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2013 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Marshall man receives TDCJ volunteer award

Photo of Award Winner(s) TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston, Emmett Gagnard, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett and TBCJ Vice-Chair Tom Mechler (l-r).

(Austin) - Emmett Gagnard of Marshall was presented the Governor’s 2013 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award today in recognition of his dedication to helping offenders incarcerated within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The award was presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Oliver Bell and Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Executive Director Brad Livingston during a ceremony held in Austin. Gagnard is one of 20 recipients from across Texas recognized for their efforts to help state offenders and those who are on parole or probation.

“Each of this year’s award recipients personify a selfless dedication to helping offenders succeed both while incarcerated, and once they’re released,” said Livingston.

Gagnard, who has volunteered with TDCJ for 16 years, is also pastor of Heart Dream Fellowship in Marshall and is founder of Brother’s Keeper Prison Ministry, a faith-based halfway house. He was also the 2011 Volunteer of the Year at the Bradshaw State Jail. Pastor Gagnard facilitates two “School of Christ” classes each week at the Bradshaw Unit, in addition to preaching at the Chapel Services on Sunday evenings.

“My brother was in and out of prison for years and his death motivated me to get involved as a volunteer at the Bradshaw State Jail,” said Gagnard. “We saw a need to provide a home for men leaving prison who really wanted to change.”

Gagnard is one of thousands of concerned volunteers who 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. Annually, approximately 18,000 volunteers make 163,000 visits to criminal justice facilities and work with offenders who are on supervision, donating over 526,000 hours of service.

Note to media: For more information, contact Jason Clark, Director of Public Information, at 936-437-6052 or by e-mail at