How Leaders of the El Valle Detention Facility View Their Responsibility
“Well, care and custody of detainees is a huge responsibility,” explains Facility Administrator Francisco Venegas, “and it’s more than just making sure they stay detained. It’s about enriching people’s lives.”
At the El Valle Detention Facility in Raymondville, Texas, administration and staff strive to do all they can to provide programming opportunities to the detainees, even though most often they’re only at the facility for a short time. The programs include Reading Horizons Elevate, HMH Buzz, Typing Master Pro, and OpenOffice.
“Whatever information they receive here, it is with the intention that they are for their betterment, so that when they leave this facility, they have garnered some piece of information that can help them as they go in their future endeavors,” says Venegas.
Instructor Eloy Vargas says, “I love helping out. I love to help out the detainees and making them a little bit more productive in our community. And so, when they leave here, I just think that a little bit of education will go a long way in their lives.”
Community leaders are impressed with the detention center’s efforts to provide programming. Gilbert Gonzales is the mayor of Raymondville, Texas.
“They [facility staff] are teaching them, they’re training them, they’re educating them. They come out better than what they came in, yes.”
“I really enjoy, like I said, making a difference in their lives,” adds Instructor Vargas.