Criminal Justice Office
The mission of the Office of Criminal Justice of the Diocese of Austin is to promote Christ’s love and forgiveness through assistance, education and social interaction to the incarcerated and their families, and to help those returning from prison successfully reintegrate back into society by becoming productive citizens.
Who we are
The Criminal Justice Ministry is a ministerial office of the Secretariat for Life, Justice and Charity of the Diocese of Austin. We work collaboratively with parishes throughout the diocese, the other 14 dioceses in the state of Texas, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (which oversees and operates all state prison and jail units in Texas), the Texas Juvenile Justice Department and local county and other law enforcement agencies throughout the diocese.
What we do
Our efforts are directed to reduce trauma within correctional facilities, reduce recidivism and increase public safety through a growth in faith and healing for offenders, ex-offenders, their families and for the victims of crime. We in the Criminal Justice Ministry strive to achieve these goals by:
Providing spiritual formation to the incarcerated and staff at correctional facilities that leads to encounter and transformation,
Providing spiritual and material support to family members of the incarcerated,
Providing spiritual and material support to ex-offenders and their families, and by
Promoting a change in the culture of the criminal justice system from that of punitive to rehabilitation.
How you can get involved
For information on the various ways by which you can serve or assist in the Criminal Justice Ministry, visit our CJM Program Volunteer Needs and Opportunities website page.
Pastoral Care Policy Manual
The Office of the Criminal Justice Ministry is responsible for the oversight of all Catholic programs conducted in correctional facilities located in the Diocese to assure their compliance with the norms and guidelines established by the Bishop and that the pastoral needs of the Catholic inmates incarcerated within those correctional facilities are properly and most effectively served. Accordingly, all volunteers that conduct Catholic service programs or retreats in correctional facilities in the Diocese should refer to the Criminal Justice Ministry’s Pastoral Care Policy Manual to assure compliance with those norms and guidelines.
Texas Catholic Correctional Ministers
The Texas Catholic Correctional Ministers (TCCM) is a collective body of representatives from each of the Criminal Justice ministries of the (arch)dioceses of Texas. The TCCM provides oversight and direction for the many men and women who are involved in Catholic correctional ministry at the state, diocesan and local parish levels. The TCCM web site provides information and resources to assist those who are interested in serving in the Catholic correctional ministry as well as those who are served by it, including specifically volunteers, families of inmates, and former inmates.