Uprising in Texas Immigrant Detention Facility owned by GEO Group
GEO run Campsfield Detention Centre, in Oxfordshire.
Pic: Smoke floats over the prison yard and buildings of the Reeves County Detention Center Saturday night, Jan. 31, 2009, from fires set by inmates during a riot in the facility
Prisoners awaiting deportation who are being held in a private jail run by the GEO Group began a protest last Saturday, January 31. The protest began after a group of immigrant prisoners attempted to meet with the detention facility’s authorities, demanding that a gravely ill detainee be released from solitary confinement and be taken immediately to a hospital. The prison authorities refused to listen and did not take action.
After the inmates continued to raise their complaints to the guards and the warden about the treatment and deplorable conditions they were being subjected to in the “Reeves County Detention Facility” in Pecos, Texas, the detainees began a spontaneous protest. The prison authorities literally laughed at the immigrant detainees’ demands and told the prisoners that they had complete power over them and could do whatever they pleased.
After the detainees began a spontaneous protest, a melee ensued. A fire broke out during the protest and guards immediately left the premises, locking in the prisoners behind. Some prisoners broke windows to get to other detainees who were choking and fainting, overcome by the smoke. Then the guards got into SWAT vehicles (or some type of armored vehicle described as a “tortuga,” a turtle, by an inmate) and began firing teargas and rubber bullets at the prisoners who had been abandoned in the facility that was on fire.
Afterwards, the prison guards forced the immigrant inmates to stay outdoors in the prison facility yard on Saturday night. Since then, they have only been fed once a day; they have little or no water and have only three restroom facilities for almost 3,000 prisoners. Last night the prison authorities said they would let the inmates back into the facilities. But the prisoners are being forced back into a smoke-damaged building contaminated with carbon monoxide from the fire. The facility now has little or no ventilation since windows have been boarded up. The Geo Group already has more than 2,800 prisoners in a facility meant to hold 2,400. Now, GEO guards are trying to force them to be held in the hallways and in around the cells.
To see more on the Reeves County Facility:
Geo Group reported raking in $1.024 billion in revenues during 2007, with income totaling nearly $42 million. Besides the United States, the company manages prisons in several nations, including the United Kingdom, where it also provides immigrant detention services.
Reeves County Detention Complex 98 West County Road 204 Pecos, TX 79772 Go to map TEL: (432) 447.2926 Fax: (432) 447.9224
Facility Operator: GEO Group This is a Private facility National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights