Williamson County pulled out of contract with T. Don Hutto detention center, so why are the doors still open?

February 5, 2019

Community members and formerly detained women plan demonstration to hold leaders accountable and demand answers

WHAT: Rally and public testimony
WHO: Community members and formerly detained women
WHEN: Thursday, February 14th; 5:30pm
WHERE: Taylor City Council, 400 Porter Street Taylor, TX 76574 

AUSTIN — Community members are demanding answers after a notorious detention center in Williamson County appears to be staying open following the end of its contract with the county.

Next Thursday February 14, those who fought so hard to shut down the facility–including local community members and formerly detained women–will gather at Taylor City Council in a public demonstration of outrage to hold public officials accountable to answering why the facility remains open after countless reports of abuse have been raised.

Last June, the Williamson County Commissioners Court voted to end their intergovernmental service agreement with the T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, Texas. The commissioners granted 180 days notice, with a Jan. 31st deadline, to allegedly give immigrant prison workers a chance to find alternative employment before closure.

There has been little publicly disclosed about the facility’s future. Taylor Mayor Brandt Rydell recently visited the T. Don Hutto facility, issuing a misleading statement that spoke of center conditions without addressing the facility’s future or the sexual assault and other human rights violations still taking place.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a statement to KXAN that it had entered into a “short-term contract extension” with CoreCivic to keep the facility open. 

“Community called for this place to be shut down for a reason,” said Sofia Casini of Grassroots Leadership. ”Nothing has changed. Why is this center still open? Who is Mayor Rydell protecting?”

Contact: 

Bethany Carson, bcarson@grassrootsleadership.org, 512-499-8111
Sofia Casini, scasini@grassrootsleadership.org, 512-499-8111
Claudia Muñoz, cmuñoz@grassrootsleadership.org, 512-499-8111