Loved Ones of Prisoners (LOOPS), based in Odessa, received the “Best Family Program” award during the Governor’s 2018 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award program on April 20.

The award was presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Dale Wainwright and TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier during a ceremony held in Austin.

“Each of these award recipients has given countless hours of volunteer service within the TDCJ and we are extremely grateful for their efforts,” Collier said. “They help to make a profound impact on the lives of thousands of offenders and, in doing so, make Texas safer. They are truly everyday heroes.”

Wainwright said, “These award recipients are giving of their time and gifts to help build better communities throughout Texas. We are extremely thankful for the volunteers we recognize with these awards. They selflessly serve others out of a sense of responsibility to their fellow Texans and to the offenders.”

LOOPS is a non-denominational, nonprofit religious organization dedicated to the support and restoration of prisoners and their families through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The organization specializes in re-entry services to ex-offenders and families of current offenders. On Thursday nights at the Life Change Baptist Church in Odessa, newly-released clients are assisted in finding a church home. LOOPS also assists their clients in finding employment opportunities, vocational training, transportation and housing, among other needs. The programs strive to prevent a newly-released client from returning to their old life after being released.

LOOPS is one of 7 organizations and 14 individuals from across the state recognized for their efforts to help inmates and those who are on parole or probation. They 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.

In FY2017, there were 23,288 volunteers who provided a total of 395,207 volunteer hours.