TJJD Volunteer Services Program

The Texas Juvenile Justice Departments believes that, through volunteers, the community has the ability to enhance lives of youth by providing meaningful activities and resources that promote pro-social, educational, emotional and spiritual growth, and healthy family relationships; thus, expanding services provided by staff. The Mission of the TJJD Volunteer Services Program is to maximize community resources and utilize volunteers to provide opportunities that enable youth to become responsible and productive citizens. Each volunteer services program is administered by a qualified Community Relations Coordinator. The TJJD Volunteer Services Program produced the following results during fiscal year 2012:

  • 1,378 community volunteers enrolled in TJJD programs.
  • 68,606 hours of service contributed by volunteers, valued at $1,465,400, based upon the value of the volunteer hour, as determined by the Independent Sector.
  • $52,894 in cash donations and fundraising revenuegenerated by the local community resource councils affiliated with TJJD.
  • 41,049 community service hours performed by TJJD youthon parole, in halfway houses, and institutions.
  • 3,353 community citizens educated through facility tours, volunteer training sessions, and public awareness and prevention speaking engagements.
Mentoring TJJD Youth
volunteer with youth

TJJD mentors make a significant impact on the rehabilitation of our youth. Mentors are carefully screened and selected, and are expected to make a six-month commitment to personal visits with their mentee. Mentoring visits take place usually during the evening and on the weekend. During fiscal year 2012, new mentors were matched to 303 youth and mentors spent 8,920 hours with our youth. The goal of mentoring is to develop a trusting, supportive relationship between a mature adult and a carefully matched youth in which the youth is encouraged to reach his/her potential, discover his/her strengths and develop self-confidence. Matches are carefully made and based upon gender, age, language requirements, availability, needs and strengths, shared interests, life experiences, and preferences of mentor and mentee.

The TJJD mentor is expected to focus on four primary tasks:
• Establish a positive personal relationship,
• Develop life skills and goals,
• Assist youth in obtaining additional resources and
• Increase the youth’s ability to interact with other social and cultural groups.

Each year, our Research Department runs a complete statistical analysis on the impact our mentors make in the lives of our youth. The bottom line – mentoring really does make a difference!

Reading at Grade Level Last Test before Release
Youth who were mentored for at least 180 days before their release from a secure facility were more likely to be reading at grade level on their last test before release than were non-mentored youth. Only 15.1% of the youth not mentored for at least 180 days were reading at grade level on their last test, compared to 16.3% of the youth who were mentored for 180 days or more.

HS Diploma or GED before Release
In FY 2011, 51.9% of the non-mentored youth were rearrested within 1 year of release, while only 40% of the youth who were mentored for 181 days or more were rearrested.

Rearrested Within One Year of Release
Overall, 52.4% of the youth not mentored for at least 180 days were rearrested within 1 year of release from a secure facility, compared to 45.9% of youth who were mentored for 180 days or more.

Rearrested for a Violent Offense within One Year of Release
Overall, 12.1% of youth not mentored for at least 180 days were rearrested for a violent offense within 1 year of release from a secure facility, compared to 9.4% of youth who were mentored for 180 days or more.

Reincarcerated within One Year of Release
Overall, 12.1% of youth not mentored for at least 180 days were There was a slight improvement between the 1-year reincarceration rate of youth not mentored for at least 180 days (21.7%) and youth who were mentored 180 days or more (23.2%).

Reincarcerated within Three Years of Release
Overall, 43.7% of the youth not mentored for at least 180 days were reincarcerated within 3 years while only 37.1% of the youth who were mentored for 180 days or more were reincarcerated.

If you are interested in mentoring a TJJD youth, please refer to the TJJD Volunteer Program contact list, or contact Tammy Holland at tammy.holland@tjjd.texas.gov or 512-490-7090.

Community Resource Councils
Sixteen local Community Resource Councils support the volunteer services programs at each TJJD facility. Council members include representatives of local civic, service and religious organizations and businesses who serve because of their concern for youth. These groups of volunteers provide community assistance and resources, and help inform their local communities of the TJJD facilities' goals, accomplishments, needs and challenges.

