LCS Corrections' facility, the Coastal Bend Detention Center (CBDC) in Robstown, Texas recently underwent and passed two surprise visits in accordance with their "at-risk" status. The facility recently released an inmate because they mistook the identity of the man, who is still at large.
The Caller-Times ("Robstown private prison passes two surprise inspections," Feb. 1) covered the story of the surprise inspection and fire drill and had this to say:
"The inspection did not reveal any non-compliance issues. But [state inspector] Johnson noted that of 118 officers, 85 were working with temporary state jailer licenses. All must complete training and pass a state-mandated jailer certification course within their first year of employment.
Last Monday the Coastal Bend Detention Center had its second round of inspection after failing the first on 17 counts of noncompliance. Within thirty days of failing the first inspection and facing the threat of closure, LCS Corrections got their act together ("Private Robstown prison passes state inspection," October 19, 2009):
“They reviewed all the deficiencies and all were corrected 100 percent,” Harbison said. “We are 100 percent approved. The crew, the new warden and his staff are just doing an outstanding job.”Warden Elberto “Bert” Bravo took over as head of the facility about 10 days before state inspectors arrived and a state inspector told him to address problems or face possible closure. Bravo replaced the previous warden who resigned over management issues.
Bravo immediately hired two deputy wardens with more than 60 years of combined experience to help him shape up the facility...
Muñoz said he was surprised that the LCS staff was able to bring the facility into compliance so quickly.
“I could tell they wanted to get back in compliance, but there were quite a bit of things that needed to get done,” Muñoz said. “I have to got commend them for it.”
It is unclear as to whether or not the health hazards of the food preparation were fixed alongside the administrative failures. For more information regarding the Coastal Bend Detention Center's previous citations feel free to review our past coverage.
Last month we covered the failed inspection of an LCS Corrections facility, the Coastal Bend Detention Center (CBDC). The CBDC failed on 17 different compliance issues, with the director of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards stating the inspection results were "really close to complete incompetence" ("Robstown Prison Fails Inspection," Corpus Christi Caller-Times, September 21, 2009). Also in that article, jail Warden Elberto Bravo was quoted with projecting that he would have his facility in compliance with Texas jail standards by the end of October.
Recently, Bravo has asked inspectors to return in mid-October for a second round of inspections:
"Texas Commission on Jail Standards director Adan Muñoz said his office has been in regular contact with the Robstown facility and Bravo sent a progress update earlier this week.
On Monday, an announcement surfaced regarding a recent failed inspection of the Coastal Bend Detention Center. Prison company LCS Corrections owns and operates the facility and contracts with the U.S. Marshals, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Border Patrol in order to maintain their largely immigrant inmate population.
The Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) director Adan Muñoz explained,"I have to bring any remedial order before the [jail] commission, but this borders really close to complete incompetence" ("Robstown Prison Fails Inspection," Corpus Christi Caller-Times, September 21, 2009).
The inspection revealed a total of 17 compliance issues:
1. Inmate toilet and shower areas have insufficient privacy shields.
2. Jailers are not being trained properly for fire drills.
3. Jailers are not being trained properly in the use of air packs.
4. No documentation outlining generator testing or the transfer of the facility’s electric load at least once a month.
5. Inmates were not classified correctly.
6. Classification reviews were not conducted within 90 days of initial inmate custody assessments.
7. Classification workers didn’t receive the required four hours of training.
8. Internal classification audit logs were not kept.
9. No tuberculosis screening plan had been approved by the health department.
10. Twenty-four officers did not have a required jailer’s license or temporary jailer’s license.
11. Hourly face-to-face prisoner checks were not performed.
12. The facility did not meet the state mandated 1-to-48 jailer-to-inmate ratio.
13. Personnel did not conduct required contraband searches.
14. Disciplinary hearings for minor inmate infractions were conducted by a single person rather than a disciplinary board.
15. Jail did not respond to inmates with grievances within 15 days or resolve issues within 60 days as required.
16. Inmates did not receive one hour of supervised physical education three days per week as required.
17. A fire panel doesn’t show an inspection tag.
While each of these issues is important, some of them are outright travesties. Not testing for tuberculosis or giving adequate exercise time are both grossly negligent to the health of the inmates, and jailers without licenses not making face-to-face checks or searches for contraband combine to form ideal conditions for a riot to erupt and a subsequent failed attempt at subduing it.
This marks the second failed private prison inspection in Texas this month. In both cases, the TCJS deemed the facilities non-compliant after inspection for mostly the same reasons of negligence in inmate supervision. Coastal Bend Detention Center's warden Elberto Bravo defends, "I know the report looks bad. They say it is the worst they have ever seen. But honestly, we are going to be OK. It’s just going to take me a little bit of time to do it" ("Robstown Prison Fails Inspection," September 21, 2009).
This is not the first time the LCS Corrections has had troubles with this facility, though. Earlier this year in January, the facility had to lay off 35 employees in order to cover for their lack of filled prison beds. Later in March, just a couple months later, the facility rehired 40 more employees in an attempt compensate for a large influx of prisoners after earlier having too few. Warden Bravo claims he will have his facility in compliance with the Texas standards by the end of October, and you know we will be watching.