|Location||901 E 5th St |
Cleveland, Texas 77327
|Security class||G1, G2|
|Former name||Cleveland Correctional Center|
|Managed by||Management and Training Corporation (as of 2015)|
The Oliver J. Bell Unit is a prison for men in Cleveland, Texas, privately operated by the Management and Training Corporation (MTC) on behalf of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). The roughly 40-acre (16 ha) facility is .25 mi (0.40 km) north of downtown Cleveland. The TDCJ refers to the prison as the "Cleveland Unit", while GEO Group, the former operator, referred to it as the Cleveland Correctional Center. The facility is along U.S. Route 59.
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) proposed a prerelease center along Atascocita Road in the Humble, Texas, area. The local population opposed the measure. CCA instead planned to open a facility in Cleveland, where the local leaders were more receptive to the plan. The Cleveland Unit, then a $12 million ($24,000,000 when adjusted for inflation), 500-bed prerelease unit, officially opened on September 28, 1989. As of that year, it was the fourth of the four privately operated prisons to be built in Texas.
Cleveland prison renamed the Oliver J. Bell Unit in honor of former TBCJ chairman in March 2020. https://www.tdcj.texas.gov/unit_directory/cv.html
The 40-acre (16 ha) site, located along the Piney Woods along U.S. 59, has a 124,000-square-foot (11,500 m2) prison facility. Cindy Horswell of the Houston Chronicle said that the "unobtrusive" unit with "its concrete walls and bright blue entry would look like any other office building except for the high barbed-wire fence and 53 security cameras." Since the prison is a private facility, the operators pay local taxes. The prison accepts minimum-security male prisoners who are within three years of parole.
- "Cleveland Unit Archived 2010-07-25 at the Wayback Machine." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
- "Bell Unit Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine." GEO Group. Retrieved on October 2, 2010.
- Horswell, Cindy. "Cleveland prison puts Texas on top in private facilities." Houston Chronicle. Friday September 29, 1989. A26. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
- "Texas Department of Criminal Justice Awards MTC Contracts to Operate Lockhart and Cleveland Correctional Centers". Management & Training Corporation. Archived from the original on 11 September 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
- Horswell, Cindy. "For hard-hit economy of Liberty County, crime officially pays." Houston Chronicle. Thursday June 29, 1995. A30. Retrieved on July 23, 2010.