A for-profit transitional home in Dallas County for people getting out of prison with no place to live is running quite a tab for the county.
The residents of the Avalon Dallas Transition Center have placed excessive 911 calls for medical help and have resulted in a tab that since last October has not been paid.
The transitional home is operated by Corrections Corporation of America. It’s getting hundreds of thousands of dollars to operate from the state but not paying what the county says it owes for emergency medical service.
Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price is angry that a private company providing a transition for people getting out of prison has not paid its bill to the county for excessive 911 calls.
“They owe us a quarter of a million dollars, and my position is they're a for-profit corporation,” he said. “We've met with them at least three or four times. The problem is they are not moving. And, again, they are for profit.”
Dallas County contracts with the city of Hutchins to provide fire and EMS services to the unincorporated areas in Southeast Dallas County. Each time an ambulance responds to a call in the unincorporated areas, it costs Dallas County $450.
Documents obtained by FOX 4 show that from a ten month period from October 2016 through July 2017, there were 243 emergency calls made. The total cost for the calls is $222,900.
“That is a pretty high amount there that you know we haven't been paid,” said Dallas County Fire Marshal Robert De Los Santos. “We've dealt some correspondence with them, and we just haven’t received any feedback from them.”
De Los Santos says the unpaid price tag should make all Dallas County residents sick.
“Because that’s your taxpayer money, our taxpayer money,” he said. “I live in Dallas County as well.”
CoreCivic released the following statement after the airing of FOX4's story:
"CoreCivic has never seen or received an invoice or an itemized accounting of these services from the county.
More important is the fact that costs for medical services for residents in our facility fall to the individuals who received the services.
The residents at our facility are not inmates, whose medical care is the responsibility of the state. They are parolees who have completed their sentences and reentered their community.
As with other parolees, their medical costs are no longer the responsibility of the state.
The only distinction between the residents at our facility and parolees living in neighborhoods throughout the greater Dallas area is that individuals living in our facility did not have adequate housing upon parole and are being provided housing assistance by the state through CoreCivic.
CoreCivic is contracted by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) only to provide that housing assistance as well as reentry programming that helps the resident successfully reenter the community by finding stable long-term housing."