The Williamson County Commissioners Court today amended the T. Don Hutto contract, and did not terminate its end of the contract. The new contract will involve a $250,000 legal defense fund in case of lawsuit. CCA will also pay the county $5,000 a month to hire a monitor for the facility.
The public comment section was limited to 10 today, with 9 speaking against Hutto including Scott Medlock from Texas Civil Rights, Rev. Mary Ferris, a Presbyterian missionary from Williamson County, Taylor residents Jose Orta and Neal Kopit, Georgetown residents Mary Ellen Kirsch, Sherry Dana, and Jane Van Pragg, Jay Johnson-Castro, and Dr. Asma Salam from Dallas. The testimony from Hutto opponents today was very good and on point. The lone voice in favor of the facility was the CCA Warden.
Nevertheless, it took the commissioners just a few minutes to vote to continue the contract, and no commissioners gave any rationale for their decision. Clearly a decision had been made before the meeting. It's disappointing, but was expected. I think that it's now time to re-evaluate our strategy and see if we can put more pressure on political figures (Doggett, perhaps?) and religious communities to come out against Hutto both here in Texas and across the country.