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GEO loses TDCJ contract to MTC

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The GEO Group has lost a TDCJ contract to operate the Bridgeport Correctional Center in Bridgeport, Texas near Fort Worth, according to reporting by Mandy Bourgeois in the Wise County Messenger (Geo Group loses bid for prison, June 27),

A new management company will take over the Bridgeport Correctional Center beginning Aug. 31. The 520-bed facility has been managed by GEO Group Inc., since the center opened in August 1989. GEO was reawarded a three-year contract from Sept. 1, 2005, and also had two, one-year renewals.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice conducted a competitive bid process, and Management & Training Corp. won the seven-year bid. "There's a technical review of the bid and a financial review of the bid," said Jason Clark, public information officer for the TDCJ. Clark said that the reviews are done separately by different committees. "They score those reviews and compile the scores and a recommendation is made to the TDCJ."

Notably, this represents a trend in TDCJ contracts going toward MTC and away from other contractors.  MTC took over three contracted facilities in 2008 from other private prison corporations - two from CCA and one - the Sanders Estes Correctional Center - from GEO. 

It should also be noted that this is at least the fifth GEO facility to be closed or put under new management in the past several years.  In addition to losing the Bridgeport contract and the 2008 re-contracting of the Estes unit to MTC, the state of Idaho pulled its inmates from the Dickens County Correctional Center in the spring of 2007 in the wake of the suicide of inmate Scot Noble Payne and a subsequent investigation into "squalid" conditions at the lock-up and cut its contract the Bill Clayton Detention Center in Littlefield, Texas after the 2008 suicide of Randy McCullough. In October 2007, the Coke County Juvenile Justice Center was shuttered by the Texas Youth Commission after a damning investigation into conditions at the youth detention center.