These councils are registered non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organizations dedicated to the benefit of the TJJD youth. Donations made to these Councils are tax-deductible. During fiscal year 2012, Community Resource Councils affiliated with TJJD assisted 740 families through a variety of activities and gave $15,614 in travel funds so that families could visit their sons and daughters.

The councils also provided youth with clothing for job interviews and community re-entry, financial assistance for attending college and school supplies, employment training, and social security and identification cards, incentives for academic achievement and behavioral progress, among other resources.

If you are interested in joining one of these Community Resource Councils, please refer to the TJJD Volunteer Program contact list, or contact Tammy Holland at tammy.holland@tjjd.texas.gov or 512-490-7090.

Tutoring Services
Tutors provided additional assistance to TJJD youth who are working on earning their high school diplomas and/or GEDs. Generally, our youth are several years behind their peers academically, and need extra help to catch up to their grade level in reading and math. Tutors work with individual youth in our secure facility classrooms and halfway houses. No prior special training or experience is required, and tutors are provided with materials and guidance as they work with youth.

If you are interested in tutoring a TJJD youth, please refer to the TJJD Volunteer Program contact list, or contact Tammy Holland at tammy.holland@tjjd.texas.gov or 512-490-7090.

Chaplaincy Services
TJJD facilities often rely upon the involvement of community volunteers to provide religious training, spiritual development, and pastoral counseling services to youth. Hundreds of faithful volunteers visit our secure facilities and halfway houses each week to lead religious activities and worship services, as requested by our youth. Volunteers receive guidance and training from the facility Chaplains.

If you or your religious organization is interested in providing such activities for TJJD youth, please refer to the TJJD Volunteer Program contact list, or contact Tammy Holland at tammy.holland@tjjd.texas.gov or 512-490-7090.

Other Volunteer Roles
In addition to these primary roles, volunteers may be involved in unique programs developed by the local TJJD facility. These volunteer roles include Foster Grandparents, recreation assistants, music/art teachers, guest speakers, gardening instructors, clerical workers and college interns, to name a few. If you are interested in volunteering at a TJJD facility, please contact Tammy Holland at tammy.holland@tjjd.texas.gov or 512-490-7090, or the Community Relations Coordinator at your local TJJD facility

Bishop Pena, of the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, administers the sacraments to a youth at the Evins Regional Juvenile Center.
Bishop Pena, of the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, administers the sacraments to a youth at the Evins Regional Juvenile Center.

Chaplaincy Services
TJJD facilities often rely upon the involvement of community volunteers to provide religious training, spiritual development, and pastoral counseling services to youth. Hundreds of faithful volunteers visit our secure facilities and halfway houses each week to lead religious activities and worship services, as requested by our youth. Volunteers receive guidance and training from the facility Chaplains.

If you or your religious organization is interested in providing such activities for TJJD youth, please refer to the TJJD Volunteer Program contact list, or contact Tammy Holland at tammy.holland@tjjd.texas.gov or 512-490-7090.

Other Volunteer Roles
In addition to these primary roles, volunteers may be involved in unique programs developed by the local TJJD facility. These volunteer roles include Foster Grandparents, recreation assistants, music/art teachers, guest speakers, gardening instructors, clerical workers and college interns, to name a few. If you are interested in volunteering at a TJJD facility, please refer to the TJJD Volunteer Program contact list, or contact Tammy Holland at tammy.holland@tjjd.texas.gov or 512-490-7090.

Screening Process for Volunteers
The Community Relations Coordinator at each TJJD facility is responsible for screening prospective volunteers and carefully matching selected individuals to a suitable assignment. A volunteer assignment is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of :
• Volunteer application
• Criminal and driving record check
• Fingerprinting
• Personal character references
• Face-to-face interview
• Agreement of confidentiality and release of liability
• Comprehensive new volunteer orientation
• Job-specific training