Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Scaleback of Laredo Superjail Announced

The US Marhals Service (USMS) announced it would reduce the number of beds at the proposed immigrant "superjail" from 2,800 to 1,500, but others in Laredo say the jail is unnecessary, that the Marshals should just lease existing jail capacity.
“The USMS, in reducing the number of proposed beds from 2,800 to 1,500, is admitting what local residents and advocates have said all along: that their claims of the need for additional detention capacity in South Texas are greatly exaggerated,” said Bob Libal, coordinator of Grassroots Leadership's Texas operations. “Now the USMS needs to finish the job the right way, by scrapping superjail plans altogether.”
This analysis (pdf) by the STOPP Coalition (South Texans Opposing Private Prisons) argues that the superjail would harm Laredo's economic development prospects. The Department of Homeland Security recently said it was possible to lease adequate space for immigrant detainees without building new facilities.

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