County makes decision on new prison operator

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By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Limestone County commissioners decided Wednesday that Management and Training Corporation will be the new operator of the Limestone County Detention Center, ending a two-month period of uncertainty about the county’s private prison.
“It was just a totality of the terms,” said County Judge Daniel Burkeen. “MTC is a candidate for a long-term Bureau of Prisons contract, which would add some stability to the facility for the county. They were willing to make us some short-term guarantees that even if the inmate numbers were down, we'd be able to keep the place open and keep the jobs there. That meant a lot to us. Those were the two main things.”
MTC, with corporate headquarters in Utah, has been running Job Corps for the U.S. Department of Labor for 45 years; it has been running correctional facilities 26 years. It operates 22 correctional facilities in nine states including two federal Bureau of Prison contracts in Texas and one in California.
The final decision on a new operator for Limestone County’s private prison was made mid-Wednesday afternoon.
The court usually meets on the second and fourth Monday of each month, but Monday was Memorial Day, so the meeting already had been moved to Tuesday.
Consideration of the bids was the final item on Tuesday’s agenda, but the court unexpectedly recessed itself until 2 p.m. the following day.
To smooth the transition to a new operating company, Community Education Centers, which currently runs the LCDC, will continue operations there through June 28.