Wednesday, August 24, 2011

State won't convert old VA hospital for prison use

Reports Mike Ward at the Austin Statesman:
Four years ago, state officials heralded the gift of a red brick hospital in a residential neighborhood, unveiling plans to convert the onetime Veterans Affairs center into a prison hospital for women.

Today, after funding for the project evaporated, the six-story building remains vacant. But Texas taxpayers continue to pick up the tab for maintaining the empty structure — $1.2 million and counting, officials said.

Prison officials said they are following the wishes of the Legislature, but a key lawmaker whose committee oversees the prison agency said keeping the building makes little sense in such tight budget times. Meanwhile, the female prisoners whom the hospital was intended to serve continue to be transported to the Gulf Coast when they require hospitalization.
This project was first pushed by former state Sen. Kip Averitt, but after he left the Senate and was replaced by a freshman, there was no potent political constituency at the capitol for moving forward with the plan. As a result, "Within the past year, as part of cuts ordered by Gov. Rick Perry and state leaders to address a looming shortfall in the state budget, prison officials gave back the $10 million in operating costs that had been earmarked for the hospital."


Prison Doc said...

I can't believe this would be a cost-effective project under any circumstances. Great for local politics but not much else. Probably should be getting estimates on wrecking balls, front end loaders and dump trucks.

Anonymous said...

Much like the TYC tragedy. Just wipe the place clean and start a new project.

Denny Crane said...

This is such a waste of money! Heads should roll!!!!!!!!!!!

Nurseypooh said...

I have a different spin on this, in the beginning it was suppose to be a female hospital and psych crisis mgmt. center, but the retrofitting to make it secure enough to serve those inmates was going to be way to costly so then TDCJ decided to turn it into an assisted living, hospice, nursing home type facility. The money was red lined during all the budget cuts. So now it sits there a good building in Marlin, Tx which could use the economy boost for sure. They had already taken out a lot of the abestos in the renovation process before the work stopped. This bldg and it's outlying apartments are still in good shape and it would be a shame to bulldoze it down. TDCJ needs another hospital close to the Gatesville, Marlin, Palestine area to help curb the cost of transports to HG. Inmates are not only sent to Galveston but depending on there urgent/physical needs a lot of times they go to the local ER or nearest big hospital like Scott and White in Temple so TDCJ is picking up the bill from a freeworld hospital.

Making it a psych hospital would be great but it's not feasible money wise to make it secure enough.

Sheldon tyc#47333 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheldon tyc#47333 said...

Sounds like a similar situation with the Gatesville facility. That place should have been bulldozed but the state didn’t want to disturbed the bodies of boys who are buried in unmarked graves. {sarcastic} They retrofitted that place. Hell, at some of the schools the ladies have to go to a shower house because the plumbing in the dorms was so bad.
Prison Doc, Nurserypooh, Really?!

Anonymous said...

They are going to find more than just little boys graves if they ever bulldoze the Crain Unit. There are probably women buried down there also. You see the locals in Gatesville have gotten away with this for so long it they can not seem to just stop it. If the state wanted to do any justice to these kids they would bulldoze that place. The women down there are not always lucky enough to get a shower in the outside shower building everyday. I have friends on that unit Sycamore that are forced sometimes to take showers at midnight or 5am in the morning only to be forced into slave labor 30 minutes later in those hellish work assignments and then lay around nasty and filthy until the next day.

Anonymous said...

For all those who think they and they're loved ones are sooooooooooooooo mistreated in prison.
DON'T GO TO PRISON!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8/27/2011 4:28
That’s easier said than done in a state that has earned the reputation of being a police state. We seem to be very poor at the practice of justice in Texas. Referencing the verse in Duet 16:20 Justice Justice shall thou peruse. In Texas we seem to miss the second justice altogether while perverting the first justice. Perverting the first justice by getting a conviction at whatever the cost even if it means disregarding the truth in some cases. Failing to recognize the second justice by humiliating our fellow human beings who have accepted their punishment and further by placing barriers in the way of their rehabilitation.
Your response Anonymous 8/27/2011 4:28 I would venture to say is representative of our closed minded culture in Texas when it comes to people who have made bad choices. The people of coryell county have profited on the blood of women and children for over 120 years. If what the bible says is true regarding the mistreatment of children and women we could deduce that the generations of coryell county inhabitants have been spiritually cursed. Their mistreatment of children and women could suggest they don’t seem to fear God.
Because of the financials relating to the head count Texas paroles men quicker than women. The bribe blinds the eye and dulls the ear. A proper head count of ladies must be maintained in coryell county prisons to satisfy the devils appetite.
Perhaps Anonymous 8/27/2011 4:28 to turn your statement from something that represents blind ignorance to a heartfelt warning to your fellow human beings you should rephrase what you wrote to read…
Don’t go to prison in Texas especially if you’re a woman otherwise you will suffer the humiliation from ignorant hillbillies and their affirmative action underlings who suffer from generational curses because of how they and their ancestors mistreated orphans and widows.
The closest thing to spiritual light in coryell county is channeled through the human beings who are clad in white. And those who are of the devil gather to mistreat them, spiritual warfare 101.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8/27/2011 4:28
Is either a prison goon, oh I mean guard or is profitting off of the prison system also. Parole is a number game to keep jobs in Gatesville. The scum of the earth is not wearing white as everyone wants you to think but wearing grey. Women and the numbers back this up do almost their entire sentence because keeping the beds full down there in Gatesville allows this. Men will be parole because new beds need to be open for the back log in the county jails. This has been turned into a generational curse because not only are the attitudes passed down form generation to generation but the jobs are too. I know what I have witness down there at visitation so I would tell anyone be careful what you say because one day it might just be your love one down there being abused. KARMA is a you know what! But you could also tell your love one to sex for favors goes along way on the Crain Unit with both the male and female guards.

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