Two former prison guards from the Willacy County Regional Detention Facility were arrested Friday, as reported by Valley Central.
Stephan Salinas and Harry Cordero were both employed at the Willacy County Detention Facility, which is run by the private prison company Management & Training Corp. (MTC) in Raymondville, Texas. This facility was destroyed in a prisoner uprising in 2015 due to poor medical conditions and neglect. Before that, the facility lost its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) contract in 2011 due to physical and sexual assault by the guards on prisoners.
Cordero and Salinas were both fired by MTC in January following internal investigations of the two guards. Cordero was charged with two counts of bribery and one count of providing contraband in prison. He was found to have accepted bribes to allow alcohol and a cell phone into the prison in December of 2015.
Private prison company Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has decided to rebrand itself in hope of moving away from the perception of for-profit prison company, as reported by The Street. The company would now like to be called CoreCivic.
Stock in CCA has been under pressure ever since the Department of Justice decided to phase out the use of private prisons in August. The company is hoping that the new name and diversifying their interests into real estate and treatment facilities will help the company move away from it’s negative image as a private prison company and help the company bounce back from decades of bad press.
Olubunmi Toyin Joshua, 54, detained in the Rolling Plains Detention Center in Haskell, Texas, was found unresponsive in her cell the night Oct. 24 and was immediately taken to Haskell Hospital. Her cause of death will be determined by a pending autopsy. Joshua is the first detainee to die in ICE custody in fiscal year 2017, though not the first to die in ICE custody in 2016. 11 people have died in ICE custody in 2016.
The Rolling Plains Detention Center is operated by the Emerald Company, a for-profit prison company.
The facilities in Ohio, New Mexico, and Texas had previously been used exclusively by the Bureau of Prisons, which falls under the jurisdiction of the DOJ. . However, this comes at a time when the Department of Homeland Security is doing its own review of private prison use, and will decide in the next months whether to continue using private companies to run their immigrant detention centers.