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Second ICE Detention Center Planned For Conroe

A second immigration detention facility is planned for Conroe — the mayor just wishes that he’d been notified. This second detention center would add 1,000 beds to the existing 1,500-bed Joe Corley facility in Conroe.

The GEO Group, which runs the current detention center, has been awarded a contract from ICE for the additional space. Mayor Toby Powell says he was surprised to learn about it from a newspaper account.

“And I had a phone call from Congressman Brady’s chief of staff on Friday. He said ‘I did not know that you were not in the loop.’ He apologized completely and said, you know, that he will make sure that if anything ever happens again and it’s in the City of Conroe, he would certainly let me know.”

But the new facility is not a surprise to county government. Commissioners passed a resolution in 2013 is support of the expansion. County Judge Craig Doyal says he knows these projects face a “not in my back yard” reaction.

“I know that’s one of the concerns the mayor has, and I can certainly understand that. There’s very little likelihood that another business would be built in that area. It’s right where all the detention facilities of the county are now.”

But Powell wasn’t the mayor when the county signed the agreement.

“And Judge Doyal and I are close friends. His stand is that we need more facilities out there. It’s just bothersome to me to know that I was the last to know.”

The GEO Group plans to spend $110 million on building the new center, opening late 2018.

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