The McLennan County CEC/CiviGenics facility has been put on remedial order by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards at that agency's February 5th meeting, according to an article in the Waco Tribune ("McLennan County Detention Center warden says jail will be back in compliance soon," February 7),
The warden of a privately operated jail in Waco says his staff had corrected all but one deficiency noted in a December inspection before he met this week with the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.
Despite the improvements, the commission still placed the downtown McLennan County Detention Center under a remedial order until officials from Community Education Centers, which leases the jail from McLennan County, take further corrective measures and another inspection is conducted.
Of course, McLennan County has been home to a fierce battle over the creation of a new private jail. CEC/CiviGenics was the lone bidder for an RFP to take over the county jail in McLennan, an effort that was beat back primarily by opposition from the McLennan County Sheriff Officer's Association. Within months, a new proposal for a new contract jail, to be operated by CEC/CiviGenics was passed by a divided court.
Opponents may have had good reason to object. According to the Waco Tribune article, there were several reasons why the existing CEC/CiviGenics jail was placed on remedial order,
The most serious issue cited in the remedial order was that CEC officials failed to properly maintain a 1-to-48 staff-to-inmate ratio. The order limited the number of inmates the facility could house before it hired more guards, thus cutting profits from CEC’s contracts with federal agencies to house prisoners.
Wilson said the order stemmed from several weekends on the night shift in October and November when the jail was short-staffed. Additional officers were hired immediately to fill the void, putting the jail back into compliance, the warden said.
Last month, an 18-year-old former CEC guard was indicted for providing contraband to inmates for reportedly allowing two of his former high school buddies who landed in jail to use his cell phone.
Other citations that have been corrected, Wilson said, was a determination that inmates were placed in cells before they were properly classified to assess their threat levels and that water pressure and water temperature were insufficient in certain areas of the jail.
See our previous coverage of the CEC/CiviGenics fight in McLennan County:
- McLennan County One Step Closer to Private Jail?, 1/16/2009
- Financial Markets Delays Controversial McLennan Jail, 11/24/2008
- McLennan County Commission Votes for New Private Jail, 08/14/2008
- More Heat for CEC in McClennan; CLEAT Requests Investigation, 8/12/2008
McLennan County Seeking New Private Jail, 6/04/2008