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2019-2020 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Brazoria Man Receives Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

(AUSTIN) –Jerry Higgins of Brazoria, Texas was presented the Religious Service Volunteer 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.”

Mr. Higgins began volunteering at the Clemens Unit in Brazoria in 1999 where he worked with inmates in programs like Epiphany, New Life Behavior and Overcomers. He taught a Bible study program before becoming a certified volunteer chaplain’s assistant. A driving force in the Kairos men’s program for many years, he’s led the Toastmaster’s course since 2006. The inmates at the Clemens Unit respond warmly to Mr. Higgins who is now 85 years old. He’s active at his church in Lake Jackson and has now recorded over 2,500 volunteer hours with no signs of slowing down!

Mr. Higgins 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 provided a total of 394,214 hours of service.

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