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Shuttered for-profit Limestone County lockup to reopen under new management

A privately-operated lockup in Groesbeck, Texas — the Limestone County Detention Center — may reopen under new management by the LaSalle Southwest Correctional private prison corporation, according to a story at KWTX last week:

"The county-owned, but privately-operated Limestone County Detention Center, which was shuttered three years ago, leaving 240 staffers jobless, could reopen as early as next month, Limestone County Judge Daniel Burkeen confirmed Tuesday.

The county and private prison management company LaSalle Southwest Corrections signed a contract last week, Burkeen said.

"We are optimistic that as the county and the sheriff work together with LaSalle, a number of federal inmates will be able to repopulate the facility,” Burkeen said.

LaSalle also operates McLennan County’s Jack Harwell Detention Center, which handles not only federal prisoners, but also an overflow of inmates from the McLennan County Jail.

The company already has a team in place to prepare to reopen the 1,100-bed detention center, working on such things as air conditioning and heating units that haven’t been used in three years."

As Holly reported earlier this year, Limestone County officials had hopes of reopening the shuttered Limestone County Detention Center by potentially contracting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). 

The KWTX article explains the rotating cast of prison operators. 

"In July 2013 Management Training Corporation, which under an agreement with the county was supposed to have paid a minimum of $62,500 a month to rent the complex, announced that it was closing the center and pulling out after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement decided to stop sending suspected illegal immigrants detained at the border to the center, opting instead to return them to their home countries.

Until May 31, 2013, the detention center was operated by Community Education Centers or CEC, which pulled out after losing its contract with the federal government to house inmates, but county officials had been hopeful that MTC could keep the facility filled."

We'll see if this new management agreement actually leads to prisoners filling this for-profit prison. 

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