“I decided to do whatever it took while I was in here to come out and be a better man”

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The East Texas Treatment Facility, in Henderson, Texas, has been busy with some graduations recently.  A group of men and women celebrated achieving their GED, while others completed their DWI recovery program. Ian Duncan spoke at the DWI graduation.

“Our position ain’t here in this facility to be locked up,” he said.  “Our position is to be fathers. Our position is to be husbands; to be family members, friends.”

Duncan continued later in a sit-down interview, “No one likes to be locked up in here. No one likes to be away from their family. When I got locked up, I decided I wanted to do whatever it took while I was in here to come out and be a better man, a better father, a better husband, a better friend, and a better mentor.”

Warden Greg Shirley also spoke at the DWI graduation, addressing the tools the men and women learned in the program.

“If you don’t follow up that stuff in the free world, you’re going to be back in here with us. We don’t want you back in here, we want you out there in society doing the things you need to do. We want to be able to see you out there at Wal-Mart, and the grocery stores, and the community that you live in. And I know for a fact that all y’all have something to live for rather than to be in prison.”

Porchier Parson earned her GED. She says,

“If I would’ve never come here, I wouldn’t have got the chance or the opportunity to get my GED. I didn’t think about it on the outside, but in here, it was instilled in me—and it made me want to get my GED. And I accomplished it, thanks to MTC.”

In the presence of family and friends and in the midst of their peers, these men and women at these graduations represent the daily rehabilitative effort taking place at the East Texas Treatment Facility.

“I never thought I had it in me to be able to say ‘I made it’,” says Tracy Bradley, a speaker at the GED graduation.  “MTC has given me that chance.  They believed in me when no one else would.  I thank MTC for all they have done for me, like fixing myself and helping me move forward.”