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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2016 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Gatesville Organization Receives Governor's 2016 Criminal Justice Volunteer Award

Photo of Award Winner(s) Standing from left to right: Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Dale Wainwright, James W. Parrish, Donna Cook and Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston. Seated from left to right: Lela Collins and Margaret Kay McCleary.

(AUSTIN) – Central Texas Hospitality House in Gatesville received the "Best Family Program" award during the Governor's 2016 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award program today.

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

"The unwavering dedication of these volunteers to help others succeed is truly inspiring," said Livingston. "The impact of their efforts will be felt across the state of Texas for many years to come."

"Volunteering is not a choice for the men and women being recognized today," said Wainwright. "They see it as a responsibility and for that we're thankful."

The Central Texas Hospitality House was dedicated in September 2014 after a 16-year effort to build a facility where families could stay overnight while visiting their loved ones who are incarcerated in nearby units. Several area churches have sponsored bedrooms in the Central Texas Hospitality House by providing funds to furnish and decorate them. More than 11,000 offenders are housed in the ten prisons within the Central Texas Hospitality House service area with family and friends making about 100,000 visits annually.

Accepting the award for the Central Texas Hospitality House were board members Lela Collins of McGregor; Betty and Gary Hoffman of Waco; Margaret McCleary of Gatesville; and Martha and James Parrish of Gatesville.

Central Texas Hospitality House is one of 6 organizations and 15 individuals 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 FY2015, there were 22,000 volunteers who provided a total of 262,442 hours of service.

Note to media: For more information, contact Jason Clark, TDCJ Public Information Director, at 936-437-6052 or by e-mail at – For high resolution photos of award recipients, contact Jene Andersen at