“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

Jail company to work on courthouse

Ector County commissioners instructed building maintenance employees to seek help from Community Education Centers Inc. (CEC) on repairs to the sewage system in the courthouse, reported the Odessa American Online

CEC is the private company that operates the jail that is in the Ector County courthouse. There a smell of sewage in the County offices, which is believed to be coming from the jail that CEC operates. The plan to repair the sewage pipes would involve putting smoke inside the pipes and have CEC employees and building maintenance to see where the smoke leaked so they could go about repairing the pipes. 

CEC said they were willing to spend $15,000 on the project, which is estimated to $3 million and $4 million. This would include repairing the pipes and bringing the building up to American with Disabilities Act compliance.  

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Questions raised over new Alvarado immigrant detention center

A single new immigrant detention center south of Dallas has become the focal point of many issues facing immigrant detention centers, reported the Dallas News.

The new Praireland Detention Center, run by for-profit Emerald Correctional Management LLC, will hold up to 707 immigrants, which includes a special wing for three dozen transgender migrants.  Many activists are worried for the transgender migrant population, and hope that the new facility will have security provisions to keep transgender migrants safe from abuse and sexual assult. Nell Gaither, founder of Dallas-based Trans-Pride Initiative, said that a better solution would be alternative-to-detention programs, such as telephone monitoring or the use of ankle monitors. Although Gaither said that "our preference is that they not hold any trans or queer persons." 

In the midst of a presidential election and the public unsure which direction immigrant detention will go, the amount of beds filled at the facility could vary greatly. However, thathat will not impact the payment that Emerald receives. The contract Emerald has guarentees $89.25 per day for a minimum of 525 beds, regardless of if they are filled or not. “It is a guaranteed minimum revenue stream,” said Emerald CEO Steve Afeman. “Otherwise, how would you get a $60 million facility custom-built.” Though the Dept. of Homeland Security is reviewing whether private corporations should run immigration centers, CEO Afeman said he's doubtful contracts for immigrant detention centers are under threat. 

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Questions raised over trans pod at new Alvarado immigrant detention center

A single new immigrant detention center south of Dallas has become the focal point of many issues facing immigrant detention centers, reported the Dallas Morning News.

The new Praireland Detention Center, run by for-profit Emerald Correctional Management LLC, will hold up to 707 immigrants, which includes a special wing for three dozen transgender migrants.  Many activists are worried for the transgender migrant population, and hope that the new facility will have security provisions to keep transgender migrants safe from abuse and sexual assault. Nell Gaither, founder of Dallas-based Trans-Pride Initiative, said that a better solution would be alternative-to-detention programs, such as telephone monitoring or the use of ankle monitors. Although Gaither said that "our preference is that they not hold any trans or queer persons."

In the midst of a presidential election and the public unsure which direction immigrant detention will go, the amount of beds at the facility could change. However, that will not impact the payment that Emerald receives. The contract Emerald has guarantees $89.25 per day for a minimum of 525 beds, regardless of if they are filled or not. “It is a guaranteed minimum revenue stream,” said Emerald CEO Steve Afeman. “Otherwise, how would you get a $60 million facility custom-built.”

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Parents of 20-year old who died in Bi-State jail file suit

According to the Associated Press, and reported by TXKtoday, the parents of a 20-year old Texarkana woman who died in a Bi-state jail this summer have filed a law suit against a nurse who reportedly refused to treat her. The woman's blood sugar level was over 800 when she died on July 1st, according to the law suit. The nurse in question refused to test the woman's blood sugar levels despite multiple high level readings from earlier in the day. The nurse reportedly put glucose (sugar) in the woman's mouth after receiving a reading that said she had high blood sugar levels. 

The law suit said that the investigation by LaSalle Corrections, the private company that operates the Bi-State jail, was inadequately conducted. LaSalle Corrections is in charge of overseeing the medical care at the facility and is involved in the law suit the family has filed. The Bi-state jail is located on the border between Texas and Arkansas, but the lawsuit has been filed in Arkansas, when the family lives. 

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