Private Company Loses Federal Contract After Riot Closes TX Prison


The federal government will end its contract with Utah-based Management & Training Corporation, which ran a private prison in Texas that was ransacked by inmates last month, the Houston Chronicle reports. The Willacy County Correctional Center for non-U.S. citizens in South Texas has been emptied of prisoners since a riot left it uninhabitable. On February 20, 2,000 prisoners, some armed with pipes, overpowered guard staff and took control of parts of the facility, burning down the tents where they were housed and trashing equipment. Prisoners were protesting poor living conditions and alleged abuse from prison staff.

The American Civil Liberties Union said prisoners slept in Kevlar tents housing 200 with about three feet between beds. Inmates reported insect and spider bites in their beds, prisoner clothes were washed without detergent in the same loads as mops, medical care was insufficient, toilets repeatedly overflowed sewage into tents and about one tenth of the prison population was held in solitary confinement at any given time, sometimes for lack of space in the tents. The company is trying to reopen the facility, which was one of nearby Raymondville’s three largest employers.

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