DWI Program Helps Lockhart Residents Steer Clear of Danger

Family and friends gathered at MTC’s Lockhart Correctional Facility in Texas to celebrate the accomplishments of graduates of the DWI Intervention program.

Tiffany Vallejo welcomed the group of graduates and recognized MTC for investing in the women’s success.

“First of all, I would like to thank MTC, this facility for the opportunity that we were given to take this course.”

Graduates recited a key message of the program, which is led by DWI Intervention Counselor Peter Lawson.

“Here we become completely alive through ourselves and others. Our harvest is sobriety. Our reward is a new start in life. Although I cannot go back and change my past, I can start from now and make a brand new beginning.”

“Recovery is a lifestyle. It’s made me want to live a better life, a healthier lifestyle. And I won’t end up in prison again,” said Cher McGinty.

McGinty stressed that MTC’s Lockhart facility has changed her life.

“It’s like a princess prison. They treat us like princesses which is a good thing. The past facilities that I was at, it was just like I was a number. You know what I’m saying? You did your crime, so you’re here for punishment. Here I’m actually treated as a woman.”

Sharon Blackmon has felt the same encouragement and support from staff.

“As soon as I walked through the doors, I felt like I was really a person, which I am. We all make mistakes. And this unit really hones in on that. They know that everyone makes mistakes, and they want to help you to do better and be a better person and just learn how to deal with those mistakes and move forward.”

Keynote speaker Lieutenant Colonel Paula Chavis is a nurse educator and education program director. She’s stationed at Fort Sam Army Base in Houston. She was amazed at the programming and services offered to these women.

“This was an eye-opener for me; so much different from what my perception was. What I see on TV is all the negative. What I hear from the news is all the negative. This was simply amazing. It touched my heart to where it was kind of tearful at times just to listen to them.”

The program teaches these women valuable, life-changing lessons.

McGinty added,

“Makes you find your own worth. A lot of women lose their self-worth out on the streets, and here, you gain it back.”