County to open jail management bids Friday
By Roxanne McKnight
Tomorrow is the day Limestone County officials open the sealed bids submitted by prison management companies vying to take over running the Limestone County Detention Center, the county-owned private prison.
Commissioners court called a special meeting to open the bids for Friday, May 24, the minimum 30 days required by law after first advertising for a new operating company.
The current operating company, Community Education Centers, told the county in March it would no longer run the prison after May 31. That decision, mutually agreed upon between CEC and the federal Bureau of Prisons, effectively ended the long-term contract to house BOP prisoners in the LCDC. County officials had expected that contract to last potentially 10 years and bring in a steady income of $125,000 per month to the county.
Almost all LCDC employees were given notice in March that their jobs would be ending May 31, and the county was left scrambling to find another operator for the LCDC and other sources of inmates.
After some phone calls and other communication by LCDC warden and administrator Mike Sutton, County Judge Daniel Burkeen and Sheriff Dennis Wilson, the San Antonio division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement committed to taking 500 of the 1,000 LCDC beds and expressed further interest in the remaining 500.
Burkeen has said the LCDC only needs 300-400 inmates at the regular, established rate, which is $46.81 per inmate per day, to continue to be financially viable.
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