The Department of Justice issued a ruling that they plan to discontinue the use of privately operated prisons including one right here on the South Plains in Garza County.
Garza County Judge Lee Norman said he will work to “protect the lifeblood of this community.” He said this is not like losing a prison in metroplex this is our lifeblood. He added, if we lose the prison, I would worry about the future of Garza County.
The Dalby Unit in Garza County is the Counties largest employer. The County Judge points out that this year will be a very tight budget year for the county including a cut in county staff. The prison has approximately 340 employees.
US Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates has sent out a memo and wants to begin the process of reducing and ultimately ending the government’s use of privately operated prison units such as the Dalby Unit. According to reports, nearly 20 years ago the government began contracting with private companies to run prisons due to over-crowding, in Yates memo she states “there is now a decline in federal prison population”, she also said that private prisons served an important role during a difficult time, however, she says now reports show they compare poorly to federal facilities. She cited a report from the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Justice that states privately run facilities do not maintain the same level of safety and security as federal facilities.
Management and Training Corporation operates the Dalby Unit and their spokesperson said they are “upset with the decision of the Department of Justice.”
The Dalby Unit currently has approximately 1500 inmates.