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Government Detention Center for Children and Families Closing: The End of the T. Don Hutto Center for Families

There is rejoicing in Texas because the government has announced the closing of the T. Don Hutto For-Profit Family Jail for Immigrants.

Protests and lawsuits against the privatized 512-bed detention center run for the government by the Corrections Corporation of America focused on its cruel treatment of children who were imprisoned there in substandard living conditions with their families, for no other reason than their presence in the United States.

In June of this year, Casa Juan Diego was one of the sponsors of the final protest challenging the existence of the T. Don Hutto detention center in Texas. The decision to stop jailing families there and to stop construction of new family detention centers is a great victory for the movement to end family detention.

According to the Associated Press, Homeland Security announced that T. Don Hutto will probably continue as a detention center for women, but at least young children will not be mistreated there. It is hard to believe, however, that women who are immigrants will be held in this old ugly, now run-for-profit state prison.

Press reports indicate that some families may still be sent to the much smaller 84-bed Berks Family Detention Shelter in Leesport, Pennsylvania.

Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. XXVI, No. 4, September-October, 2009.