Volunteer News!


Volunteer Quarterly Newsletter

Welcome Rehabilitation Programs Division Director

RPD Division Director Rene Hinojosa

Please join the Volunteer Services Department as we welcome Rene Hinojosa into his new role as the Rehabilitation Programs Division (RPD) Director.  Mr. Hinojosa began his career with TDCJ in 1994 and has more than 23 years' of work experience with the agency. He has held many positions within the Parole Division and the Private Facility Contract Monitoring and Oversight Division (PFCMOD). He also served as the deputy director of Operations Monitoring for PFCMOD and most recently held the position of deputy director over the Administrative Review and Risk Management Division.

“I look forward to working alongside all of the wonderful men and women that volunteer within TDCJ. I admire the work they do and consider all of them an extension of the Rehabilitation Programs Division,” said Hinojosa. “Volunteers are truly instrumental in assisting TDCJ in accomplishing our mission by changing the lives of our population for the better.”

Volunteer Spotlight

RPD Director Rene Hinojosa, Rev. Robert Walrath, Alice Wallrath, Warden Bryant

Reverend Robert Wallrath has been a Texas Department of Criminal Justice volunteer for thirty-three years. Reverend Wallrath has made the decision to pass the torch of volunteerism on to a younger generation, as he has chosen to retire. During his many years of service, he has carried the gospel into a number of TDCJ facilities. Reverend Wallrath has a heart for those incarcerated, baptizing nearly 1300 offenders while volunteering. He decided to become a Certified Volunteer Chaplain’s Assistant and Certified Anger Management Therapist, which he utilized teaching anger management classes. The TDCJ wishes to thank Rev. Wallrath for positively impacting the lives  of numerous offenders through his faithful service.

Ground Broken For Chapel At Torres Unit


For nearly 20 years, a dream for a chapel has been in the hearts and minds of many volunteers in Hondo, Texas. This dream is now coming to fruition as they begin to see the fruits of their labor. The dream of “Chapel for God’s Country Ministries” was for this chapel to catch the eyes of everyone when they arrive at the facility. This would represent to all that God needs to be first in life in order for real and lasting change to take place.

Chapels throughout the TDCJ have a significant impact on the offenders who pass through them.  Chapels provide space for programming and a place of peace for offenders to reflect upon making changes in their lives.  The TDCJ appreciates individuals and ministries that give of themselves to make chapel projects become a reality.

Send Your Volunteer Photos To Us

Volunteer Services would love to see what our volunteers are doing across Texas.  Please send your photos to Clint Morris or the Volunteer Services Department by  email:  VolunteerServices@ tdcj.texas.gov 

Volunteers Bruce Lisenby, Nellie Lisenby, and Belinda Hester held a staff appreciation at Hobby Unit.
Kyle Correctional Center offenders crafted hand-made toys for children in need.
Montford volunteers Chris Perez, Sharon Fitch, and Ann Smith faciliated a "Day with Dads."
Ferguson KAIROS Volunteers Group #63
Volunteer Dr. Dawn Adkins speaks at Female Cognitive Pre-Release program graduation

Volunteers Provide Aid During Harvey

I shared my desire to explore stories revolving around restorative justice (RJ). As promised, we will explore the great contributions of volunteers throughout Texas. Restorative Justice is composed of four stakeholders: victims, communities, justice professionals and offenders.  The principles of Restorative Justice are a way of viewing, understanding, and responding to crime and its effects on society.  Crime is recognized as harm done to an individual or the community, not the state.  Crime is more than breaking the law; it causes harm to all stakeholders.  The offense is viewed as a violation of people and relationships.

This month we are going to highlight RJ stakeholders and their participation during Hurricane Harvey.  This past August Hurricane Harvey pounded the coast of Texas dropping over 50 inches of rain across the state.  This storm caused severe flooding and devastation from Brownsville to Beaumont.  Our agency had several facilities that were evacuated.  Staff found themselves affected by Harvey as it remained over East Texas for several days.  However, this affected all Texans not just the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.  It is also evident that all RJ stakeholders gave of themselves during Harvey.

