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2019-2020 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Livingston Man Posthumously Receives Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

(AUSTIN) – Tommie Dill of Livingston, Texas was posthumously awarded the Chaplaincy Department Award during the Governor’s 2020-2021 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards program today. His widow, Linda Dill of Livingston, accepted the award on his behalf.

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.”

Since their arrival at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston almost two decades ago, Tommie and Linda Dill have made their mark with the men who are incarcerated there. As a pastor, Tommie took the services to a new level by providing “his church”, as he referred to it, with the latest in spiritual and technological gifts. He had the latest programs and installed a completely digital sound system, as well as an in-unit radio station. Even during the pandemic, the Dills continued as faithful volunteers at the Polunsky Unit. Linda shifted roles from teaching to recording messages that were broadcast regularly on the radio station. Tommie’s last wish was for his devotionals to continue for the inmates and his daughter now records them weekly in his honor.

Tommie Dill 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 jeremy.desel@tdcj.texas.gov.