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Private prison company interested in vacant juvenile facility

A private prison company is interested the vacant Al Price Juvenile Center is Beaumont, Texas, reports Grits for Breakfast.

Corrections Corporation of America (which has since rebranded itself as “CoreCivic”) is hoping to turn the facility into a "secure" facility for adults with substance abuse disorders. According to The News, CCA has already spoken to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), and would defer to TDCJ for the number of inmates they would have detained at the center. County Judge Jeff Branick said "I fully support treatment programs," and that it was about time that the criminal justice system dealt with the root causes of recidivism.

The proposal for a new private facility comes at a time when the state legislature is looking to reduce the budget of state agencies by 4 percent, leading to the closure of one prison already. It is unsure whether the budget will have any impact on the proposal put forth for the Al Price Juvenile Center.

A second organization, Gulf Coast Healthcare of Port Arthur, also spoke at the hearing about purchasing the Al Price center. Gulf Coast wants to use the facility to provide behavioral health needs to prisoners from the six surrounding detention centers. They have multiple facilities throughout Texas, including Port Arthur and Houston.

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