Friday, March 23, 2007

The T. Don Hutto Detention Center

Raise your hand if you have heard of it.

I hadn't. Now, I have. Several miles outside of Taylor, there exists a prison, run by Corrections Corporation of America, Inc., a "for profit" company that charges taxpayers a per Diem to maintain and manage prisons. Thanks to our Department of Homeland Security, and the sweeping powers given it when our legislators weren't looking, apparently these prisons are springing up all over the country and being used to detain people without recourse, on American soil, while they await the "paperwork" for deportation.

For a start, here's an editorial from the Houston Chronicle: From the article:

"The children at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, 35 miles northeast of Austin, live in cells; they wear uniforms and receive inadequate medical and educational services, are often cold and hungry, separated from their parents as punishment, and until recently received one hour of schooling per day and rarely played outside. They are guilty of no crimes, and endanger no one. Their parents, who are incarcerated here because they are seeking asylum after fleeing such circumstances as war, torture, political persecution and rape, or are accused of violating civil immigration laws, have committed no crimes."

Here, the ACLU checks in:

"Pursuant to a contract between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the private prison company, Corrections Corporation of America, Inc. (CCA), Hutto is a converted maximum-security prison that bills itself as a "Family Residential Facility. "

Information as to just who is "detained" there, and from whence the detainees came, is difficult to find. The following is an excerpt from an email in which a person researching the prisons (the one near here is not the only one) describes the runaround she got from International Education Services. This is an organization that is supposed to be overseeing the education of the imprisoned children.

"I never got past the receptionist at IES. She put me on hold 3 times, came back each time w/more questions about who I was with (private citizen) and why I was calling (interested in learning about their programs so that I could encourage our county commissioners to participate in a more caring program such as theirs rather than the prison system we have here). Flattery failed and I was finally told that they could not give out any info for “security reasons” and that I could call Teresa Brooks, Fed. Field Specialist at 202-631-3775 but to “wait 10 minutes.” I’m not sure why she needed to be warned about my call because she also said she couldn’t give out info for “security reasons.” She referred me to the Office of Refugee Resettlement website ( which is supposed to “answer all my questions.” "

I understand that people are using the treatment of the children as a hook to publicize the existence of these prisons, but the broader question is:

"Why do they exist in the first place?"

This sounds so much like WWII era Germany, to me.

In the past couple of years, we have been roused to have more-than-usually negative feelings about illegal immigrants. We stare at every Middle-Eastern convenience clerk to see if he looks like he has Jihad on his mind. We regard folks speaking Spanish as if they were after our jobs or about to murder us in our beds. So, when we find out that the "detainees" are Mexican, Central American, or Middle Eastern, we think, "Oh, well; that's OK--our government is just protecting US from THEM."

So who will be the next "Them?" How can you easily tell a legal Latin immigrant from an illegal one? I've heard there are people in the T. Don Hutto Detention Center whose papers came from the proper authorities, not from the flea market. When there are no arrest records, no list of who is there, and no obligation to provide legal counsel to these people, something is very wrong. Who will be next?

I have lots of links and stories about this. Here's another from the Houston Chronicle:

"Researchers write that "the penal model of family detention leads to babies in uniforms with name tags, cribs inside prison cells, parents losing the ability to discipline their children and families unable to live as a normal family unit."
"As a country that supports family values, we should not be treating immigrant families who have not committed a crime like criminals, particularly children," said Ralston H. Deffenbaugh, president of the Lutheran aid group."

T. Don Hutto Residential Center
1001 Welch St., P.O. Box 1063
Taylor, Texas 76574
fax - 512-218-2450

Facility Public Information Officer: Danny Coronado
Facility Type: male/female Minimum CCA owned facility since 2006
Warden: Mickey Liles

Mickey Liles was named warden of the T.Don Hutto Correctional Center in April 2006. He previously served as Managing Director, Division VII since April 2004. Liles joined CCA in 1997 as assistant warden at Huerfano County Correctional Center in Colorado. He was named warden of B.M. Moore Pre-Release Center and in 1998, he became warden of Diboll Correctional Center, both in Texas. He has also served CCA as warden of the Bartlett State Jail in Texas, warden at Crossroads Correctional Center in Montana and as a security auditor for the Facility Support Center. He most recently served CCA's Diamondback Correctional Facility as warden. His corrections career began in 1973 as a correctional officer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Liles holds a bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a master's degree from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.
Total Beds: 512
Customer Base: Immigration and Customs Enforcement
ACA Accreditation: Yes
Tour Contact: Warden Liles 512-352-3502

This information is from the CCA site:

(more to come)


  1. Thank you for putting this terrific information out there, and you have put it together so well. Something a lawyer told me at the County Commissioner's Hearing that I thought was interesting: Crossing the border illegally is not a CRIME, its a CIVIL Offense. If it were a Crime, the laws of our land would treat these detainees much more fairly!

