The mayor of Eden and city officials are in the planning phase as they prepare for the closing for the Eden Detention Center, reports the Concho Valley News.
The Eden Detention Center is operated by CoreCivic (formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America), one of the largest for-profit prison corporations in the United States. The contract to operate the facility will expire on April 30. CoreCivic has already notified its employees with a 60-day layoff notice. The facility employs people from San Angelo, Brady, Menard, and Ballinger, amongst others.
As well as employing people from the surrounding towns, the detention center is responsible for around 40 percent of the revenue generated each month by the city's water fund. That is equal to $40,000 a month, and city officials say losing that revenue would financially cripple Eden. San Angelo city council members recently passed a resolution in support of keeping the detention center open, with officials in Brady wanting to do the same.
The Eden Detention Center is one of many facilities owned and operated by CoreCivic in Texas, and has a history of prisoner uprisings, protests, and was the focus of a damaging report by the ACLU. While it is unfortunate that many people will be financially hurt by the detention center closing, it highlights the need to focus on true community development, not centering a community around jailing individuals. Private prison companies are focused on their income, not the communities they operate in. So when the money is no longer there, neither are they.