News Release from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
(AUSTIN) Ã¯Â¿Â½ Jesse Doiron of Beaumont was presented the Governor's 2007 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award today in recognition of his service as a volunteer dedicating his time to promoting restorative justice through the Bridges to Life program within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
The award was presented by Christina Melton Crain, Chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, and TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston during a ceremony held in Austin. Doiron is one of 13 individuals and 6 organizations from across the state recognized for their efforts to help inmates and those who are on parole or probation.
Doiron began volunteering with the Bridges to Life program in 2003. The faith-based program aims to bring together crime victims and offenders face to face to help the inmates understand how crime affects others, and to empower the crime victims by allowing them to recount their victimization.
In 1983, Doiron stopped to help two strangers who were stranded during a snowstorm. The young men beat him severely and threw him into the snow, leaving him for dead. Still, Doiron was able to walk to a major road and flag down a truck which would take him to a nearby hospital where he spent weeks in recovery. It was this experience, and the murder of a relative which led him to volunteer with Bridges to Life Ã¯Â¿Â½ he specifically credits his cousin, Chris Castillo, and the program's founder, John Sage, with bringing him into service.
"Together these men opened my heart to forgiveness and to the realization that crime is a continuum of pain and that my pain could bring about a change in those who have hurt others," he said. Doiron has since participated in 12 Bridges to Life projects, each requiring a 12-week commitment.
Doiron spent 13 years overseas as an educator and consultant, working in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In 1997, he returned to the United States to become director of the Lamar Language Institute in Beaumont. He recently was approved to begin teaching English for Lamar State College Ã¯Â¿Â½ Port Arthur in the inmate education program operated under TDCJ's Windham School District.
In 2004, he received a Jefferson Award for Public Service in Southeast Texas, and is a graduate of the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program. He has served on the Adult Advisory Committee of the Beaumont ISD, and the Minority Outreach Committee of the Southeast Texas Arts Council.
Doiron and his wife, Uliana Trylowsky have been married for 11 years and have two children.