  2. Really? What happened to the law that the President was trying to enact making it a felony? Did it not pass? Awww...(sarcasm).


    I ain't done yet.

  3. Jaybix Krix Ronni. I am speechless. My dad was born in his mother's family house in Taylor in 1914 or somesuch. What in the hail is gorn on there. Who is in charge? Texas history has slipped back a few eons on this one. As Loretta sez, these people are the reason that dubyuh was re-elected. Shame on all of us. Middle america is sucking hind teat.

  4. Whether you agree with it or not, it's still breaking the law of the United States. It is impacting the economy and sucking the blood out of America, that we give so much away for free (ie. health care, education, government assistance) to people who are not here legally and do not pay taxes. That goes for the people who are here legally also draining the system. America does not give that away to U.S. Citizens or Legal Permanent Residents (Who came the legal way I might add!) in abundance as they do illegals, but we do it for them. There is more crime, identity theft (which I might add effects every legal person in the U.S. one way or another!) If you want to do for and help them, start a group who donates money to help, instead of sucking the government dry while we pick up the tab with higher taxes! Instead of preaching so much, put your money where your mouth is and stop trying to use or obtain the governments money for your cause. Then lets see how dedicated you are. To those who have struggled, fought, waited and walked that long ardous path to come here legally and do it the right way, "Welcome With Wide Open Arms". Nothing is free in America contrary to popular belief. One way or another you will pay for it! The majority of americans are descendants of immigrants. Most whom families came to america the right (legally) way and bust there tails to make America what it use to be,"Home of the free, land of the brave". We are still the land of the brave but the "free" is out the window! Even if we restructured 25% of our laws to be more restrictive on rights & immigration, we still would have more humane rights and outstanding living conditions than the majority of the world. Go to another country doing the craziness that is going on here and see if you come back in one piece or at all!!! Work as an immigration agent & see what's going on with the other side instead of blindly and half knowingly fighting the battle from illegals perspective. I'm an agent. I've been to these other countries(Not just central america. Africa, Amman, Italy, Bangkok). Just to name a few! It's time to put up or shut up! Get a organization together and donate YOUR MONEY to better things in these countries and not use our tax payer money to improve your cause. Help these other countries to help themselves! Go visit these countries and help develope programs! It's plain and simple as black and white! If you break the law whether criminal or civil...YOU'VE BROKEN THE LAW. If somebody steals a 25 cent pack of gum compared to stealing a car, besides the monetary gain..IT'S STEALING AND YOU WILL BE ARRESTED OR PAY THE CONSEQUENCES IF CAUGHT!!!!! With that being said, once again, welcome to all legal permanent residents, legal immigrants and non-immigrants who work hard, better america, pay there taxes and do not suck the blood out of the American Government with illegal activities! Without stricter border crossing rules, immigration rules and deterents, at the rate we are going in America, almost all will dwindle away and we will be like these other countries with out of control gang problems, extortion, no respect for law enforcement officials and scared to go out the front door. It's already starting to happen. Just look at south Texas which is one of the major gateways for drug trafficking & smuggling. Brownsville & Laredo are prime examples. The Cartels shot and killed a Mayor, in broad daylight, while he was sitting down eating!!! Yes, this happened on the U.S. side!!!! Laredo is even worse! They are out to kill law enforcement officials!! It's not overly publicized but it's true!! They shoot at are Border Patrol Enforcement from Mexico!! Shooting incidents have gradully risen! Almost doubling. Another incident that comes to mind, we've had a couple situations where the 70 year old illegal grandmother is running the smuggling and drug ring with her grandkids & their friends! The unusal part of the incident was that after we detained everyone and she was interviewed, she was just the sweetest, kindess and nicest grandmom you could ever meet!! What I'm getting at is, I understand there are honest hard working people who come illegally, but if we open the flood gate to circumvent what's already in place(i.e. letting those stay who have no documentation or legal right to be here)....mark my words!!!!! WE WILL DROWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Step away from the koolaid.

    What do you mean, they "don't pay taxes?" They pay the same taxes you do. Unless they are being paid in cash, under the table, they pay income tax and social security, the same as you and I do. The difference is that they do not collect on that Social Security. They contribute millions of dollars and never collect a penny.

    You've been buying the party line, my friend, and I hope you can someday see that.

  6. By the way, I know several Central American immigrants who can spell and punctuate in English much better than you can.

    Apparently, your education didn't take very well.