Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, November 5, 2003
County quiet on timeline for layoffs at RCDC
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Wed., Nov. 5, 2003 -- Staff at the Reeves County Detention
Center will be the first to know of any layoffs or transfers now that
Wackenhut Corrections Corporation will be taking over, according to
Reeves County officials.
"It would be inappropriate at this time to comment on the steps to
be taken for the reduction in force," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B.
Galindo. "The administration at the facility is working on a transition
plan to present to BOP."
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) houses about 2,000 inmates at the
two oldest units of the detention center. The county and Wackenhut
agreed on Monday to turn over operations of all three units of the RCDC
to the Boca Raton, Fla.-based company. But under the 10-year deal a
total of 91 jobs at the prison have to be cut by Reeves County before
the contract with Wackenhut goes into effect.
Galindo said that the staff at RCDC would be the first to know
anything. "It's up to the administration at RCDC to communicate what is
going to happen or what might possible to the staff before is
communicated to anyone else," said Galindo.
"With regards to the General Fund, the county has not yet started
developing a formal survival plan," said Galindo.
Reeves County entered into the agreement to lease/manage the
facilities after it was unable to come up with enough inmates to fill
the new RCDC III unit, and in turn meet bond payments on the $40
Under terms of the Utilization Availability Agreement between Reeves
County and Wackenhut, the company will take over the responsibility of
finding inmates for the facility, and will pay Reeves County total of
$430,000 each month RCDC III remain un-utilized. That agreement,
Section 3.01 of the contract, will go into effect on either Dec. 1,
2003, or the first day of the first month following the day that the
number of employees employed (or under contract) at the RCDC has been
reduced to a total of not more than 344 RCDC employees. That excludes
12 transportation employees who are to be transferred to another
division in the near future.
The agreement calls for Wackenhut to offer jobs to laid-off workers,
when available, at the company's 11 other prison facilities in Texas.
The county would pay WCC $333,333 per month to manage the prison and
WCC would pay the county the $430,000 to market R3.
The county will also pay reimbursement of the documented bi-weekly
costs of the WCC Management Team's salaries (or contracts), benefits
and associated payroll costs; a reimbursement each month of 1 /12th of
the amount budgeted for the cost of WCC's general liability insurance
over the next 12 months (currently $325,000 for the first year and
reimbursement of any other amount that may be due and payable to WCC
under the agreement.
The county completed work on the $40 million RCDC III addition in
March, which holds 960 inmates. County officials built the facility
believing that they would be able to fill the facility with U.S. Bureau
of Prisons inmates, after the BOP quickly filled the 1,000-bed RCDC II
prison when it was completed in 2001.
But the BOP has balked at placing any new prisoners in the facility,
which has left the county short of money to make bond payments on the
latest addition. The BOP said during the summer it had no need of any
addition bed space in Texas, but on Oct. 24 posted a notice on its
website seeking an addition 1,000 to 1,500 beds for low-security
inmates by the summer of 2004. No specific location for the prison is
listed on the BOP website, but applications are due in to the agency by
County officials have talked with BOP officials in Washington, D.C.
about the changeover in the management of the RCDC.
During a meeting on Friday in which Wackenhut's proposal was
formally presented to commissioners, Don Houston, Central Region
Vice-President for the company out of its area headquarters in New
Braunfels, said Wackenhut already runs two facilities similar to the
RCDC, a 2,300-bed prison in Taft, Calif., and a 1,200 bed facility in
Winton, N.C. He said the company also has other contacts with state and
federal agencies that would be helpful in locating inmates for RCDC
Wackenhut is also scheduled to help Reeves County with plans for
modernizing RCDC I, which was built in 1986 and has been expanded since
then from a capacity of 300 inmates to 1,105 beds, according to the
contract agreed to on Monday. Both RCDC II and RCDC II are certified
for 960 inmates.
Officials report no new leads
in Carrasco's disappearance
PECOS, Wed., Nov. 5, 2003 -- Authorities are still searching for a
missing Balmorhea girl who vanished from her uncle's home over a month
ago. But no new leads have been reported in the case.
Officials conducted a series of searches for 16-year-old Monica
Carrasco, who disappeared five weeks ago. No future organized searches
are scheduled as of yet, but deputies are returning to the areas of the
Balmorhea countryside on their days off to maintain the efforts toward
finding the missing girl.
After numerous interdepartmental searches, authorities are looking
for new leads to assist in locating the teenager. The Reeves County
Sheriff's Department is currently working with the special
investigations unit of the Texas Rangers in order to help uncover new
directions to take with the case.
Carrasco has been reported missing since the early morning of Oct.
2, when the uncle she was staying with realized she was not in the
house. She is believed to have left the house in a nightgown in the
middle of the night.
Carrasco is described as having brown hair, brown eyes and weighing
Her name has been placed on the statewide missing persons list. If
anyone has any information they are asked to contact the Reeves County
Sheriff's Office at 445-4901 or any other local law enforcement agency.
Monahans hosting softball tournament
PECOS, Wed., Nov. 5, 2003 -- A Benefit Softball Co-ed Tournament is
scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday in Monahans.
First, second and third place prizes will be awarded and the last
day to enter is Thursday, Nov. 6.
For more information contact, Mayrha or Miguel Gomez at
PECOS, Wed., Nov. 5, 2003 -- High Tues.y 83. Low this morning 53.
Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy with isolated showers or
thunderstorms. Lows near 50. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Thurs.: Mostly
cloudy with a 20 percent chance of rain. Cooler with highs 65 to 70.
Northeast winds near 10 mph. Thurs. night: Mostly cloudy with a 20
percent chance of showers. Lows in the lower to mid 40s. East winds
near 10 mph. Fri.: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of rain.
Highs near 60. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Fri. night: Mostly cloudy with a
20 percent chance of rain. Lows in the lower to mid 40s. Sat.: Partly
cloudy with a slight chance of rain. Highs in the mid 60s. Sat. night:
Partly cloudy. Lows near 50.
Enrique Avalos, Jr. and Harold Williams
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2003 by Pecos Enterprise