California Mayor Says Tour of MTC’s Imperial Regional Detention Facility Was a “Mind-Changer”
“I think it is superior. I think it is excellent,” says Mayor Bill Hodge speaking about a recent tour of MTC’s Imperial Regional Detention Facility. Mr. Hodge is the mayor of Calexico, California, a small town east of San Diego, where the Imperial facility is located.
“I was trying to be critical and objective in my observations,” explains Mayor Hodge.
The mayor visited housing units, recreation areas, the medical department, and classrooms where men and women can learn and grow.
“As an educator,” he says, “I think that the progressive thought and approach here is to bring these detainees in and to transform them into a very positive way so that when they leave, they hopefully have a different mindset and they will want to continue in developing their own selves and empowering their own selves.”
Before this visit, Mayor Hodge wasn’t sure what to expect especially considering the images and messages portrayed in the media.
“It breaks through the stereotypes or misperceptions that a lot of our population has.”
He was surprised to see the level of opportunities available at the Imperial facility and says if others could see, it would leave a lasting, positive impression.
“It would be a mind changer for them as far as what they think about in an overall sense about immigration and the facilities where detainees are being held…This particular facility is a real flagship. It is a real signature of what a progressive facility should be like in its operation, in its philosophy.”
The mayor adds,
“Here, time is not wasted. People are fully engaged on a maximum level of positive activities. So, I’m very, very impressed with the programming.”
About Imperial Regional Detention Facility
Imperial Regional Detention Facility is accredited by the American Correctional
Association—achieving over 99% compliance for both mandatory and non-mandatory
standards in its most recent audit. Other accreditations and certifications include the
National Commission on Correctional Healthcare (NCCHC).