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McLennan County: New Vendor Takes Over Jail

By: Matt Howerton Email
By: Matt Howerton Email

WACO (June 13, 2013)--LaSalle Corrections will take over operations at McLennan County’s Jack Harwell Detention Center on Highway 6 at midnight.

The move comes after McLennan County Commissioners voted to not renew Community Education Centers Inc. contract to operate the facility.

The New Jersey based prison company has operated the jail since 2010.

McLennan County has paid approximately $6 million in excess funds for the care and feed of prisoners at the Jack Harwell Detention Center in the past two years, County Commissioner Kelly Snell said.

CEC's contract required the county to pay $45.50 a day for any and all prisoners they sent to the Jack Harwell Detention Center.

Because of inconsistent prisoner counts, the county began seeking new vendors to run the jail who would offer an "inmate threshold" to the county.

The county's new three year contract with LaSalle Corrections includes a 325-inmate threshold.

Meaning, the county must provide an average of 325 overflow prisoners a day to the Jack Harwell Detention Center.

If the county fails to meet that threshold, it would have to dish out $45.50 for every bed short of that average.

The plus side to the contract is that every federal inmate LaSalle housed at the Jack Harwell Detention Center is included in the 325-inmate threshold.

For example, if the county has 300 overflow prisoners in the Jack Harwell Detention Center and LaSalle provides 25 federal inmates, the county meets the threshold and only pays for its 300 prisoners that day.

CEC would have provided a threshold if the county renewed its contract, but county commissioners felt LaSalle would do a better job of housing federal inmates at the facility.

Snell says no federal inmates are currently held in the jail.


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