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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Chaplaincy Program

The mission of the Chaplaincy Department of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is to positively impact public safety and reduce recidivism through moral rehabilitation by rendering pastoral care and quality programming to facilitate spiritual transformation.

Program Overview:

The Chaplaincy Department provides morally enriched programs that assist inmates in their institutional adjustment and prepare them for successful reentry. A variety of programs, activities and community participation encourage inmates to pursue their faith, reconcile relationships and strengthen their families. Participation in religious activities and attendance at religious services is voluntary.

It is the policy of the TDCJ to extend to all inmates as much freedom and opportunity as possible for pursuing individual beliefs and practices, consistent with security, safety and orderly operations of the institution. Chaplaincy services are nondiscriminatory in the treatment of inmates religious beliefs, and established policies do not permit the disparaging of any faith or the proselytization of any inmate. Chaplains coordinate and oversee the activities of the religious volunteer program, actively recruiting volunteers from various faith groups to provide services to inmates.

The TDCJ Chaplaincy Department is comprised of over 110 unit level chaplains of multiple faiths. The number of chaplains is determined by unit capacity and may range from a minimum of one to a maximum of three chaplains. There are also six regional chaplains to supervise the unit chaplains, and five area Muslim chaplains to provide guidance for Muslim programming. There are five parole chaplains to render programming and services to parolees and staff. In addition, the TDCJ contracts for services with Native American and Jewish chaplains.

Programs of the Chaplaincy Department include, but are not limited to:

  • Religious Services
  • Visitation/Hospitality House Ministry
  • Hospice Care Ministry
  • Ministry to death row inmates and their families
  • Ministry to the families of victims during the execution process
  • Pastoral Care
  • Religious Volunteer Programs
  • Voyager Life Skills Programs
  • Faith-Based Pre-Release Programs
  • Mentoring
  • Family Unification Programs (e.g. Day with Dad, One Day with God, and Marriage Seminars)
  • Spiritual Growth Programs

In addition, the Chaplaincy Department coordinates the implementation of faith-based dorms. These dorms offer support and accountability, along with a faith-based curriculum and mentoring program. The programming is conducted by local faith-based community volunteers whose activities are directed by the unit chaplain and unit administration. Faith-based dorms are open to inmates of all faiths and generally include:

  • life skills classes
  • spiritual classes
  • structured activities
  • accountability/support groups

Link for questions related to Volunteer Information.

Program Contacts:

C. F. Hazlewood – Deputy Director of Religious Services
TDCJ – Rehabilitation Programs Division
PO Box 99
Huntsville, TX 77342
Phone: (936) 437-7302
Fax: (936) 437-7300

VACANT – Assistant Director of Religious Services
TDCJ – Rehabilitation Programs Division
PO Box 99
Huntsville, TX 77342
Phone: (936) 437-7302
Fax: (936) 437-7300