Always Moving Forward at the Giles W. Dalby Correctional Facility
“MTC is the largest employer of Garza County,” says Lee Norman, Garza County judge. “The economic impact is huge.”
The Giles W. Dalby Correctional Facility has been part of the Post, TX, and the surrounding community since it opened in 1999. But the way forward was unclear when the Bureau of Prisons did not renew the contract last year. Extraordinary community support made all the difference.
“We immediately went to work,” explains Judge Norman. “I called some friends I’ve worked with in the state – state representative, state senator, and congressmen I knew well – and I said, ‘Where is the market? What do we do?’”
Thanks to the efforts of Judge Norman and other community leaders, only a few months after closing, the Dalby facility re-opened as an overflow center for two Texas county jail systems.
“Our new mission for MTC/G.W. Dalby is to be a county jail for Harris County, which is in Houston, Texas, and Tarrant County, which is in Fort Worth,” says Warden Rick Martinez. “We received our first inmates in October of 2022, and continually the population has grown.”
Both counties send residents the relatively long distance to Dalby as their jails fill to capacity. With the short stays typical of county jails, that makes for a great deal of logistical challenges, ranging from visitation to meetings with attorneys to transportation. Multiple times a week, buses arrive with new residents, while other buses leave with those being transferred or simply transported for something as brief as a court appearance.
Long-distance visitation is facilitated with tablets. Dalby also uses the same tablets to provide programming options and other services that would be otherwise impossible to provide with the short, varying stays.
“This is a new mission,” says Warden Martinez. “You have staff that were in the last contract, which was [with the Bureau of Prisons], and then you have the new contract with the jail which is different. Our staff had to adjust to the jail operation. They have been doing a great job.”
“It’s moving in the right direction,” Judge Norman says. “And I’ve got to give the staff here credit. Warden Martinez and corporate do very well at addressing issues, and I appreciate the depth of their staff.”
“Our staff have really worked hard to make it work,” Warden Martinez says. “And I’m really proud of them.”
Michael Williams is a resident of the facility.
“Overall impression of the facility would be very respectful,” he says. “And very outgoing. The officers actually go out of their way for the inmates. They’ll actually take a minute and listen to a person. And they don’t treat them as inmates, they treat them as people.”