The demise of the Texas’ Mineral Wells Pre-Parole Transfer Facility, which closes at the end of this month, is a major economic disappointment for the community that has been its host for more than 15 years, says the Texas Tribune. The closing of the Dawson State Jail in Dallas, also this month, comes as a relief for many in the city, and might even result in a financial windfall. The state expects to save nearly $97 million by closing the two facilities.
For only the second time in the state's history, Texas lawmakers are closing inmate facilities to reduce bed capacity as the prison population continues to drop. The decision to close two privately run jails operated by the Corrections Corporation of America is being met with very different reactions in the communities where the jails are situated. Since 2011, Texas' prison population has fallen to about 150,800 from more than 156,000, bringing the total of empty beds to about 12,000 statewide.