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Two Corrections Corp. of America Prisons in Texas Will Close This Weekend

Two private prisons contracted by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - the Mineral Wells Pre-Parole Transfer Facility and the Dawson State Jail - will close this weekend after their funding was zeroed out during the last legislative session.  

As we've reported, Mineral Wells was plagued for years with contraband while Dawson was the site of several deaths of women at its facility, persistent complaints of inadequate medical care, protests, and a campaign and report co-authored by Grassroots Leadership (my organization) calling for its closure.  

State lawmakers pushed for the closures arguing that the state had extra bed capacity thanks to a declining prison population.  

Dallas Morning News reporter Scott Goldstein toured the facility yesterday and found some haunting messages left on the walls ("Dawson State Jail winds down in final days," August 29):

"The last prisoners this week left the Jesse R. Dawson State Jail along the Trinity River in downtown Dallas.

But inside, the paint-chipped walls and doors that confined thousands over the years carry their messages of despair and hope.

“I WANT OUT OF HERE NOW!!”

“Surrender to death or to life.”

“Don’t be afraid. Soon you will pass out of darkness.”

Over the weekend, we'll be updating our map of private prisons to show that these facilities are now no longer active.