County-Owned Detention Center Loses Bid For Federal Prisoners

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LIMESTONE COUNTY (May 29, 2014) The county-owned Limestone County Detention Center will remain shuttered after the federal Bureau of Prisons rejected a contract bid from the company that operates the facility, County Judge Daniel Burkeen said Thursday.

The company that operated the county-owned detention center furloughed dozens of employees. (Photo by John Carroll/file)

The facility has been closed since last summer, when Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials decided to stop sending suspected illegal immigrants detained at the border to the center, opting instead to return them to their home countries.

The last prisoners were removed in mid-July 2013, after which about 130 detention center employees picked up their final paychecks.

The prison operating company Management Training Corporation advised the county that the Bureau of Prisons rejected an application for a contract to house federal inmates beginning in 2015, Burkeen said.

MTC will no longer operate the facility and the county is now searching for both an operator and a new contract to house inmates, Burkeen said.

Detention Center Warden Mike Sutton, whom the county retained after MTC laid off its employees last summer, will lose his job at the end of the month, Burkeen said.

At one time the facility employed about 250.