TDCJ Public Information Office - Austin woman receives 2013 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award
TDCJ Public Information Office, April 5, 2013
Judith Dullnig - 2013 Governor's Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award
This honor (Governor's Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award) is referred to as the Judy Burd Award in memory of Judy Burd, WSD volunteer coordinator and lifelong educator. Pictured from left to right is Connie McMurrey, WSD representative; recipient Judith Dullnig and WSD Division of Instruction Director Veronica Casanova.
AUSTIN WOMAN RECEIVES GOVERNOR'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD
(AUSTIN) – Judith Dullnig was presented the Governor's 2013 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award today in recognition of her dedication to helping offenders incarcerated within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
The award was presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Vice Chairman Tom Mechler and Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Executive Director Brad Livingston during a ceremony held in Austin. Dullnig is one of 20 recipients from across Texas recognized for their efforts to help state offenders and those who are on parole or probation.
"Each of this year's award recipients personify a selfless dedication to helping offenders succeed both while incarcerated, and once they're released," said Livingston.
Dullnig, an approved volunteer for more than nine years, facilitates the Women's Storybook Project of Texas at six female units in cooperation with the Windham School District (WSD). The program allows incarcerated mothers to share a recording of themselves and a book with their child. The mother reads the book as though she is reading to the child and is allowed to write a personal note inside the cover of the book. The tape and book are then mailed to the child. This program allows incarcerated moms to bond or keep an established bond with their child or children while in prison.
Dullnig's Award is names the WSD Judy Burd Award in memory of Judy Burd, an educational volunteer coordinator and lifelong educator. Dullnig is one of thousands of concerned volunteers who donate many hours of their personal time every year with the goal of changing the lives of convicted offenders, and aiding and comforting their victims. Annually, approximately 18,000 volunteers make 163,000 visits to criminal justice facilities and work with offenders who are on supervision, donating over 526,000 hours of service.
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Why teach offenders in Windham School District? - "Correctional education is important because someday these guys are going to be my neighbors. They are somebody's child, somebody's father, and somebody's brother. We need to help them get there. They are going to be back in society, and I want them to be productive citizens. … so I need to help them -- or we need to help them – I can't do anything by myself. I expect my students to learn respect, empathy and the ability to succeed."
Annual Performance Report SY17 (2016-2017)
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about educational programming provided by Windham School District (WSD) within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).
WSD aligns job opportunities and learning with instruction and class offerings for offenders. The result: a productive, positive journey for offenders seeking workforce reentry. WSD accomplishes this through enhanced program offerings and classes requiring significantly elevated skill levels. We have improved programs by adding new components to existing courses, and we have worked with experts to bring the best possible educational opportunities to our students. In addition, WSD has expanded partnerships with industry and community workforce boards. These alliances support the alignment of courses with employer demands throughout the various regions of Texas.
Windham recently revised its life skills offerings. Experts in cognitive and criminogenic change processes worked with Windham staff and community stakeholders to improve two essential life skills classes: the Cognitive Intervention Program (CIP) and Changing Habits and Achieving New Goals to Empower Success (CHANGES). With these advances, Windham uses assessments to better measure outcomes for students while identifying areas students and instructors can work to improve.
Academic gains for students in the literacy classes at Windham are among the highest in the nation. Students can expect academic advances of between two to three years for every year of instruction within Windham classes. Furthermore, the classes are aligned with job skills needed in vocational occupations to better prepare students for work; classes bring real-world relevancy to daily lessons. In addition, Windham has redesigned services for special needs students to better serve those with learning disabilities and other barriers to effective learning. They, too, are making the journey to find employment and successfully reenter society.
Vocational trades at Windham have expanded to include skills needed in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) middle-level jobs. These include computerized numerical control machining, fiber and copper cabling, computer controls programming, and telecommunications. Windham has also partnered with TDCJ to provide training and United States Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship program participation for workers in various jobs within TDCJ facilities. By aligning the educational skills with job requirement skills, offender workers are able to apply the knowledge obtained through Windham with real-world job experience at TDCJ units.
Windham has implemented many changes over the past three years. By carefully evaluating program outcomes in student gains and employment upon release, WSD helps reduce the cost of incarceration. The cost to taxpayers for crimes committed in communities is also reduced. This journey of continuous improvement, driven by data analysis, has strengthened academic growth during incarceration and lowered recidivism rates for those students who participate in Windham programming.
Windham is always looking for new ways to better serve the State of Texas, and I hope this Annual Performance Report provides you with evidence of the quality education the teachers and staff at WSD provide to thousands of men and women each year. Our students’ journey to success has begun.
Dr. Clint Carpenter,
Superintendent, Windham School District
Current APR 2016 - 2017:
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Prison Educators Honored for Excellence Behind the Razor Wire. - (HUNTSVILLE) November 11, 2015 -- Excellence in teaching was recently recognized within the state prison system as the Windham School District (WSD) Board of Trustees honored three outstanding correctional educators during its meeting in Austin. The three finalists in the 2014-2015 WSD "Lane Murray Excellence in Teaching" initiative were nominated by their peers and selected through a rigorous screening process.