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GEO ups the ante on facility purchases in Montgomery County

As we reported earlier this month, Montgomery County has been trying to sell off the Joe Corley Detention Center.  So far GEO Group is the only bidder, with an offer of $65 million.  Now, GEO Group has extended a $35 million offer to buy the Montgomery County Mental Health Treatment Center.  The county is looking to the sale of these facilities to pay off massive debt; it already uses the $15 million it receives annually from the state to operate MCMHTC to pay interests on its bonds.

MCMHTC is operated by GEO Care, a subsidiary of GEO Group, and is the state's first and only privately-run psychiatric hospital.  It has been plagued with problems since it opened.  As the Austin-American Statesman reported in 2012,

Since March 2011, the Montgomery County hospital has been comprehensively reviewed three times by State Health Services. All three visits have found problems, including unauthorized restraint and seclusion of patients, incomplete medical records, failure to show patient consent for medications and failure to report serious injuries to the state.

Mental health care in other GEO Care facilities is no better, as evidenced by reports of horrific deaths in South Florida State Hospital.  Statements from Montgomery County officials speculate on how the county's finances will be affected if this deal goes through, but we have to wonder what would happen to those inside the facility.