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Joe Corley Detention Center jail sold to GEO Group

Mont

gomery County commissioners voted unanimously yesterday to sell the Joe Corley Detention Facility to GEO Group for $65 million.  The facility, which in recent years has been the subject of federal investigation into financial misconduct, has been up for sale since January.

The jail was financed with $44.8 million in tax-exempt bonds under the assumption that 30% of its beds would be used by the county by 2013; the rest of the 1,288 beds are contracted out to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the US Marshals.  However, Montgomery County's incarcerated population didn't grow as expected and, in 2012, the IRS revoked the bonds' original tax exemption.  The county now owes an additional $7 million in fines to the IRS.

The fate of the Montgomery County Mental Health Treatment Facility is still in the air.  When GEO Group placed a bid on Joe Corley, it also expressed interest in purchasing the 100-bed facility for $35 million; the county is waiting on an appraisal of the facility, originally built for $33 million, before making a decision.  MCMHTF is the only privately-run state mental health treatment facility in Texas.

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