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2015 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Houston Woman Receives Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

Photo of Award Winner(s) From left to right: Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Oliver Bell, Keynote Speaker Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht, Ruby M. Woodward and Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston.

(AUSTIN) – Ruby Woodward of Houston, Texas was presented the Nancy Hees Award during the Governor’s 2015 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award program today.

The award was presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Oliver Bell, and TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston during a ceremony held in Austin.

“We’re grateful for the efforts of these award recipients,” said Livingston. “These everyday heroes are making a profound and lasting impact on the lives of individuals across the state.”

“Through their grace and their love, these volunteers touch the lives of many Texans,” said Bell. “They assist agency staff, and they help the offenders and their families have a chance for a better life - impacting generations to come.”

The 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. Her 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.

Ms. Woodward is the founder and program director of Renew All Ministries (RAM) Reentry Support Services. The program helps formerly incarcerated individuals with job referrals, job placement, clothing assistance and social service referrals. She works and negotiates with local employers to hire clients who are on parole. To help parolees prepare for job interviews, she maintains a clothes closet and solicits donations to acquire professional attire for them to be presentable and make a good first impression.

Ms. Woodward also works with the parole chaplain in the Region III Parole Division to coordinate appreciation events and celebrations for Parole Officers during Parole Officer Appreciation Week.

When not volunteering, Ms. Woodward’s hobbies and recreational activities include gardening, swimming and playing volleyball.

Ms. Woodward is one of 16 individuals and 5 organizations from across the state recognized for their efforts to help inmates and those who are on parole or probation. They 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.

In FY2014, there were 21,492 volunteers who served a total of 427,345 hours.

Note to media: For more information, contact Robert C. Hurst, TDCJ Public Information Officer, at 936-437-6052 or by e-mail at Photos of award recipients will be available on the TDCJ Web site at For high resolution photos, please contact Jene Andersen at