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2019-2020 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Houston Man Receives Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

(AUSTIN) – John Markle of Houston, Texas was presented the Correctional Institutions Division 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.

“These volunteers give their time and talents to help others throughout Texas,” said O’Daniel. “They selflessly serve because they feel a responsibility to help others.”

“These volunteers dedicate themselves daily to helping others succeed,” said Collier. “In the coming years, the scope of the precious time and effort that they invested will be evident across the State of Texas.”

A highly valued volunteer since 2010 at the Vance and Jester IV Units, Mr. Markle was instrumental in pioneering the Transitional Ministry with the Prison Fellowship Ministries and the Prison Fellowship Academy. These are programs that prepare men for reentering life outside of prison as husbands, fathers, sons, productive members of society and men of godly purpose. He was also instrumental in the start-up of the only faith-based dorm of hospitals in TDCJ. During the pandemic, he stayed in contact with the chaplain and the staff to keep abreast of the activity on the units. Mr. Markle and his wife have also paid for and supplied full BBQ dinners for all administrative staff and security staff at the Vance and Jester IV Units. The Markles consider the prison ministry their mission field. They generously donate their time and financial resources to the chaplaincy, as well as to Officer Appreciation months at the units.

Mr. Markle 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 inmates, as well as aiding and comforting their victims.

In FY2020, there were 19,589 volunteers who provided a total of 220,502 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