Jasper Co. Jail serves 103 inmates Thanksgiving meal - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Jasper Co. Jail serves 103 inmates Thanksgiving meal

Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
JASPER, TX (KTRE) -


Turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie.

It was a traditional Thanksgiving meal served in a non-traditional place, the Jasper County Jail.

"We make Thanksgiving dinner for the inmates,” said Jasper County Jail Lieutenant Mauricio Villasana

It all started 19 years ago, when former Jasper County Sheriff Billy Rose asked Villasana what they could do to brighten up the spirits of their inmates.

"One day he asked me what are we going to do for Thanksgiving for the guys,” Villasana said. “We brainstormed and then he came up with a Thanksgiving dinner."

It became a tradition that Sheriff Mitchel Newman has continued on with his staff.

"They're in a bad place in the jail, but everyone needs to have a happy Thanksgiving,” explained Villasana.

Villasana slaved over the stove in the jail's kitchen for most of Wednesday and Thursday with the help of five trustees, collaborating together to come up with this year's menu.

"They ask if we can do this recipe and that recipe,” Villasana said. “We have to check it out first but then we do it for them. They have pretty good ideas, we put it together with each other.”

In fact, Thursday’s meal included something that’s usually not seen at most Thanksgiving dinners.

"It's a special thing today to give them brisket,” Villasana said. “I know some guys haven't been home to eat brisket, so this is why we do a special thing for them."

Even after the hours of hard labor, for Villasana it's all worth it to be able to give his guys a home-cooked holiday meal.

"They tell you thank you and say Happy Thanksgiving, you know it's something good,” Villasana. “You know I feel better, it's a good thing for me to do this for these guys."

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