A Man at the IAH Facility Explains How Caring Staff Made All the Difference
The following letter is from a detainee at the IAH Detention Center in Livingston, TX who wanted to express his appreciation for the way he has been treated.
“Six and a half years ago…has it really been that long? Doesn’t really seem like it….it went by so fast.
As I sat here six and half years ago and I battled my demons, it was a very hard time for me. Angry all the time, accused of a crime I actually for once did not commit. At my darkest hours, I look back at it, and I didn’t do it alone. I had family on the outside who loved and supported me.
But it was the every day people that truly helped me; the officers here at this facility [where] I now sit once again. Some are gone, their names I can’t quite remember. But some I can. Ms. Perry, her patience with me was admirable! Because I know I was hard to be around. Ms. Mares, she is a lieutenant now. She would help anyone. She truly cared for all of us. It was not just a job for her. Mr. Monday, always there to calm me down. Seems like he was on the front line. I think the captain’s name was Coffin…I see how much they all care. In that 14 months I sat here, I struggled mentally, physically, psychologically, and, most of all, religiously.
And then one day after not having a chaplain or a chaplain I didn’t know, I saw Mr. Owens and came up and asked if I was okay. As anyone in my shoes, at the time, I said ‘yeah, I’m okay.’ He continued to talk to me and gave me a Bible.
And we would go to the small chapel, and he would read me scriptures. He listened. Having Mr. Owens to guide me, I have not only grown my faith in God, he also taught me to look at life’s circumstances no matter how bad and find the good. And, in faith, shake it off! There may be a fly in the cup, but the medicine is still good! Mr. Owens was teaching me to think! Don’t get so angry, forgive, and become stronger! He helped me to help others.
And today I am a different man! I’m almost home now, with the help, care, and compassion of a number of officers here. Some I’ve seen and spoken to, because they are still doing it! Ms. Southerland was always kind [and] would really help us if we needed it. Ms. Preston is still here. She also has went out of her way to help us. I remember when I first got here. My father was not in my life, so I did not have him on my visitation list. Ms. Preston and Ms. Perry came and told me I had a visit…they explained that it was, in fact, my father…That day I got to meet my Dad again and he paid for an attorney and really loved and supported me!
All in all, this little unit in Livingston, Texas is a place I’ve never forgotten! The staff here really changed my life! And I have grown up a lot and want nothing more than to go home and utilize some of these life skills I’ve learned here. Thank you!