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The Texas Department of Criminal Justice to close two prison units in 2020

Garza East, Beeville (top photo) and Jester I, Richmond

After significant analysis of trends and data the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is announcing that the Garza East unit in Beeville and Jester I in Richmond will close in the coming months.

The sustained funding of diversion, treatment and education programs by Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Legislature along with successful implementation by Texas Department of Criminal Justice staff has led to a continued steady decline in the number of offenders incarcerated by the agency. The state recidivism rate has been on a steady decline for nearly a decade.

This decreasing demand for secure housing and projected stability in the offender population makes possible the decision to reduce state spending through the closure of excess correctional capacity. The agency can close these facilities without negatively affecting public safety or causing any loss of jobs.

In all approximately 2,300 beds will be taken out of service. The agency will be offering positions at nearby units to all impacted employees.

These closures will make as total of ten units closed in the last decade by TDCJ. In that same time frame the offender population has declined steadily from more than 156,000 in 2011 to 140,533 today.