The Bureau of Prisons announced four awards last week related to its operations at the Reeves County Detention Complex in Texas. The agreements are worth more than $1.3 billion over the life of the contracts, which could remain active for up to ten years. The facility is comprised of three units, containing, in total, more than 3,000 beds for inmates.
GEO Group and the Management and Training Corporation, two of the largest for-profit prison operators in the country, both received contracts as part of the award. Reeves County is also expected to be the beneficiary of more than $586 million as part of the agreements.
The solicitation was initially announced two years ago, in May 2017, and called for a facility to deal with a population of “primarily criminal aliens” - non-citizens found to have violated U.S. law.
The RCDC has a history of understaffing and inmate unrest. In December 2008, the facility was put on lockdown after inmates started a fire and an uprising, followed by additional riots two months later. Prisoners cited multiple grievances, including a series of inmate deaths and the lack of proper access to medical care. A 2015 audit of the contract with GEO Group conducted by the BOP Inspector General supported the inmates’ claims, finding that the facility severely understaffed its medical units and failed to implement appropriate security measures.
The 2015 audit is embedded below.
Image by Tom Barry via Border Lines