In many ways, Webb County Detention Center in Laredo, Texas, is a way station for individuals who briefly pass through the facility as they await their due process in the United States. In the short time they have, the staff at Webb do everything in their power to make the stop as comfortable and constructive as possible.
The facility primarily serves individuals through U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), providing care for about 21 days.
During their short time at Webb, individuals can take part in art and paint therapy, or for those who prefer the outdoors, the facility is equipped with outdoor recreational areas for all. Religious programming is offered seven days a week by a full-time chaplain, and both group and individual spiritual counseling services are available.
Before the pandemic, 23 volunteers provided 60 hours of service a week, but those activities are temporarily on hold as a safety precaution during COVID-19. Warden Mario Garcia says the facility has been able to navigate the pandemic successfully through proactive efforts like this.
“Our team has been able to maintain a high level of engagement, and morale has been good,” he said. “Staff and detainees have maintained high levels of sanitation, wear masks, and have maintained social-distancing practices.”
Garcia, who has worked at Webb since 1999 and CoreCivic for 36 years, says he appreciates the way his staff pulls together to face any challenge that may arise. Garcia believes what makes Webb especially unique is its family atmosphere and consistently high standards. The facility has been accredited by the American Correctional Association (ACA) for 21 years.
“I am most proud of the way my team works together and mobilizes whenever we are faced with a challenge,” Garcia said. “My staff has a high level of teamwork and are very motivated to do their best for CoreCivic, our partners, and those in our care.”