“What happens if you privatize prisons is that you have a large industry with a vested interest in building ever-more prisons.” -- Molly Ivins, 2003

Downtown Houston lockup to be closed this month

The South Texas Intermediate Sanction Facility in downtown Houston is set to be closed this month, reports the Houston Business Journal.

The facility was first proposed to be closed in August of this year as part of a 4 percent budget cut that Texas state agencies had to make for the 2018-2019 biennium.  The South Texas Intermediate Sanction Facility is operated by Management and Training Corporation (MTC), a Utah-based for-profit prison company. MTC employed about 115 people at the facility. The company is now looking to "place the affected employees at other facilities and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is also recruiting them for possible employment."

The prisoners currently detained at the intermediate sanction facility in downtown Houston, who number about 400, will be moved to the Kegans State Jail, also in Houston. Approximately 400 low-level prisoners will then be moved from the Kegans State Jail to Lychner State Jail in Humble, which has enough beds to house the prisoners coming in.

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Willacy County claims negligence caused 2015 riot

Willacy County Regional Detention Facility
In the lawsuit that Willacy County is bringing against Management and Training Corp., they state that the 2015 riot at the Willacy County Correctional Center was caused by "deplorable conditions" at the prison, CBS 4 News reports

As we reported earlier, Willacy County filed a lawsuit against Management and Training Corp. (MTC), a private prison company based out of Utah. The lawsuit states that the for-profit prison company failed to properly oversee, manage, and repair the facility, leading to poor conditions at the facility. Flooding toilets, rodents, and a lack of access to basic medical care in the facility sparked a riot that led to the destruction of the correctional center and cost the county millions of dollars.

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Commissioners to consider jail extention

Ector County Courthouse
According to the Odessa American, Ector County commissioners are considering an extension with Community Education Centers, Inc. to keep a federal jail in the Ector County courthouse.

Community Education Centers, Inc. (CEC) is a for-profit prison company that has been operating the jail inside the Ector County courthouse. In March of 2016, water and sewage began to leak from the jail into county offices, putting many official documents at risk and creating an unpleasant and potentially risky work environment for the employees. The water and sewage resulted from faulty pipes that had been blocked by federal inmates in the jail.

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Willacy County files lawsuit against private prison company

According Fox Rio 2, a lawsuit is being filed against Management and Training Corporation (MTC) by the Willacy County Local Government Corporation alleging that the Willacy County Prison was forced to close because of its failure to meet its basic contractual obligations.

The lawsuit claims that MTC, a private prison company, failed to oversee and repair problems which eventually led to the closure of the prison. The Local Government Corporation alleges that MTC did not follow contract procedures, including providing necessary services for inmates and repairing any problems at the facility. These problems included flooded toilets, rodents, and a lack of basic inmate services. The flooded toilets and lack of basic inmate services led to a protest in the Willacy County Correctional Facility by inmates in February of 2015.

The Willacy County Prison was shut down by the Bureau of Prisons, which stated that the facility was uninhabitable. The Local Government Corporation states that if MTC had down their job correctly, the prison would still in operation.

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