A prisoner escape last week at GEO Group's Southeast Texas Transitional Center is the fifth escape from that facility in 18 months, according to a devastating write-up on the facility in the Houston Press ("Michael Elbert Young: Fifth Escapee in 18 Months from GEO Group Facility," April 6):
"A high-risk child rapist who hopped over his halfway house's barbed wire fence Thursday night is the fifth sex offender to abscond from the privately run Southeast Texas Transitional Center in 18 months.
According to the Houston Chronicle story linked above, authorities say Michael Elbert Young, who might be "mentally unstable if not taking medication," removed his electronic tracking monitor. He was "released from prison after serving eight years for two aggravated assault convictions. Both were sex related. He also served a 20-year term for sexual assault of a child and attempted aggravated sexual assault." Oh, and he has a history of using knives.
Owned and operated by Florida-based GEO Group, the facility at 10950 Old Beaumont Highway was formerly known as the Ben A. Reid Community Correctional Facility. Apparently, since GEO can't keep track of its convicted sexual predators, it just figured changing the name would solve the problem. After all, it's much cheaper than hiring a competent staff and improving security."