Saturday, April 12, 2014

After 100 Escapes In 4 Years, TDCJ Geo Private Facility Still Remains Open

Houston, Texas - In an investigative piece by Mike Ward and Anita Hassan published in today's Houston Chronicle the article revealed more than 100 parolees have fled or escaped from the Southeast Texas Transition Center, located at 10950 Beaumont Highway, Houston, Texas.

The private correctional center is a halfway house for parolees and a secure center for high risk sex offenders who are civilly committed to the center after it is determined they are too dangerous to be released directly from prison.  

The Geo Group out of Boca Raton, Florida is contracted by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to house these high risk offenders.  

TDCJ Deputy Director Bryan Collier told the Houston Chronicle, "authorities have conducted security reviews of the facility in the past and regularly make improvements."  With over 100 escapes, one might question how many more improvements need to be made.

Last year TDCJ operated facilities had no escapes.  Private correctional companies cut corners when it comes to security, training, and recruiting personnel.  The primary goal for private correctional corporations is to maximize profits for shareholders and not public safety.   

In the past, Texas Department of Criminal Justice administrators who were receptive to private prison contracts were usually rewarded with lucrative jobs after retiring from the state agency.  Lack of accountability clearly is becoming an issue when it comes to contracts.  

Last year two private prison contracts were forced to be cut after it was revealed to the state legislature that facilities operated by Correctional Corporation of America engaged in medical neglect and had high rates of contraband in their private prisons. 

See article at the: Houston Chronicle

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