Emmett Solomon is remembered as a man who made a difference in his state and community and continues as a role model for those who knew him. Adjectives abound when people describe him; visionary, loving, compassionate, caring, spiritual, godly, giving, humble, listener, and wise are invariably used to characterize Emmett, but he was also a risk taker. When he retired as Director of Chaplaincy at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDC) in 1993, he instantly launched a non-profit ministry which today is known as the Restorative Justice Ministries Network of Texas.
Emmett became the first chaplain in 1965 at the Central Unit in Sugarland, Texas. He completed his clinical pastoral education while chaplain there. He was relocated to the Eastham Unit in Weldon, Texas as the unit’s first chaplain in 1967. During his early years at the Eastham Unit, he decided to go back to graduate school to obtain a master’s degree in criminal justice at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.
He was very interested in state and national politics, so he became involved in this discipline. He was involved in varied offices of Texas Public Employees Association (TPEA) and elected state president in 1985. Emmett frequently addressed criminal justice committees of the Texas legislature and is still highly regarded in Austin, Texas governing parties. This experience was a platform for his developing Restorative Justice Ministries Network (RJMN).
He was able to bring awareness to the general population of the need for reform and “smart justice.” Upon retirement Emmett published and distributed a newspaper nationwide. He then organized statewide conferences to educate interested citizens and encourage people to offer their time and talent as volunteers. This venture was successful and continues to this day.
Emmett Solomon’s legacy continues through RJMN Texas, its volunteers, and every organization carrying the message of smart evidence-based practices. We at RJMN Texas are honored to walk the pathway of integrity created by the service and heart of our beloved founder.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58