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New Texas Prison Hospital Approved

On January 16, 2009, Texas lawmakers announced that the state will convert a dormant 59-year-old federal medical center into a prison hospital for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). The five-story, 100-bed Thomas T. Connally Veterans Affairs Medical Center has not been used in six years.

“We are anxious to see these doors open again and have a lot of jobs, good-paying jobs, professional jobs, to bring some stimulus back, some life back to Marlin and Falls County,” said State Senator Kip Averitt. Attempts to obtain approval to convert the hospital from an unused federal facility into a state prison hospital have been in the works for two years.

The Texas legislature approved $3 million for the project in 2007, and another $500,000 was appropriated in 2008. The TDCJ is seeking $18.7 million in 2009 to complete the funding of the conversion project; no date has been set for the opening of the new prison hospital.


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