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Controversial MTC federal prison will not come to Nacogdoches

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Opponents of a controversial MTC-proposed federal prison in Nacogdoches were celebrating last week after the Federal Bureau of Prisons pulled the plug on the project, according to Nacogdoches Daily Sentinal ("Federal government rejects plan for prison in Nacogdoches," May 1),

The proposed private federal prison — the subject of months of debate in Nacogdoches — will not be built here, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said.

The federal government rejected a proposal by the private prison operator Management and Training Corporation to build the facility because it was not competitive enough, according to an April 28 letter from Amanda J. Pennel, a contracting officer with the bureau of prisons. "After evaluating this proposal in accordance with the terms of the solicitation, it was determined that this proposal was not among the most highly rated proposals," the letter said. "A proposal revision will not be considered," the letter continued.

While public offials were generally in favor of the proposed facility, a facility for immigrants to be deported following their sentences, community opposition to the facility was fierce and included an effort to bring the issue to a referendum vote by amending the city's charter and gathered over 2,700 signatures on their website, and impressive feat in a town of less than 30,000 total population.   

While the FBOP doesn't acknowledge the opposition in its reasoning, it's of no doubt in my mind that the community opposition was a factor in this decision.  Opposition makes these projects more expensive and therefore less competitive. Congrats to the Citizens Opposed to the Prison group!   

See our previous coverage of the private prison controversy in Nacogdoches:


I recently retired from the FBOP after 24 years.  After being involved some with new institution sites,  the community gained jobs as well as the economy got a big boost.   As for the housing near the institution site.   Most homes sold almost immediately, to transferring BOP staff which needed to live near the institution for quick resposes.  As for the inmates.  Once they are released most will not stay in the area, unless they are from the local area.   As for an increase in gang activity.  No more than what Nac has now.  Most all staff at a Federal Prison are trained Federal Law Enforcement staff, would have increased the Law Enforcement staff in the community.  I don't believe the community opposition did a very good job in researching other Federal Prison locations.  

 Nac lost an opportunity to boost the local economy as well as taking advantage of excellent paying Federal jobs and outstanding educational and medical benefits.