The Military Veteran
Peer Network (MVPN) has partnered with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ)
in a pilot program to provide incarcerated veterans a meaningful
reentry-specific veteran-only dormitory. This dorm includes peer support; both pre- and post-
release to enhance reentry and integration.
These services are designed to increase reentry readiness by identifying
needs to include peer support, family reunification, veteran entitlement and
educational or rehabilitative service needs of an incarcerated veteran. Services are
developed based on research informed practices designed to meet the needs of
Based at Travis County State Jail, the Veteran
Reentry Dorm is designed to prepare military veterans for a successful return
to the community following incarceration. It is a twenty-four (24) bed housing unit for
incarcerated military veterans in which military peer and veteran-specific
reentry programming is provided within ninety (90) to one hundred twenty (120)
days pre-release. The program includes
topics that encourage personal growth and community readiness which may
address familial relationships, traumatic experiences, service related trauma,
anger management, stress management, recognition of behavior triggers and
development of personal responsibility to increase healthy lifestyle choices upon
veteran specific program curriculum includes Seeking Safety, Bringing Everyone
In the Zone (BEITZ), Brief Solution Focused
Therapy, Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous, Tai Chi, and group sessions
focused on Home Readiness activities.
The MVPN is an affiliation of service members, veterans and family members
dedicated to establishing camaraderie and trust with each other, identifying
and vetting community resources for veterans and collectively contributing to
the communities where we live. They
accomplish this through commitment, training and volunteerism. Through their collaborative efforts, the MVPN is providing the TDCJ the ability
to offer unparalleled support and service linkage to our military veterans
through the Veteran Reentry Dorm. For more information about this program and how you may become involved contact Kristi Rushing with the TDCJ Reentry and Integration Division at 936-437-4554.
Jerry Cabluck found a new purpose in life serving as a volunteer for the TDCJ Parole Division. Jerry partners with Restorative Justice Ministry (RJM) of Texas to provide community resources to offenders releasing in the Tarrant County area. The WELCOME BACK/Tarrant County gives the "first cup of water" to the returning citizen. The cup signifies "HOPE"; hope to believe that they can change and that life can be different than before incarceration. The releasee is directed to employment, education, counseling, food, and clothing. They are given information such as what to expect during their first week after release from prison, managing substance abuse and locating a faith-based community in the Tarrant County area. When Jerry isn't working with offenders, he spends time developing partnerships with the local churches, as well as serving as a board member for RJM.
WELCOME HOME/Tarrant County helps where the need is greatest:
- Most men and women returning need basic items: food, clothing, and hygiene
- Spiritual direction
- The greatest need for men is getting back to work
- The greatest need for women is family and health
- Many churches and ministries are already helping and serving our returning citizens
- Funding for documents, drivers license, electricians or plumbers license
Jerry Cabluck grew up in the Fort Worth
area and was a photographer for 35-years for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and other
national publications, such as the New York Times and Sports Illustrated
before becoming a volunteer for the TDCJ Parole Division.
As the holidays draw nearer, be mindful of the TDCJ policies governing Food Donations and Media Releases (Photos). Contact the unit administration to obtain additional information and prior approval for these types of activities.
Food Donations For Volunteer Led Activities
Donated food items shall be obtained from sources that comply with the
law and must be safe and unadulterated, according to the Texas
Department of State Health Services, Texas Food Establishment Rules, and
be prepared in a kitchen that has been licensed or inspected. Some
examples include licensed caterers or restaurants, such as pizza,
barbeque, or sandwich shops, grocery stores with items sold in sealed
containers, or churches, typically with daycare centers or community
outreach kitchens where food is prepared and served to the public. You are encouraged to visit with the unit administration if you have questions regarding bringing in food items for a volunteer led activity.
A volunteer or volunteer organization must obtain prior approval
before taking photographs on a TDCJ unit/facility. The Unit Volunteer
Coordinator or Unit Chaplain will assist you as well as provide a Media Release Form (ED- 02.40) and Chaplaincy Media Agreement Worksheet, if applicable. A Media Release Form is required to signify that the
offender freely and voluntarily consents to be photographed the Media Agreement Worksheet explains where, when and the purpose/specified use of the video/photographs.
Media requests require additional time for processing. Submit a request to your unit coordinator in a timely manner to prevent delays or denials based on inadequate notice.