Staff at Willacy Share Their Thoughts About Working for MTC
“Today, I was asked, ‘What does your MTC family do to make you feel important?’”
Ludivina Mendez was one of two staff members recently asked to reflect on the culture of the work environment at the Willacy County Regional Detention Facility in Raymondville, TX.
“I have bundles of reasons why MTC makes me feel important. I guess the first one would be the backbone of our company, with Captain Romo, our Deputy Warden Trevino. Our warden, Warden Luna, does everything for us. Just from the start of our morning, he can walk in–either one of them can walk in–and shake your hand, hugs, and call you by your name. We’re just not a number here, we’re family.”
Lorie Hernandez was the other staff member interviewed.
“Here at the facility,” she says, “they have developed a coin challenge that is offered as an incentive toward model behavior. I personally have received a coin. What makes me feel important is that they’re able to recognize my achievement and my work ethic.”
“They put together this care team,” Ms. Mendez further explains, “that if a family [member] passes, you don’t know how important it is to just see somebody, your fellow [employee]. ‘Wow, they made time to come’. [There’s] nothing better than to have somebody there with you.”
Ms. Hernandez adds, “Another way my MTC family has made me feel important is birthday celebrations. Every month they conduct a birthday celebration for all staff members who had birthdays. What makes us feel special is the warden leads and sings us a happy birthday song, and [he] is also writing us a hand-written message card.”
Ms. Mendez praises the administration as well.
“The warden, he even plans, once a month, at least, ‘Let’s have a luncheon, let’s have a dinner.’ I think that just gives them time to bond with us. So, when they go make rounds, it’s crazy, but they remember everything that you’ve talked about in your inputs when we have our dinners. They go back there, they address it. It’s always a good feeling knowing that they have your back.”
Ms. Hernandez is especially appreciative for the care shown during the pandemic.
“Another way my MTC family makes me feel important,” she explains, “is that they’re able to provide for us the proper PPE [personal protective equipment] equipment. This gives me the confidence to continue performing my job duties from day to day.”
Ms. Mendez sums up her feelings.
“Every day in briefing, our lieutenants, our sergeants, they mention how important it is to, ‘Do a good job. We’re doing great.’ What they want to see is for us to go home to our families. That’s the most important thing to me. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
About Willacy County Regional Detention Facility
Willacy County Regional Detention Facility is accredited by the American Correctional
Association—achieving over 100% compliance for mandatory standards in its most
recent audit. Other accreditations and certifications include the National Commission on
Correctional Health Care (NCCHC), and the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).