Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mustang Ridge may open a new family detention center

From KLBJ in Austin, news of plans to build another family detention center in Mustang Ridge, TX, and of the racism tied up in this issue.
(Photo from News 8 Austin. Charles Laws: Mayor pro tem of Mustang Ridge and general manager of the Creedmoor-Maha Water Supply Corporation.)

From New 8 Austin:

Austin City Council members are asking for Charles Laws, the Mayor pro tem of Mustang Ridge, who is also the general manager of the Creedmoor-Maha Water Supply corporation, to hand in his resignation.

The words inside a posted agenda of the Creedmoor-Maha Water supply corporation ask for an official discussion of "a holding pen for ___backs", and have city leaders in Austin furious.

"We are not going to sit here and nod our heads and hope it goes away," Austin City Councilmember Mike Martinez said. "We're demanding change."

And from KLBJ Austin:

Laws also serves on the Mustang Ridge City Council. He says through that role, he learned of private jail firm Emerald Correctional Management LLC’s interest in the property. He says he put the item on the water supply meeting notice in order to inform the board that if the center is built, Emerald would more than likely become a significant customer.

According to Laws and other Mustang Ridge city officials, the proposal is to build a 1,000 bed facility that would employ approximately 200 people. Laws says the firm is interested in being within 30 miles of the Austin Bergstrom Airport, so that the detainees could be flown back to their countries of origin.

City officials tell us the proposal is to build a family detention center, much like the T Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, which is run by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). That facility is run by the private jail firm to house immigrants and their children who have been detained by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officers.

For more in-depth analysis on Emerald Corrections and their bid in Caldwell County, please consult Texas Prison Bid'ness. Learn more about problems counties have entering contracts with private prison corporations.