Walker County native and longtime Texas Department of Criminal Justice administrator Leslie Woolley announced recently that she will run for Walker County District Clerk.
Woolley was born and raised in Walker County, where she graduated from Huntsville High School in 1984 and from Sam Houston State University in 1988 with a degree in criminal justice. Woolley was an active member and elected officer of the American Criminal Justice Association – Lambda Alpha Epsilon (LAE). Before graduating, she completed an internship with former Walker County District Attorney David Weeks, working at the state’s Special Prosecution Unit, which ultimately led her to pursue a more than 30-year career in the criminal justice field.
Woolley served as the program director for TDCJ’s Serious and Violent Offender Re-Entry Initiative (SVORI), an innovative program which began as a grant from the US Department of Justice, and was designed to provide pre-release and in-cell programs for male inmates who would be released from TDCJ directly from administrative segregation. The program’s goal is to reduce recidivism by better preparing and assisting offenders confined to administrative segregation to successfully re-enter their communities.
“The program was a collaborative effort between different divisions and agencies within the criminal justice system,” Woolley explained. “Getting it off the ground meant lots of coordination, collaboration, and liaising with criminal justice agencies at the federal, state and local level to ensure compliance with procedures. Being the SVORI Program Director and working with the administrative segregation population was incredibly challenging but having the opportunity to play a part in changing someone’s life and making a difference is very rewarding.”
While working as the SVORI Program Director, Woolley was nominated and voted as a top finalist in the 100 People: A World Portrait project.
Woolley retired from service after 25 years, and then worked for the Walker County Community Supervision and Corrections Department as a probation officer and as a court officer, where she worked first-hand with the District Clerk’s Office. She later went to work as a program specialist at the Workforce Solutions Office, where she assisted underprivileged youth in writing resumes, learning interviewing skills, finding local internships, and assisting them in job searches.
In 2019, she returned to TDCJ, when she was offered an opportunity to work as a grant coordinator/ project director on a grant offered by the US Department of Justice to combat the national opioid and drug crisis.
“My education, experience and knowledge of the court system makes me uniquely qualified for candidacy for the district clerk’s office,” Woolley said. “I grew up in Walker County and this is my hometown community. My career experience has given me the opportunity to learn the workings of different governmental agencies at every level.” Woolley is extremely knowledgeable about court protocols and procedures, as well as having experience working directly with our local judges.
“What I bring to the table is the assurance of a smooth transition and that the District Clerk’s Office will continue to be an effective, efficient place to conduct business,” Woolley said.
Woolley is the daughter of Mrs. Billie Woolley and the late Thomas E. Woolley of Huntsville. She has one daughter, who graduated from Alpha Omega Academy in 2018 and is now a junior at Dallas Christian College. Woolley is a member of Fellowship of Huntsville church. Woolley’s brother, Tommy Woolley Jr. will be serving as her treasurer.
For more information or to contact Leslie Woolley, visit her campaign page on Facebook or contact her via email at leslie.Woolley@yahoo.com.
The Walker County District Clerk will be up for re-election in 2022. Primary elections are scheduled for March of 2022, while the general election will be November 2022.