Getting a Clearer Picture of The Work We Do at the IAH Detention Center
Warden Ray Terry, of the IAH Detention Center in Livingston, TX, says, “we’re all about doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons.”
Barbara Justice, of the local Workforce Solutions office, is familiar with the facility and is impressed with its operation.
“Warden Terry, I feel, sets the example,” she says, “because in the times that we’ve been there, he’s been very professional and accommodating.”
Barbara explains how Warden Terry and the staff refer to their role as helping detainees get through the difficult situation they’re in as best they can, in a safe, secure, and productive manner.
“Not that they’re inmates,” she explains, “or that they’re criminals, or anything like that, but it’s just…somebody either crossed the border at the wrong point, or it’s just somebody that is dealing with a situation and they need some help to get through it. So, I think he sets the example, and then it’s permeated throughout.”
Staff members at the IAH facility continually strive to create the most productive, secure, and comfortable environment possible for the detainees who stay there.
“Someone said one time a picture paints a thousand words,” states Warden Terry, “and if people could see our hearts, if they could see the facility itself, if they could see the things that go on, rather than hear those things or imagine what those things are, or take their belief from what they see in movies or on TV, then they could know more perfectly what we have here. We never have gone to work looking to cause anybody misery. We’ve always tried to find—because if it’s better for the people here—it’s better for us. So, why would anybody go into a situation and try to make it something other than a good situation for everybody involved. And we like going home smiling at the end of the evening. Now there’s difficult times in a place where people are locked up; there’s difficult times in high schools and junior highs and elementary schools. You do the best you can when you have those difficult times, but that’s not what paints the picture of a high school, that’s not what paints the picture of this place. We’re a good group of people trying to do a good job all the time, to the best of our abilities. And I don’t know that my saying it is going to make somebody believe it. But it’s true.”