Music Uplifts and Encourages Positive Behavior at the Lindsey State Jail

Bernadette Rodriguez is the assistant warden at Lindsey State Jail, in Jacksboro, Texas. “We wanted to develop an idea that would engage all of the offender population,” she says, in reference to a recently held music concert, featuring residents as the performers.

“Oh, it was incredible,” explains resident Anthony McNeese, who helped organize the event and was one of the performers. “It was a chance to break out of the daily routine that we have and just go and express ourselves through music and have some fun. We had rap contests for some guys that are into the rap thing and had a dance contest for some of the guys. It was kinda fun where everybody got to have a free spirit and just let themselves go a little bit.”

Warden Grady Wallace agrees. “It is a fun time for offenders to engage with each other in a setting where they can have some fun,” he says, “and listen to some music and learn those social skills that they’re going to need when they’re released.”

“The offenders that were 90 days disciplinary free were able to participate in the program,” Assistant Warden Rodriguez pointed out, “which resulted in offenders wanting to stay out of trouble and wanting to stay case-free and wanting to do the right thing.”

Since MTC took over operation of the facility in 2017, Lindsey has strived to provide every opportunity for residents to improve their quality of life, both within the facility, and eventually, upon their release back into the community.

Anthony McNeese appreciates the efforts. “We’re having tournaments in sports and activities with music. They have school and other activities, but it’s starting to really snowball. The assistant warden’s really putting a lot of effort into promoting that, and it’s becoming really encouraging to the inmates, as well as the officers.”

Warden Wallace sees the value as well. “We think that the offenders look forward to those things. Of course, now we’ve established criteria that they have to meet to be eligible. That helps them hold themselves more accountable, so they can participate in those kinds of things.”

Anthony McNeese is grateful to be performing again. “Well, for me, I like to entertain and to see people laugh and smile and sing along with songs. To get people to break out of the things they’re going through in here and being incarcerated, separated from their families and stuff. Seeing people just laugh and smile and clap and dance, it was rewarding, very rewarding.”

Assistant Warden Rodriguez explains the willingness of the facility to provide such events.

“It’s not trouble to implement programs and engage offenders. It’s us as a company wanting to make a difference in someone’s life. If it’s developing or implementing programs to make a difference in somebody’s life, that’s something that we want to do. That’s our goal at the Lindsey State Jail is to make a difference in somebody’s life.”

About Lindsey State Jail

Lindsey State Jail is accredited by the American Correctional Association—achieving
over 99% compliance for both mandatory and non-mandatory standards in its most
recent audit. Other certifications include the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).