Texas Department of Criminal Justice Turns to MTC to Provide Treatment Programs
“Our collaboration with TDCJ here is phenomenal,” says Janelle Murphy, Program Director at the Thomas R. Havins Unit in Brownwood, Texas.
In recent years, MTC has been awarded treatment contracts at facilities operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, or TDCJ. On June 1, 2018, the number of contracts increased to 19 correctional facilities throughout Texas. One of those facilities is the Havins Unit, operated by TDCJ.
“TDCJ and MTC work together hand in hand,” Director Murphy explains. “Not only for safety and security protocol and for the contract components, but overall trying to provide the best service and atmosphere for these clients to have an opportunity to learn new skills and better understand their addiction and be able to focus on something positive that they have here that they can take with them, back into the community, to live that pro-social life.”
MTC is proud of the partnership with TDCJ in which MTC operates the programming component of the Havins Unit. And MTC is grateful for TDCJ’s support in going the extra mile to make unique opportunities are available to the men at Havins, all of whom are preparing to release from there to resume the lives they left behind when they first became incarcerated.
The American Idol competition is an example of how TDCJ goes the extra mile. Director Murphy feels such activities, beyond the norm of day-to-day treatment, are helpful in the preparation of these men for their release. “Every few months,” she states, “we try to incorporate an activity into the community, so the clients have something to look forward to, other than just treatment. But we also direct it to where whatever we’re doing is treatment-driven and also community-driven.”
Christopher Smith is a client at the Havins Unit.
“It’s teaching me how to deal with what’s going on in my mind,” he says, “as opposed to just walking straight back out there with no hope. The big word here is hope. I needed it, and I’m receiving it here.”
Client Brian Lee is likewise grateful. “These counselors sacrifice so much on a day to day basis. And you can see through their participation and their teaching, that they do care. So, I appreciate everything that they’ve expressed to us through their actions, mostly. Because people can say a lot of things, but it’s through their actions that I see on a day to day basis that I can appreciate most of all.”
“I’m grateful for this opportunity,” another client, Brandon Roberts, says, “because I’ve been messing up a long time. And for me, [I] not only get another chance to get back out there and start over, but this place really teaches me ways to handle my family and everything like that out there. So, it’s a very big blessing for me to get this opportunity.”
“I think T.R. Havins is a fantastic unit,” sums up Director Murphy. “I can’t express anymore about how the collaboration is that we have with TDCJ; how willing they are to help us, and, in turn, we help them, because we’re going to try to see that these clients succeed.”