Helping People Gain Power
(AUSTIN, Texas) — On the second anniversary of Sandra Bland’s death in a Waller County Jail, Austin criminal justice and immigrant rights groups and formerly incarcerated Austinites are reacting to a new report from Grassroots Leadership that shows dramatic racial disparities in the Travis County Jail. Advocates are calling on local officials to act to reduce incarceration rates and racial disparities in the jail. Read more about New report points to racism and longer confinement of African Americans in Travis County Jail
A diabetic woman detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and held in a Corrections Corporation of America (now called CoreCivic) detention center had her medication thrown away, Rewire reports.
Brenda Menjivar Guardado, from El Salvador, was detained in June at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center, which is used to detain asylum-seeking women as their asylum case goes through the courts. Guardado has Type 1 diabetes, but had managed her condition throughout her journey to the United States. Once she was in ICE custody, however, her medicine was thrown away, according to Rewire.
While detained at Hutto, Guardado was given new medication, but it was ineffective. According to a press release from Grassroots Leadership, Guardado's glucose skyrocketed to 452, with normal glucose levels being between 90 and 100. When she asked for improved medication, officials at Hutto told her to drink more water. They also stated she should go back to El Salvador if she wanted better care.
American Gateways, a pro bono legal service that aids women in Hutto, tried to get her removed from custody due to Guardado's medical emergency, but the request was denied. Though Guardado fears for her life in El Salvador, she decided to accept deportation in hopes of receiving improved medical care. She is currently detained in Laredo as she awaits her deportation.
Reeves County is thinking of selling their detention center, News West 9 reports.
Reeves County announced at the end of May that they would be permanently shutting down two corrections units as a part of the the Reeves County Detention Center complex operated by private prison corporation GEO Group, following the loss of a contract with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The county was negotiating with the BOP to keep a third unit open for another year as they transfer prisoners to other facilities. The negotiations were unsuccessful for the county however, and now the third unit will be closed.
County officials are now looking at all available options for the facility, including selling it. The county has received two bids for the facility so far. One was under the estimated price of the facility, and commissioners stated the other was more of a lay away plan. Neither bid was accepted, and the county is now getting an appraisal of the facility before it opening it up to other bids.
One private prison company is taking a contract away from their competition, reports the Longview News-Journal.
Management and Training Corporation (MTC) is a Utah-based private prison company that recently was contracted to CoreCivic, another for-profit prison company. CoreCivic had operated the Bradshaw State Jail for 13 years, but recently lost their bid to renew the contract for the facility. Due to the failed contract renewal, over 500 workers from three different detention centers in Texas will be laid off.
MTC, which operates the East Texas Treatment Facility near the Bradshaw State Jail, will take over operations of Bradshaw starting on September 1. The company plans on hiring the majority of the employees from the Bradshaw State Jail that will be laid off by CoreCivic following their failed bid.
(Austin, Texas) — Last week Austin advocates launched a campaign demanding the release of Brenda Menjivar Guardado, a 21-year-old from El Salvador who came to the U.S. seeking safety. Read more about Diabetic asylum-seeking woman forced to choose deportation due to life-threatening negligent medical care in detention