(Orange, Texas)

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May 29, 2013

Push to close Dallas state jail still unfinished

DALLAS — State prison system officials will have the last call on a push to close a state jail in Dallas, despite elimination of its funding from the state budget plan approved by the Legislature.

The Dallas Morning News ( reports that lawmakers removed from the budget $97 million allocated for the Dawson State Jail near downtown Dallas, citing declining inmate populations in the state prison system.

But even if Gov. Rick Perry signs the two-year spending plan, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice must decide if the jail is needed or not.

The prison system's contract with the Corrections Corporation of America to manage the jail expired Aug. 31. Dallas city officials have pressed to close the jail to make way for redevelopment of its site on the Trinity River front.

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