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County Judge says family detention center is still an option

The application for a family detention center in San Diego is still pending, despite a court ruling against the state licensing family detention centers as child care facilities, reported Caller-Times of Corpus Christi.

Duval County Commissioners voted in July to begin contract negotiations with Serco, a UK-based private prison company, to turn an old nursing home facility into a family detention center. This decision came about after Jim Wells County decided against entering into a contract with Serco over the nursing facility, which sits in both Jim Wells and Duval counties.

The contract from Duval County is still pending following the court decision by District Judge Karin Crump that invalidates the rule that Texas Department of Family and Protective Services used to license family detention facilities as child care facilities. This decision impacts the  South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, and the Karnes County family detention. These facilities are operated by the private prison companies CoreCivic (formerly CCA), and GEO Group, respectively.

Following the decision last week, both facilities released hundreds of immigrant women and children over the weekend, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials denied that the court ruling was the reason. County officials said that the recent release of families from other family detention centers in Texas, located in Dilley and Karnes, will not affect Duval County’s application to open a family detention center in San Diego.

"The only news we have is that our application is still being considered," said Duval County Judge Ricardo Carrillo. "No timetable was given to us this time."

 

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