Judge Price Works to Re-Open Newton’s Correctional Facility

The Newton County Correctional Facility may be the solution to a problem with housing some very hot prisoners at the Pack unit in Grimes County, Texas.  U.S. District Judge, Keith Ellison has ordered that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has 15 days to bring down the temperatures to 88º or lower.  The order was handed down to accommodate prisoners that are 65 years or older that have health conditions or are heat sensitive.

Newton County Judge Paul Price sent a letter to Judge Ellison offering the Newton County Facility stating the prison holds 872 inmates, is on 72 acres that can be used for agricultural purposes, has air conditioning and most everything is up and running at this point.  He stated only minor repairs are needed.  Judge Price shared that when the prison was operating some farming was done and the prison offered rehabilitation programs as well.

Newton County Sheriff Billy Rowles said, “I’d give my eye teeth to get that thing up and running.”  It has been closed since 2012.  Many residents of Newton County admit that having the prison operating again would offer around 200 jobs to citizens that need work in the county.  TDCJ has not commented on how they would resolve the dilemma in Crimes County, but they have 15 days to fix the problem so an answer will be expected in the very near future.

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