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Texas Prison Bid'ness:Prisoners transferred, county government S&P rating downgraded in the wake of uprising at Willacy County

Detainees at a criminal alien requirement prison in Willacy County recently protested conditions and medical care at the facility. The prisoners began protesting by refusing breakfast, but then escalated to setting fire to several of the kevlar tents that make up the housing units. Currently, the 2,900 prisoners have begun to be transferred to other Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facilities throughout the country. 

Management and Training Corporation, the private corporation that runs the facility, has refused to comment on where the prisoners are being moved, citing safety and security as the main reason for the secrecy. The uprising was not surprising to many advocates of prison and immigration reform. An ACLU report detailed squalid conditions, rampant abuse, and little to no medical care at the facility. Read more about Prisoners transferred, county government S&P rating downgraded in the wake of uprising at Willacy County

Texas’ Civil Commitment Program Stymied By Scandal Over Bias Allegations and Housing Crisis

In the past four months, District Judge Michael Seiler of Montgomery County has been recused from hearing eight civil commitment cases due to allegations of bias. These eight cases accounted for half of the sixteen petitions in total made by defense attorneys to have him removed from proceedings. Read more about Texas’ Civil Commitment Program Stymied By Scandal Over Bias Allegations and Housing Crisis

Texas Prison Bid'ness:Immigrant prisoner uprising at Willacy County CAR prison

Last week, up to 2,000 immigrant prisoners staged a two-day riot at a private prison in Raymondville, TX. According to a report by DemocracyNow!, the prisoners were protesting inadequate medical care when they refused to eat breakfast on February 20, seized control of part of the prison, and set fires.

The prison, Willacy County Correctional Center, is owned and operated by the private prison company Management & Training Corporation (MTC), and is known by critics as "Ritmo" — short for Raymondville’s Guantánamo prison. It is also referred to as “tent city” because the majority of the prisoners sleep in large, cramped kevlar tents.

Willacy County Correctional Center

The Raymondville prison is also one of 13 privately operated CAR or “Criminal Alien Requirement” prisons. Carl Takei, staff attorney with the ACLU’s national prison project explained: Read more about Immigrant prisoner uprising at Willacy County CAR prison

In wake of court ruling, Texas groups call for halt to expansion of private family detention camps, release of refugee families

(AUSTIN, Texas) — Texans United for Families and Grassroots Leadership today called on President Obama to immediately halt the expansion of two for-profit south Texas family detention camps and prioritize release of asylum-seeking mothers and children being held in these camps.  A federal court on Friday temporarily blocked the policy of detaining families as a deterrent to future migration and sharply rebuked the administration's national security justification for prolonged detention of refugee families.

Read more about In wake of court ruling, Texas groups call for halt to expansion of private family detention camps, release of refugee families

Private Prison Corporations Bet on Increased Profits from Immigrant Detention and Re-entry Contracts

Austin, TX (February 23, 2015) -- Private prison corporations Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group have released their fourth quarter 2014 earnings. Both companies are predicting more contracts with state and federal agencies in 2015, and both companies bet on increased profits from the detention of immigrants - including immigrant women and children - and re-entry services to boost their bottom line.  . Read more about Private Prison Corporations Bet on Increased Profits from Immigrant Detention and Re-entry Contracts