Step Inside the Bay Correctional Facility
On August 1st, 2021, MTC took over the Bay Correctional Facility operations in Panama City, Florida. As with any transition, it can present a challenge to staff members.
“The more we work at it and the more we buy into the mission,” says Linda Baker, a case manager. “The BIONIC (Believe It Or Not I Care) mission. You’re willing to work it when you buy into it.”
“I think we have some of the best of the best,” Warden Jesse Williams explained. “I watch these men and women come to work every day and put their best foot forward to be the best correctional professional they can be. These folks come to work with a sense of pride, with a sense of dignity, with a sense of wanting to get the job done.
“No matter what we go through,” says correctional officer April Knox, “we have always come together and made it stick and work.”
Maria Hall is the Mail Room Supervisor. “We all get along,” she says. “We’re a big family over here. If we need somebody, give them a call. You’ve got help coming from every direction.”
“I think we’re going in a positive direction right now,” adds Unit Manager Jason Jowers. “I sure do. And I agree with many of the decisions being made, a lot of positive changes. But, yeah, I’m starting to enjoy work again.”
Savanna Hendrix is a dental assistant on the medical team. “I love coming to work,” she states. “To me, it’s a joy whenever you have coworkers that you get along with, feel like family. We’re there for each other.”
The facility is grateful to be a part of the Panama City community and has strived to establish partnerships. The Chamber of Commerce has been particularly supportive. Carol Roberts is the president.
“I’m very proud of the partnership that we’ve formed with the current leadership,” she explains. “I have a 45 year history with this organization and never, never have we had the relationship that we do. Specifically, Warden Jesse Williams is stepping up and reaching out to the community to engage us. And it’s appreciated.”
“The two of us talk quite a bit,” explained Warden Williams. “I’ve never talked to the president of the Chamber of Commerce nowhere near as much as I talk to her. And I’m honored to do so. That she is a very valued stakeholder for us, and has taken a great interest and what we do, I am one of her biggest fans.”
Staff members of the Bay facility understand the importance of having a presence in the community.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to me to be the face of MTC,” said Linda Baker. “You work in a place, you take ownership of the vision and then you become the face of it. Because people see you. They don’t see the president, they see you. They see you. And so, to be that person is such an honor and a privilege.”