CCA Makes Offer Regarding T. Don Hutto

Posted in Commentary, Commissioners Court, Criminal Justice, T. Don Hutto, Williamson County at 10:00 am by wcnews

Of course this never was about the commissioners having a problem with what they’ve allowed to occur at the T. Don Hutto prison, it’s always been about the money. From today’s AAS, Vote delayed on ending county contract with immigrant center.

Williamson County leaders put off plans Tuesday to potentially sever ties with the owner of a much-criticized immigrant detention center in Taylor.

The delay came after officials with Corrections Corp. of America, in an effort to sway county commissioners’ plans, offered free legal protection and $250,000 for the county should it ever face litigation for its involvement with the T. Don Hutto Residential Center.


The company is also offering the county $250,000 worth of credit in case it loses or has to settle a suit, said Steven Owen, a spokesman. Owen said negotiations are ongoing, so the amount could change.


No lawsuits have been filed against the county since it entered the contract a year ago, County Judge Dan A. Gattis said. Commissioners said it was too soon to comment on whether Corrections Corp.’s offers changed their opinion about leaving the contract early.

“I want to hear all the facts. I want to know what our true liability is,” Commissioner Valerie Covey said.

Assistant Williamson County Attorney Hal Hawes said he will probably report back to commissioners in two to three weeks.

If commissioners vote to end the contract early, federal rules require Corrections Corp. to find another government entity to partner with; otherwise the contract for housing detainees would be subject to competitive bidding.

Owen said the company would comply with those rules if the county ended the contract early or if it didn’t renew the contract after 2009. He said it was too soon to comment on what would happen to the center if Corrections Corp. didn’t win the bid or find a partner.

“I don’t want to speculate, but obviously we’ve invested a good deal of time and money,” he said. “Our hopes and our efforts will always be to keep that institution operational.”

We’ll just have to wait and see if that’s enough money to ease the burden the commissioners have been feeling regarding T. Don Hutto. Liability burden, not moral burden, of course.

1 Comment »

  1. remerson said,

    October 10, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    Very curious that the court would rely on the advice of CCA’s attorney re. their financial liability; CCA’s management (or lack thereof) is one of the biggest concerns the county has with regard to liability. CCA is shielded from lawsuits, because they are simply the county’s contractor in running the facility; the monkey is on the court’s back. One wonders, first, why the court would defer to CCA as the “expert” to advise them on this and, secondly, whether CCA’s attorney actually should be expected to know the truth about the issue—or to share it with the cash cow producing nearly $3 million monthly to their corporate account.

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