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CEC faces two lawsuits at Odessa lock-up

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The Odessa American ("Civigenics faces multiple suits" June 18) reported last week two separate lawsuits against Community Education Centers jail in Odessa, Texas.  In the first,

A Midland man who claims he was beaten into submission while jailed in the Odessa Detention Center has not given up a years-long effort to be compensated for what he said was the use of excessive force after he ran out of his cell.

Larry Wesley Brown, a federal prisoner serving more than four years on a conviction of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, sought $8 million in damages from Civigenics — a private company also known as Community Education Centers — that operates the detention center — for injuries he said occurred while he was awaiting trial in July 2007. The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice in March, but this month, Brown appealed the district court’s decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The second lawsuit involves a prisoner who claims that CEC negligence caused his loss of eyesight,

Colby E. Miller of Odessa claims in a federal lawsuit that Civigenics guards negligently allowed a fellow inmate to obtain a broom.

Miller’s attorney, Robert Swafford of Austin, said in the lawsuit that the inmate struck Miller in the eye with the broomstick, causing him to permanently lose his sight. Greeder declined to comment on the Miller case, citing the pending litigation. No trial date has been set in the Miller case.

We'll keep you posted on this and other lawsuits involving CEC and other private prison corporations in Texas.

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