TDCJ staff assisting in rescue efforts during Hurricane Harvey

Communities throughout Texas united to provide assistance to our brothers and sisters dealing with this crisis.  Individuals traveled across the United States to provide rescue efforts.  Criminal justice agencies and organizations from across our country contributed financially and through volunteer service.  Some of the entities that provided assistance were the Association of State Correctional Administrators, correctional departments in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, the Arizona Probation Officer Association, the Texas Corrections Association, the Texas Public Employees Association and many others.   


Justice professionals came to the aid of the community assisting in rescue efforts to make sure citizens were evacuated to safe areas.  They also provided laundry services for those individuals in the Huntsville area displaced by the storm.  The Kegan’s facility staff are helping rebuild a correctional officer’s home.  Staff gathered and delivered supplies to assist in the Beaumont area and staff from the Office of the Inspector General assisted peace officers in San Patricio County.


Offenders assisted by donating money from their commissary funds to Red Cross for relief efforts.  When individuals embrace the RJ concept we see an increased level of empathy and stakeholders feel some level of responsibility for their community.   Over 6,600 offenders contributed financial resources to exceed $53,000.  Many of these offender’s families and communities were impacted by Harvey.  The RJ concept is unique as it allows all stakeholders to give back to the fullest extent possible, many through prayer and financial contributions.


Reflecting over events and milestones, in 2017, Texans have experienced adversity. However, through perseverance and solidarity communities throughout Texas prevailed. Texanthropy is a new term for Texans, as it originated from Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott.  The Texanthropy Initiative promotes volunteerism and service to others. “Texans are generous by nature. Philanthropy is in our DNA,” said Cecilia Abbott. “As First Lady, I look forward to working with all Texans to bring together the two things that I am most passionate about – Texas and philanthropy.”  She is a strong supporter of individuals giving back within their communities.  It is also evident that all restorative justice stakeholders gave of themselves during Harvey. 

These are only a few of many stories that could be shared.  I know that each of you has a story that has changed many lives in the TDCJ.  Volunteers share a special place in my heart and know that you do make a difference.  Author Sherry Anderson said it best when she said, "Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless."  I look forward to sharing many more stories "From the Desk of the Volunteers Services Director." These stories will revolve around restorative justice and the great works that volunteers do in the TDCJ and throughout Texas. 

Clint D. Morris, Volunteer Services Director

Holiday Family Event At Baby And Mother Bonding Initiative (B.A.M.B.I.)

bambi sc
Baby and Mother Bonding Initiative Angel Tree Christmas gathering

An Angel Tree family event was provided by Prison Fellowship and Moms In Prayer International for BAMBI participants.  Pictures were taken with Santa Claus and memories of their child’s first Christmas were made.  Volunteer organizations such as Prison Fellowship and Moms In Prayer International provide faith-based programming that focuses on strengthening the family.

The BAMBI program is unique as it allows pregnant females who are entering incarceration to keep their child.  Female offenders who will be incarcerated at their child’s birth may be eligible for this program.  This program gives mother and child the opportunity to form a healthy relationship, in a secure setting. The offender receives child development education, life skills, infant first aid and CPR, nutrition, peer recovery, cognitive skills, anger management and family reunification sessions. Additional programming may include substance abuse education and GED classes.

Volunteers Wanted In Texas Department Of Criminal Justice

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) would like to partner with you as a volunteer.  If you would like more information about a specific program please feel free to click on any of the following areas of interest for more information:

• Parole

• Reentry and Integration

• Rehabilitation Programs

• Victim Services

• Windham School District

To learn more about becoming a TDCJ volunteer visit the TDCJ website and click on the Unit Directory to identify a facility near you.  If you would like to discuss the specific volunteer needs for the facility, please feel free to contact the Unit Administration or the Chaplain.  You can also visit the Volunteer Services webpage by clicking on Volunteer with the TDCJ.  You are encouraged to complete a Volunteer Application and take the application to a Volunteer Training/Orientation site near you.  You may search the Volunteer Training/Orientation schedule by date or by city.