Otero I Offenders say MTC Encourages Real Change

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The Otero County Prison Facility in Chaparral, New Mexico recently held a graduation for several inmates. Salvador Briseño expressed his feelings about facility staff who helped him earn his GED:

“They’ve helped me out by always keeping me positive, keeping the hope of bettering myself, instead of simply locking you down and treating you as an animal.  They’ve treated me with respect, helped me to respect myself, to the point that I got the mentality that I was going to do this, and I was going to graduate.”

Jack Reynolds, who earned his Associate of Arts degree, also expressed his appreciation:

“I’d really like to thank Ms. Jones and Ms. Macias for their efforts in helping me get this accomplished through the college courses and stuff here, because they put in extra time and energy to make phone calls and send emails and do whatever they needed to do to relay information for colleges.  I’ve really appreciated the state of their help.  And I appreciate MTC in general for offering the college classes.”

Winners of a nationwide prison writing contest were also recognized at the graduation ceremony. Arnoldo Aguilar was one of the winners:

“Here, I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of….you can kind of pursue your own goals as you wish.”

Matthew Cox was another writing contest winner:

“And as a result of my experiences here at Otero County Prison Facility and the MTC organization, I was able to gain some clarity through that experience and know what my next step is once I finish this prison experience. My next step includes….I want to publish.  I want to write novels.”