were presented in all.

Travis Morris and Andrenett Hayes holding their awards
TDCJ employees Travis Morris, left, and Andrenett Hayes were recognized for their volunteer efforts during the 14th Annual Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Services Awards ceremony in Austin.

Photo by Jene Robbins

Hayes joined the TDCJ volunteer program in 1997 and has since worked with the Females First and Foremost Program. The 16-week program focuses on building self-esteem, substance abuse treatment, parenting skills, job readiness, domestic violence and women’s health issues. In addition to leading two of the classes, Hayes arranges for community volunteers to serve as guest speakers and supporters of the program. She also established the Ladies Night Out module, through which participants gather for a group meeting at a local restaurant each week.

Sgt. Morris established Celebrate Recovery at the Gurney Unit in 2007 to help offenders deal with addictive behaviors by facing their problems and learning to overcome them. Morris, who overcame his own difficulties in life, meets weekly with a class of offenders to help them free themselves of their addictions.

Haggard has long worked with ex-offenders in need of mentoring, guidance and counsel. Her goal is the successful reintegration of offenders into the community, dedicating most of her time to assist parolees assigned to the San Antonio Metro Parole offices.

The Volunteer of the Year Award was named for former Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Carol S. Vance in 1999 in recognition of his many contributions in the development of rehabilitative programming offered to offenders to effect a positive change in their lives.

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