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Problems continue to plague the Coastal Bend Detention Center

LCS Corrections
LCS Corrections
About two months ago, the LCS Corrections-owned facility, Coastal Bend Detention Center (CBDC) had just finished its "at-risk" status probationary period due to a failed inspection and an inmate walking out of the facility. Despite their new warden and good behavior during the "at-risk" status period, it appears that the problems are not over for this struggling facility. Earlier this month, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) ruled that the facility does not meet state-defined standards, skipping the "at-risk" status altogether after the facility failed to report the deaths of two inmates, while the warden and deputy warden still lack jailers' licenses (along with 72% of the guards). The Caller-Times reports:

Discussions with the deputy warden and the chief of security of the facility revealed that neither official knew of the requirement to notify the state agency of the deaths in custody, Muñoz said.

Jail commission assistant Director Shannon Herklotz told prison officials their lack of reporting was a noncompliance issue.

LCS’ vice president of operations Dick Harbison said the warden and assistant warden were recent hires from out of state who did not know they were required to report the deaths.

Herklotz discovered neither of the top two prison managers had proper state licenses, also a violation of state standards.

“Both the lack of the jailer licenses by the warden and deputy warden, the lack of properly or entirely filling out the inmate screening form and failing to report the April 18, 2010, death in custody within 24 hours as required will immediately result in a notice of noncompliance with minimum jail standards for the Coastal Bend Detention Center,” Muñoz said.

Harbison said after 10 years in the Texas private prison business, he had never been told that his wardens needed jailers' licenses. (Jaime Powell, "Robstown private prison fails state standards again," Caller-Times, 3 May 2010)

With CBDC's rocky history of not faring well with the TCJS, I wanted to find out what this finding meant for the facility and what could happen in the future if CBDC continued to fail their inspections. The TCJS Assistant Director Shannon Herklotz told me that "officials at the Coastal Bend Detention Center have submitted a plan of action and are working towards achieving compliance." However, given that CBDC has a rocky history and continues to promise positive change for the future, I take these promises from CBDC with extreme skepticism. 

He also told me that:

The Coastal Bend Detention Center, along with any other facility found to be in non-compliance, will be give a reasonable amount of time to correct their deficiencies.  If they fail to initiate corrective action, then the Commission has other options that we can pursue.

The Commission meets once a quarter to determine if the actions taken by facilities such as CBDC were sufficient enough to make up for the failed aspects of their inspection. If the responsible party fails to initiate corrective action (in this case, if CBDC fails to get their warden and deputy warden licenses) to the notice of non-compliance, the Commission may issue a remedial order. This order mandates that all or any of the inmates confined in a jail be transferred to and maintained in a compliant facility at the cost of the non-complying entity (the county or the company). According to Herklotz, there is no policy of TCJS stating a limit to the number of times a facility can fail before getting shut down.

CBDC will remain under the eye of scrutiny as the facility systemically fails inspections. Whether or not it will come to a remedial order has yet to be seen. We will continue to bring you the latest news on CBDC to see if LCS Corrections lives up to their promised improvements.

Comments

then why do they keep sending inmates to coastal bend ? 

Why don't they do something about this facility.? Either they should straighten the warden and his assistant or get a better one.

I have a brother being held there for almost a month in a tiny holding cell because apparently, they do not have enough rooms. The conditions are inhumane. Someone should investigate.

If the asst. Warden Aponte & the kitchen Lt. can have an affair for everyone to see, and eventhough no overtime is allowed this Lt. is getting special attenton + 100 hours of overtime a week, maybe you can use that money to feed the people a bit better quality of food.