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 2014:

  • 1,326 community volunteers enrolled in TJJD programs
  • 66,499 hours of service contributed by volunteers
  • $54,021 in cash donations and fundraising revenue generated by the local community resource councils affiliated with TJJD
  • 35,898 community service hours performed by TJJD youth on parole, in halfway houses, and institutions
  • 3,145 community citizens educated through facility tours, volunteer training sessions, and public awareness and prevention speaking engagements
  • $1,671,371 cash and in-kind contributions benefitting TJJD youth
Mentoring TJJD Youth
volunteer with youth

TJJD mentors make a significant impact on the rehabilitation of 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. Our research confirms mentoring really does make a difference in reducing recidivism and increasing educational accomplishments. These improvements are heightened when mentoring matches are sustained for at least six months, and faith-based mentoring has been found to be the most successful type of mentoring.

Mentors are carefully screened and selected, and are expected to make a six-month minimum commitment and spend at least 4 hours each month visiting with their mentee. Mentoring visits take place usually during the evening and on the weekend. 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.

Here are some highlights of the 2014 Mentoring Impact Analysis:

Reading at Grade Level Last Test before Release
21.7% of youth released in 2013 with sustained mentoring for six months or longer were reading at grade level upon release, compared to 16% of non-mentored youth.

HS Diploma or GED before Release
62.3% of youth released in FY 2013 with sustained mentoring of six months or more achieved their high school diploma or GED within 90 days of release, compared to 48.8% of youth who were not mentored.

Rearrested Within One Year of Release
46.6% of youth released during fiscal year 2013 who were never mentored were rearrested within 1 year of release from a secure facility, compared to 31.9% of youth who had sustained mentoring services for six months or more. Youth released during fiscal years 2010-2013 who received faith-based mentoring had the much lower 1-year re-arrest rate of 36.8%, compared to 46.8% for all other types of mentoring and 50.4% for youth who received no mentoring.

Reincarcerated within One Year of Release
There was improvement between the 1-year reincarceration rate of youth, released during fiscal year 2013, who never received mentoring services (15.2%) and youth who had sustained mentoring services for six months or more. (9.7%).

Reincarcerated within Three Years of Release
The 3-year reincarceration rate of youth released during fiscal year 2011, who were never mentored, was 42.1%; and youth who had sustained mentoring services for six months or more was 33.8%. An even more dramatic difference was seen among youth released in fiscal year 2010 – 39.3% of non-mentored youth versus 15.4% of youth with sustained mentoring for six months or more.

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

Community Resource Councils
Fifteen 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 2014, Community Resource Councils affiliated with TJJD assisted 798 families through a variety of activities and gave $13,783 in travel funds and other types of financial support to familes.

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.

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.


















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 college interns, recreation assistants, music/art teachers, guest speakers, gardening instructors, and clerical workers 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 [(Word Format)]   [(pdf Format)]
  • 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
  • Volunteer Training Manual (pdf Format)