Private prisons are often pitched to small rural areas desperate for economic development and jobs as a great way to create both. Unfortunately though, when contracts don't come through as expected, those claims rarely materialize. Raymondville, Texas found this out the hard way.
MTC runs an ICE detention center in town, which recently had to lay off 120 employees because it could not secure the contracts it had intended on getting, meaning they would have less prisoners than anticipated. As a now former employee said, “That’s a lot of people... It’s a small town, that’s a heavy blow.”
But what's even worse is that MTC for years had not been paying these employees their required wages. They were being paid $8-9 an hour (basically minimum wage, to supervise criminals) for nearly 5 years, during which time they were supposed to have been paid at least $14.50 per hour. MTC has not paid these back wages and is delaying as long as possible in doing so, also refusing to pay other wages due and 401Ks.