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GEO May be Developing "Hub" in Montgomery County

As we reported in April, GEO Group has finalized the purchase of the Joe Corley Detention Center from Montgomery County and is looking to expand that purchase to include the Montgomery County Mental Health Treatment Facility, both of which were operated by the company but owned by the country.  Originally built to house a population that never fully materialized, the Joe Corley Detention Center has been a financial headache for the county, which will use the $65 million raised from selling the facility to assuage its debt.

Given GEO Group's track record with mental health treatment, the possibility of the company purchasing MCMHTF is jarring.  Even more frightening are GEO's plans to build a second federal prison in Conroe -- with the full support of the county commissioner court.

One commissioner in particular -- Mike Meador -- has expressed excitement over a partnership with GEO and his hope that the county will become a "hub" for the corporation.  Not everyone in Montgomery County shares his enthusiasm. Correctional News reports:

"... anti-privatization activists and Jon Bauman, vice president of the Texas Patriots PAC of The Woodlands, are against the privatization of the detention center believing that the expansion of correctional facilities is building too large of a jail industry in the area. [...]

“This idea that they were building a jail for us was bogus, it was a fraud” he said. “They weren’t building a jail for us, they were building a jail for an industry.”" ("The GEO Group Looks to Expand in Montgomery County," June 11, 2013)

The sale of MCMHTF and construction of a new prison aren't final yet.  We'll continue to update as news developments arise.