After sitting empty for 10 years, the Bluebonnet Prison in Anson will soon begin receiving individuals detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The facility, originally planned to only hold men, will now hold men and women. But officials say no families or children will be housed in Anson, because there are separate living spaces for each gender. Most of the 25 living spaces will be for men, but a section has been set aside to house 72 women.
Once Jones County officials approved the contract, officials began reconfiguring the Bluebonnet prison to meet the needs of an ICE detention center. During a tour of the renovated facility Tuesday, Marcelo Villegas said this facility is state of the art compared to others, “Some of the other facilities were built several years ago. This one is more modern or up to date.”
The facility is equipped with a law library, a chapel, barber, and standard medical center and dentist office. The intake and processing area has been expanded to fit the large number of people arriving. Frosted glass has been added to the shower and toilets for privacy, and ladders and railings have been added to the bunks.
Work continues on an outdoor structure which is being transformed into a storage facility to hold all the detainee’s belongings while they are living in the detention facility.
Officials say Bluebonnet will be ready to accept detainees by mid-December.