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Chemical spray used, two prisoners injured in disturbance at CCA's Mineral Wells facility

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Corrections Corporation of America's troubled Mineral Wells Pre-Parole Transfer Facility was the site of a disturbance this week that drew the use of chemical spray by guards, according to the Mineral Wells Index ("Two inmates hurt in CCA disturbance" December 21):

Two inmates reportedly received minor injuries during a disturbance Friday night at the Corrections Corporation of America Pre-Parole Transfer Facility but facility personnel were able to gain control of the inmates within a short time. “At about 8:45 p.m. Friday evening, approximately 30 offenders refused to go to their assigned housing locations on the north side [of the facility],” facility manager Maria White said.

The inmates reportedly encouraged others to join them, according to White.  “With minimal use of chemical agents, supervisors maintained control of the unit and quelled the incident within an hour,” White said. “At no time was public safety threatened as the incident was quickly contained by staff.”

Two of the 48 inmates believed to be involved received minor injuries, were transported to the hospital for treatment and released back to the facility.

The Mineral Wells facility has been plagued by repeated problems in recent, including a major disturbance in 2007, a similar report in 2008, reports of sexual assaults and mis-conduct, and multiple incidents of contraband smuggling.  Nick Hudson did a three part series on Mineral Wells for Texas Prison Bid'ness in 2008.  Senator Whitmire publicly floated the idea of closing Mineral Wells back in February.  With the incoming legislature facing major budget shortfalls, perhaps its time legislative leaders and TDCJ revisit the idea. 


So the detainees act like animals, staff takes control, and apparently the facility is 'plaged' with problems?

We use chemical agents just about every other day. They want to act like animals, they'll get treated like an animal. Plain and simple.

I certainly hope this is not emblematic of the view of most guards at Mineral Wells.  While it shouldn't need to be said, incarcerated people are not animals and should not be treated as such.  Secondly, I find it disturbing that any facility would use chemical spray "every other day" as a way to deal with disturbances.   And, finally, the problems at Mineral Wells run beyond the use of chemical spray to major disturbances, reports of sexual assaults and mis-conduct, and multiple incidents of contraband smuggling.

1) I am NOT an employee of Mineral Wells, just giving my opinion.

2) I never said ALL incarcerated people are animals. I said if incarcerated detainees want to ACT like animals, then they'll get treated like it. BIG difference.

3) How else do you expect disturbances to get taken care of? It's either you risk the life of your staff to fight someone to get control of a situation, or you use NON-LETHAL chemical agents to get the DISRUPTIVE offender to comply. Kinda obvious, don't you think?

 if you would like to work with animals go to the pet shop duh....


I was there on Christmass day visiting for the second time. We checked in at 11:00 a.m. and by 2:00p.m. were called into the prison. We, the visitors were treated like animals, made to wait in the parking lot in the sub-zero temperatures. We had no bathrooms, heat or water. when finally called in to visit we were padded down, exrayed from the bottom up, and our ID taken from us. We waited in a luchroom with one bathroom that didn't lock and had not been cleaned for weeks. After waiting for another hour, I asked a guard why my son hadn't been brought out. She said they couldn't find him. I knew this was a lie because when we visited before my son told me the guards screwed with the prisoners this way. When the prisoners know  they have a visit they stay in their rooms. I told the guard they knew we were there for three hours and clearly should have been able to locate a prisoner in three hours. While we were waiting, another poor lady was told her husband had been transfrered earlirer that week. No apology. Her whole Christmas day waisted. I can only imagine what the prisioners go through if they treat the visiters like crap. The guard I spoke to (Mrs Hopkins)told me that I didn't have to come back. My son informed me that they had been denied hot food for two weeks.

my boyfreind is incarcerated at mineral wells and has complained about only being fed 2 meals a day over the weekends,and many times that he calls he's watching prisoners smoking cigaretts,marijuana,talking on cell phones thrown over the fence,and selling drugs.he's had his toilitries stolen that I pay for so they are really stealing from me!he says the food is terrible and they were fed bologne sandwiches for two weeks.And a couple of weeks ago he said some of the prisoners made wine!!how in the heck can that happen without inside help?Who is in charge ,the prisoners or the law?And also he put in to take classes in march and he just now was accepted for a ged class,took his test and was told he had to take it again because they can't find proof of his high school diploma.he had gotten in some hours in the changes class while in the Garza Unit(beeville,tx) and won,t let him finish.He is low risk,has always behaved and always been a trustee before he got to mineral wells.He was denied parole 2 days ago,although his projected release is set for november.Hopefully he will get out then.I am a good 5 hours away and I will be so furious if I drive up there and can't see him or have to wait for hours.He also said there were only 2 guards in his dorm which holds about 120 prisoners.My boyfreind has made some mistakes but he is very people freindly and doesn't make up stuff.I have been really concerned and this is supposed to be a christian based  operation?it appears to be a get rich off the taxpayers operation instead.

my boyfriend was also transferred to mineral wells. i worry myself sick about him being there. he says its a hell hole! i have sent packages wiith writting supplies from the vendor, but they denied it! he says its crazy, people seem to be able to get just as much stuff in there as they can on the streets! but yet he cant have his package of notebooks! he had pneumonia since he got there, they transferred him from gurney to huntsville then to mineral wells in the middle of the night with nothing but a short sleeved linen jump suit, no jacket!!! I realize that it is prison & not a hotel, but they are also human beigns & deserve to be treated like one!!!! I would like to be able to call the warden & talk to him, but then again im scared it would make it harder on my boyfriend, because if it is this bad of a place, the warden is the one running it!!!! so who do you talk to about this place? what can you do?