County Judge, Warden, Instructors, and Inmates All Agree—Change Can Happen in Prison
“You have an individual that walks through your gates, and the intent is, while he’s here, to give that individual the most opportunity to improve themselves before they’re released.”
That’s Warden Stephen McAdams of MTC’s Giles W. Dalby Correctional Facility, in Post, Texas. MTC operates the facility for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
While the incarcerated men are not mandated to receive any programming, staff make every effort to encourage their participation, providing residents with a variety of programming options that will greatly improve their chances of a successful return to society.
“Those who go through these programs here, when they leave,” says Jorge Cruz, “they leave and enter society with a different mentality. I’m confident that we can have jobs without any problems. I’m sure of that.”
Israel Lopez agrees, “I feel like I’m benefitting, and every day I learn something new…I’m just happy to have something like this as an option. It’s something that we can definitely use once we get released from here.”
“I feel like it’s definitely going to change them for the better,” adds instructor Nathan Graves. I think that it gives them some skills and confidence in themselves where maybe they came in with very little knowledge, or maybe none at all, to all of a sudden being able to do something so rewarding for themselves. And to see them grow, and to see that encouragement, to see that excitement, it really does a lot for me. It makes me feel like I’m truly making a difference in their lives.”
Victor Chapa is also an instructor at the facility.
“It makes me feel really good because it feels like I did something…well…I benefited out of the whole situation. If it’s from just teaching them a small thing to something large, it’s all the benefits that these guys can get out of you.”
Garza County Judge Lee Norman understands that good programs in prison are key to an individual’s success after they’re released.
“Any person that chooses and wants to put forth that effort can come out of the facility at the end of their time with more skills than they came in with…and if they want to improve their quality of life. I’m proud that this facility’s there to help them do that.”
Warden McAdams adds, “When I stand before those men and say ‘you’ve accomplished something no one can take away’…putting your energy into something positive to better yourself, to where, when you’re released, you can go back to your family, your community, your country, and have a positive social impact. I think that’s at its simplest core, and I think that’s what we’re most proud of.”
About Giles W. Dalby Correctional Facility