South Texas District Attorney Speaks Out Over Prisoner Deaths in Private Prisons

by Mary Lou Morga
NewsWest 9

REEVES COUNTY - Juan Guerra is the District Attorney in Willacy County, which is near Brownsville, and he traveled to Pecos on Tuesday to talk to the Reeves County D.A. about the private prison system.

Guerra believes that deaths at private prisons are all too common.

"I've been investigating the private prisons since there was a death in my county," Guerra said.

After an inmate died at a similar private prison under Guerra's jurisdiction in 2001, he's made it a mission in life to uncover what really goes on behind closed doors at private prisons.

"You'll find this all over the country, this is not an isolated case," Guerra said.

He believes that Friday's riot is a perfect example of what the inmates are faced with.

"For a riot to have occurred that means that the people there suffered to the point of breaking," Guerra said.

That is why this South Texas District Attorney made his way to Reeves County to speak with the District Attorney.

"They need to look at it, what is happening," Guerra said.

Guerra believes that the companies that run private prisons are only in it to make money.

"The people who are in position to stop the killings they are looking the other way, because they have a financial interest," Guerra said.  "You have a lot of elected officials that are embedded in the prison business, they are making a lot of money."

For now, Guerra will continue his battle with privately owned prison systems.

"I'm going to try and expose the murders, which is what Geo Group is," Guerra said.

NewsWest 9 contacted geo group incorporated, and they said that they do not respond to unfounded third party allegations.