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2019-2020 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Amarillo Man Receives Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

(AUSTIN) – Donald Williams of Amarillo, Texas was presented the Leonard Davis Award during the Governor’s 2020-2021 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards program today.

The award was presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Patrick O’Daniel and TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier during an online ceremony.

“Volunteering is a responsibility that these recipients have embraced wholeheartedly and for that we are extremely grateful,” said O’Daniel.

“The efforts of these award recipients are unparalleled,” said Collier. “Every day they leave a profound and lasting impression on the lives of so many across the State of Texas.”

The award is named in recognition of Leonard Davis who passed away in 2009. He was the honored recipient of this award in 2005, 2007, 2008 and posthumously in 2010 when the award was renamed in his honor.

Mr. Williams has been volunteering at the Neal Unit and the Clements Unit in Amarillo since 1999. A certified volunteer chaplain’s assistant (CVCA), he is a source of encouragement for the inmates and staff. Before committing his life to Jesus Christ, he had a rough life which helps him understand the inmates, especially those in restrictive housing. By connecting with them, the inmates respond well to him and his ministry. When chaplains are unavailable on the units, Mr. Williams is available to minister to the inmates. On Monday evenings, he conducts a Bible study. During FY2019, he contributed more than 1,600 hours to the agency.

Mr. Williams is one of 16 individuals and 6 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 FY2019, there were 22,506 volunteers who served a total of 394,214 hours.

Note to media: For more information, contact Jeremy Desel, TDCJ Director of Communications, at (936) 437-6052 or by e-mail at