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Private jail backer loses primary in McLennan County

A prominent backer of CEC's new Jack Harwell Detention Center in McLennan County has lost his Republican primary run-off in a landslide, according to an article in today's Waco Tribune ("Perry knocks off longtime incumbent Meadows in commissioners court runoff," April 14). 

Ray Meadows was defeated by Ben Perry by a 2-1 margin. Meadows, a 24 year County Commission veteran, was a supporter of the county's efforts to build a new private detention facility. Perry, in contrast, earned the backing of the Combined Law Enforcement Agencies of Texas (CLEAT) by supporting civil service for Sheriff's employees. 

Meadows claims that he'll spend his remaining 8 months in office trying to convince government agencies to bring prisoners to the Jack Harwell facility, which was built on speculation that federal agencies would fill the facility.  As of March 1st's Texas Commission on Jail Standard's population report (PDF), the facility remained empty.  We'll keep you posted on developments related to Jack Harwell.