Prison Sold For $6M

Financially troubled jail sold online

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    Ever wanted to own your own prison?

    A prison that a Texas High Plains town hoped would provide a bonanza but instead went broke was to an online bidder Thursday for $6 million.

    Littlefield put the Bill Clayton Detention Center up for auction Thursday with a $5 million minimum opening bid. Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams & Williams Worldwide Real Estate Auction handled the bidding.

    It threw in the furniture, linen, computers, kitchen supplies and other equipment contained in the 30-acre complex 36 miles northwest of Lubbock.

    Littlefield built the 373-bed, medium-security prison with proceeds from an $11 million bond issue and signed The GEO Group to run it. The hope was for states experiencing prison overcrowding to pay to house its inmates there.

    Instead, escapes, corruption and living conditions prompted states to withdraw their inmates, leaving an empty prison.