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LCS's Coastal Bend stops taking local prisoners, escapes Jail Commission oversight

LCS Corrections
LCS Corrections
This story in the Nueces County Record Star  (Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., "Coastal Bend Detention Center moves county inmates," November 4) caught my eye over the weekend:

"Texas Commission on Jail Standards officials recently said the organization is powerless to oversee any changes at the Coastal Bend Detention Center in Robstown, after center officials decided to move out all of their county prisoners.

Adan Munoz Jr., Executive Director of the TCJS said he was notified last week that LCS Corrections Services Inc., owners of the CBDC, asked for the detention center to be pulled off the state's inspection rolls, as they would no longer house county inmates."

As we've reported, major problems at Coastal Bend, LCS's "flagship facility," have drawn scrutiny from TCJS in the past.  In fact, the facility failed inspection as recently as July of this year after TCJS found that it didn't have enough staff to maintain the required guard-to-prisoner ratio.  Last year, a 27-year old man who was detained at the Coastal Bend Detention Center died from a brain tumor after going to the doctor for high blood pressure.  Earlier that year, the Coastal Bend Detention Center was found to have not known that the facility was supposed to report deaths of inmates while in custody.  The facility has also failed inspection before, most recently in 2010 after a prisoner was accidentally released.

Now, the facility is no longer regulated by the state, thanks to HB 3517, the 2003 law that took away the agency's purview to oversee county-owned facilities holding only federal prisoners.   We'll keep you posted on developments from Coastal Bend, and anyone with access to the full story, please send it my way.