The rumors have been circulating for years, but it looks like one way the Texas Department of Corrections will save money is by releasing inmates from regional release centers rather than shipping them back to Huntsville.
An article in the Amarillo Globe-News and on the NewsChannel 10 website reports that inmates in the William P. Clements Jr. Unit outside of Amarillo will begin releasing inmates from there next week. Abilene and Beeville are also on the list to begin turning prisoners out locally.
While the move will save on transportation costs, it would still seem to make better fiscal sense to release all prisoners from wherever they are serving their time on their release date. But that would make too much sense.
According to TDC 32,600 of the 72,218 offenders released last year were released in Huntsville while the remainder were freed from regional facilities such as drug treatment centers or other diversionary programs. Locations like the privately run Mineral Wells facility has also been directly releasing their prisoners.
"There are some people who will have to make the trip to Huntsville anyway. Offenders who are violent in prison, sex offenders, those with mental problems and gang members will not be released at the Clements Unit.", according to NewsChannel 10.
Offenders are given a $50 check, a voucher for a bus ticket, and a ride to the bus station if they don't have someone waiting to pick them up.