Happy Hearts as MTC Facilities Reach Out to Help Others

The recent holiday season found MTC facilities making a social impact on residents and communities we serve.

In Livingston, Texas, the IAH facility provided detainees a holiday dorm decorating contest.

Otero II IAH Bell Holiday Participation Still

“It’s weird, but it makes me feel a little bit at home,” says detainee Donovan Jaramillo, “because it makes the dorm feel like a house. It takes your mind off of not being there, but it gives you something to do. It brings comradery to the dorm and brings us together.”

Otero II IAH Bell Holiday Participation Still
IAH Detention Facility

Larry Castleberry is also a detainee that participated.

“It keeps your mind off missing your family as much. And it gives you a sense of purpose because during the holidays it’s a rough time for inmates.”

Billy Holmes thanked the facility for the opportunity.

Otero II IAH Bell Holiday Participation Still
IAH Detention Facility

“I feel like they take the things that we want to do into consideration. They try to make our stay here as easy as possible. At the same time do their job, but let us have a little fun. And I really thank them for that.”

In Chaparral, NM, where MTC operates the Otero County Prison Facility and the Otero County Processing Center, staff provided gifts for local children in need.

Willie Madrid is a New Mexico state representative.

“And I think it’s a beautiful thing that MTC prisons stepped up once again to help us in our community,” he says, “and be a part of our community, as they are. So, I thank MTC.”

Otero II IAH Bell Holiday Participation Still
Otero Facilities

“We’re very thankful that we have Otero County working with our schools and with our community,” explains Everlyn Rodriguez, a counselor at Chaparral Elementary School. “Working with Otero County has always been a very good experience, and we thank you. We thank you so much for always being available for any situation or any need that we have here in our school and in our community.”

At the Bell Unit, in Cleveland, Texas, residents were allowed to have photos taken of them and sent to their families, free of charge, as visitation is not allowed during the pandemic. The simple gesture touched the hearts of several men who penned thank-you notes, stating:

Avery Wilkens: “It’s one thing to say BIONIC, it’s another thing entirely to back it up.”

Kent McGowen: “Nowhere are inmates treated with such dignity, compassion, decency, and professionalism.”

Kent McGowen
Oliver J. Bell Unit

Mike Mungioli: “I have never seen anything like this in my almost ten years of being incarcerated.”

Avery Wilkens: “MTC is revolutionizing the approach to criminal-justice reform by creating an environment that is conducive to personal growth. It’s amazing how strong of an impact a gesture so small as holiday photos can have.”

Back at the IAH facility, Donovan Jaramillo, expresses appreciation for his overall experience at the detention center.

“I’ve spent most of my time incarcerated at MTC facilities. I’ve been treated well at MTC facilities. They offer a lot more educational programs than regular prisons that I’ve been to. All the staff members are very respectful.”

“The facility does so much,” says Gerald Matherly, Otero County Commissioner, “even for the prisoners inside there and rehabilitation, trying to get them back ready for the streets. We’re really truly thankful a facility like this is in Otero County and just want to tell them ‘thank you.’”

Otero II IAH Bell Holiday Participation Still
Otero Facilities

State Representative Willie Madrid agrees.

“So, I’m very grateful for MTC’s consideration, and, most of all, the staff that they have there. They are part of our family. I look at them as part of the community for the things they’ve done for us over the years. So, thank you and God bless you, MTC staff.”