State Prison in Brownfield closing after losing funding in State's budget

Published: Jun. 2, 2017 at 4:22 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2017 at 6:36 PM CDT
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BROWNFIELD, TX (KCBD) - The state prison in Brownfield is closing its doors after losing funding in the state budget.

Brownfield's city manager says they will lose about $250,000 because of the closure of TDCJ's West Texas Intermediate Sanction Facility. It will also cause 60 to 70 people to lose their jobs.

This closure will also impact the Rudd Unit in Brownfield. Those inmates are being relocated to other state prisons so the Rudd Unit can be converted into an intermediate sanction facility.

"From an economic standpoint, it was hard for the city to deal with an increase in staff, but I think as time goes on, and the West Texas ISF closes, and the Rudd Unit absorbs it, it gives the city enough time to try to bounce back from it," Charles Horsley, warden at Rudd, said. "But initially, I think it was a big shock for the city."

Employees at the private prison were able to apply for jobs with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

"TDCJ had a recruiter come to West Texas ISF and all of those that id qualify will be relocated through TDCJ if they meet those standards," Horsley said.

246 offenders have successfully been moved to the Rudd Unit.

"It was a little stressful but our staff was very professional, we got them all moved, it was a culture shock for some of them but I think it's going to work out," Horsley said.

The offenders that were transferred to the Rudd Unit will be separated from the rest of the population.

TDCJ had to relocate 390 offenders to other units across the state to make room.

The quick and easy transfer from the West Texas ISF made the most sense.

"The transfer from the West Texas ISF to the Rudd Unit was a good idea logically because the proximity of it," Horsley said. "Resource wise it was easy to move the offenders probably 500 feet from one unit to the other and that saved the state a lot of money because you didn't have to take them very far, if there were some things that were missing you could go back and get them."

TDCJ officials say they are actively recruiting displaced private sector employees in order to fill vacancies.

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