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Newsmonger: Hill Country unfair?, Public to vote on Brainpower

Photo: Michael Barajas, License: N/A

Michael Barajas


GEO's history in Texas is sketchy. State officials shuttered the GEO-run Coke County Juvenile Justice Center in 2007 amid reports of squalid conditions, sexual abuse, and youth suicide. In 2009, inmates at the GEO-run Reeves County Detention Center rioted for better treatment and medical care after an epileptic inmate seized and died in an isolation cell — lawyers with the inmate's family say his death was easily preventable.

Troubles for GEO in Texas have only continued this year. Last month the Austin American-Statesman reported that Texas has fined GEO Care $53,000 for serious lapses in patient care at its psychiatric hospital in Montgomery County. In reviews of the facility, DSHS's state hospital division noted serious injuries and incidents that were never reported to the state — like one inmate who seriously harmed himself before eating fecal matter. Classes designed to rehabilitate patients at the facility were described as "bedlam" in the reports, and the DSHS review notes the case of one patient who, while in seclusion for four hours, banged his head on the cell window that caused lacerations to both eyes and bruising to his head. Staff at the facility even required a patient to clean up his own urine and feces.

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