A GEO Group supervisor has been charged with sexual assault of a detainee in the company's Val Verde Correctional Center in Del Rio, according to a report in the San Antonio Express-News("Supervisor at detention facility indicted," October 15) last week:
As part of a series of changes to the civil commitment program in Texas, Littlefield will serve as the new home for nearly 200 individuals convicted of a sexual offense who have served their time, but who have been indefinitely civilly committed. Although federally required to be a treatment program, not a punitive one, a company with roots in the private prison industry will operate the facility. Correct Care Recovery Solutions (CCRS), formerly known as GEO Care, is a spin-off corporation of GEO Group, the same corporation that operated the facility until 2009. This contract seems a consolation prize for CCRS, who lost the bid to take over Terrell State Hospital earlier this year.
Two stories about the economics of for-profit prisons in Texas have caught our attention this month. Both talk about a recent spate of communities in Texas defaulting on bonds that were issued to pay for private, for-profit prisons intended to detain or incarcerate immigrants.
"In Texas, the heart of a jail-building boom over the past decade, nine of 21 counties that created agencies to issue about $1.3 billion in municipal bonds to build privately run correctional facilities largely for migrants have defaulted on their debt. A dozen other facilities from Florida to Louisiana to Arizona, many that housed immigrants, have also defaulted, according to figures from Municipal Market Analytics, a bond-research firm based in Concord, Massachusetts."