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Contract Trouble for LCS Corrections Nueces County Detention Center

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LCS Corrections will lay off some workers at its Robstown prison because of problems securing a federal contract for prisoners at the facility, according to an article in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times (LCS facility to lose 35 officers, January 24),

To start the intake of federal prisoners from agencies such as the U.S. Marshals Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Border Patrol, LCS needs Nueces County to sign an agreement with marshals that will outline how much the federal government will pay for housing their prisoners. Congress also must pass a 2009 budget, which should occur when a continuing resolution allowing the federal government to operate under its 2008 budget expires in early March.

The prison company intends to rehire the laid-off employees and hire additional staff once prisoners start arriving, Harbison said.

Nueces County spent millions to clean up its jail's substandard conditions that led to the June 2006 removal of federal prisoners. The federal inmates haven't returned. County officials have been negotiating since January 2008 for a higher fee to house them at the jail. The contract also will include fees for housing federal prisoners at two LCS facilities.

Because the federal government doesn't deal with private detention contractors, LCS is dependent on a "pass through" contract, where the county gets a share of fees charged per prisoner for passing through overflow federal prisoners to the company's private facilities in Hidalgo County and Robstown.

The article doesn't mention whether Nueces County floated bonds to pay for the construction of the prison and my cursory search can't find a record of bonds.  See also, Forrest Wilder's coverage in the Texas Observer of the LCS's record of failing federal inspections.

Also check out our previous coverage on LCS Corrections:

Inmate Dies at LCS Brooks County Detention Center

LCS Moves to Ease Community Concerns Over Nueces Prison

LCS Opening 1,100 Bed Prison in Nueces County

A Closer Look at LCS Corrections

New LCS Prison Will Increase Environmental Hazard

Private Prison Company Adds Water Quality Concerns

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