Rehabilitation Programs Division
Volunteer Services Program
2011 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards
Ministry of the Third Cross
Nancy Hees Award - Parole Division
Ministry of the Third Cross is a group of volunteers from various Christian communities that assists released offenders in becoming morally productive citizens. All of the volunteers in this dedicated organization are ex-felons who wish to give back to society by helping others that are emotionally, mentally, and spiritually wounded. Programs include a new arrival orientation to help newly released offenders become acquainted with available resources; weekly substance abuse classes utilizing the Commitment to Change curriculum; one day faith retreats; and retreats at a residence for the homeless (Haven of Hope), of which approximately half are in the criminal justice system. These faith based retreats include topics on adoration, theology, community, and service. The success of this program is attributed to their commitment to listen to those they serve. At-risk youth are also included in their program in an effort to help them move away from criminal behavior and stay in school. For their committed passion to give back and help others to successfully reenter society, Ministry of the Third Cross has been selected to receive the Parole Division's honorable Nancy Hees Award.
This award is named in recognition of Nancy Hees who passed away in February 2005 after a courageous battle with cancer. Nancy, a TDCJ employee at the time of her death, worked in the Parole Division admirably for more than 14 years. Ms. Hees' dynamic character and devotion to helping others positively influenced the lives of many parolees and their families. Her heartfelt compassion and generosity built a bridge of communication between parolees and the Agency's administration and established the Division's Ombudsman's Office as a reliable information resource for offender families.