(AUSTIN, Texas) — Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it will reverse course on an August announcement to phase out the use of private prisons in the federal prison system. The announcement directs the Bureau of Prisons to return to its previous policy and to continue using for-profit private prisons. Read more about BREAKING: Trump’s Department of Justice reverses order to phase out federal private prisons
This week’s Humpday Hall of Shame spotlight is on a Willacy County, Texas, private prison debacle that dates back to 2005. It resurfaced last Friday when the Valley Morning Star reported that the county will mediate with a construction company it sued for alleged poor workmanship at three county correctional facilities. The subsequent repairs cost the county $620,000, according to County Judge John F. Gonzales.
The county filed the lawsuit March 7 against Houston-based Hale-Mills Construction, for poor construction on the $7.5-million Willacy County Jail, a $14.5-million county-funded private prison used by the U.S. Marshals' Service, as well as a $111.5-million county-funded private prison comprised of tent-shaped structures.
Willacy County alleges that Hale-Mills’ poor construction practices resulted in roof leaks at the Willacy County Adult Correctional Center, a private prison operated by Management & Training Corporation and contracted by U.S. Marshals’ Service, which led the Marshals' Service to threaten to remove their detainees from the facility in 2011. Gonzales claimed, “We had all these structural problems because they cut corners.”Read more about Humpday Hall of Shame: Willacy County pays the price of private prison...again.