Angry Texans Protesting Prisoner Treatment at the Reeves County Detention Center

By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

PECOS - More than a dozen angry protestors stood up for prisoners at the Reeves County Detention Center on Saturday. They came as far as Corpus Christi and New Mexico to tell prison officials they are ready to go as far as it takes to make sure inmates are treated humanely.

Protestors say they're far from satisfied and their putting the blame on GEO Group, Incorporated, a private company who runs the detention center.

Only a year ago, there were fires, choppers, and police surrounding the place after the prisoners started a riot.

Inmates were upset over the death of one of their own, an epileptic who died after allegedly receiving poor health care.

According to the group of family members and civil liberties groups, one year later, there's been no investigation and inmates still have the same complaints.

"There is no reason why nine people should have died while waiting on their legal proceedings," Tracey Hayes with the ACLU, said. "The conditions have not improved and since the uprising, they've gotten worse."

Maria Reynaga was on hand to give a voice to her brother who's in jail for distributing drugs.

"I'm not proud of what my brother did, but I'm proud of him for being so strong in there and taking all of this humiliation from this prison," Reynaga said.

Reynaga's brother says GEO Group guards are poorly trained and disrespectful and other prisoners agree.

One prisoner told the ACLU, "I feel like I'm in a concentration camp, I don't really tell my family how it is here, it's enough of a worry of me being here."

GEO Group says it provides good health care, their website states: "Our clients can be assured that the offenders entrusted in our care are receiving the highest quality healthcare available."

The site goes on to say they adhere to state and federal rules and regulations.

As for their employees, the company states: "Our knowledgeable employees are experts in health services, food service, and facility maintenance to ensure that the high level of service our clients demand is adequately provided in each of our business units."

Despite the companies website, the protestors still want the prison and GEO Group investigated.

"We want dignity for our prisoners, we want respect," she said. "That's what we're asking for."