CRDF Inmates

Sheriff Villanueva Spreads Holiday Cheer at Women’s Jail

Sheriff Villanueva Spreads Holiday Cheer at Women’s Jail 1024 798 SIB Staff


Holidays are typically a time to spend with family and friends, so for inmates away from their families, a temporary or permanent absence in the lives of their loved ones can magnify a difficult time, both physically and emotionally.

Yes, maybe they’ve done something they shouldn’t have done. But that should not allow us to forget the spirit of the season, where we open our hearts to one another. It’s a lesson in doing the right thing, for the right reason; about sharing acts of kindness and thoughtfulness with others to lift their spirits.

In choosing to be forgiving and compassionate, LASD Sheriff Alex Villanueva invited Mariachi to not only surprise the inmates, but also to remind them that they are not forgotten.

As Mariachi music is often present at important events and celebrations in the lives of Latino people, this beloved music has transcended language, geography and politics and brought people together.

Not only has music always given a voice to the lost and forgotten, for many it has evolved into a sort of soundtrack full of thoughts that turn into emotion. These acoustic harmonies show the power of music to heal.

Sheriff Villanueva’s Mariachi at CRDF, a women’s jail, is about the humanity behind a jail cell. “Every person is worthy and deserves respect as a human being,” said Sheriff Villanueva. “Just because they are here in jail does not mean they stop being human, or they stop feeling or stop thinking about their family members. We all have to think about loved ones that are inside the jails and in the hospitals on this Christmas day. It’s very important.”

For the staff at CRDF and first responders in general, working all if not most of the holidays is part of the job. Deputies and staff assigned to CRDF and scheduled to work during the holidays will miss family events. Although deputies will typically celebrate together by bringing in a dish, oftentimes those meals will be interrupted.

Sheriff Villanueva’s hope is that Mariachi fans among the deputies and staff at CRDF will become enchanted by the sounds of the guitars, trumpets and violins, uplifting their spirits in appreciation of their commitment and dedication in service to others.