Another Important Historical Site in Houston That Deserves Recognition

ANOTHER IMPORTANT HISTORICAL SITE IN HOUSTON THAT DESERVES RECOGNITION Olympic Motel, 5714 Werner St., HoustonThe account may be a tad more florid, but Harbeer Sandhu’s satirical tale of an inmate-turned-entrepreneur’s plan to create a Houston museum dedicated to the private prison industry is only slightly more bizarre than the true story behind the birth of the Corrections Corporation of America, the world’s largest for-profit prison operator, in the still-operating Olympic Motel at 5714 Werner St. (less than a half-mile down I-45 from Gallery Furniture). Fences, barbed wire, and iron bars went up on the former hot-sheet motel in early 1984 to create the world’s first for-profit private prison, a detention center for 87 undocumented immigrants. Much has changed in the private prison industry since those humble feeder-road beginnings, where several detainees were able to escape by dislodging the air-conditioning units and climbing out through the holes. [Free Press Houston; previously on Swamplot] Photos: Harbeer Sandhu

14 Comment

  • Holy crap, I grew up in that neighborhood! I lived one block away from that motel and passed it on a daily basis. Day after day, I saw plenty of crack-heads, dealers, and prostitutes setting up “shop” in front of that motel.

  • I wonder what brainiac decided to try to hold illegal aliens there in the first place…

  • If memory serves all of the ground floor units there flooded during TS Allison in 2001.

  • I usually keep my illegal aliens where they belong… mowing my lawn, cooking my food, babysitting my children, fixing my car, building my home, picking my vegetables, and making me money by providing cheap yet very reliable and dedicated labor force.

  • Well, they have to sleep somewhere on the $1.50 you pay them. Try not to run over them in your Bentley as they pitch a tent on your drive. You’d be right at home in the Lomas section of Mexico City.

  • Funny you should mention that…. All of our illegal guys make way above minimum wage, hell even the hard labor guys make $10 per hour, the plumbing and concrete crew guys make $15 to $20 with no questions asked.

  • Well ok then, hire away. You pay 15 dollars an hour to mow your lawn…I wouldn’t ask questions either. What is they get hurt re roofing your house for 10 dollars an hour? I’m sure they’re not bonded, please enlighten me oh Sage of the Aliens.

  • Of course they’re not bonded or insured, 99.99% of all subcontractors are not and in a remote chance that they do get hurt, they just go to the hospital on their own or their employer (our subcontractor) takes care of it.
    It’s an agreed upon win/win arrangement… we get a good service at a reasonable price, they get a reasonable wage with no taxes taken out. They also know if they raise too much stink, they can get attract attention of Immigration.

    If they decide to sue (I’ve never heard of one actually doing so in my lifetime) you can always counter sue them for fraudulently claiming they have permission to work here etc. and drag the lawsuit out for many years which they cannot afford.

    It may sound crass but this is how the real world works.

  • Commonsense, what do you think about having an open door/ open market policy worldwide? Let’s let anyone take a job anywhere for any price. No restrictions.

  • Shannon: You realize the “exploited illegals working for $1/hr” is a myth, right?
    I don’t ask for papers when I hire someone because thats not my job, but basic unskilled demo labor or warm body stuff is generally $10/hr. Anyone with skills in plumbing, electrical, Sheetrock is $15/hr easy. Have tools, reliable, transportation, English, etc and its $20/hr
    That said I don’t think anyone should be here illegally. If getting rid of people who are here illegally causes a shortage in needed labor, simply INCREASE the amount of legal immigrants we bring in. They’ll have the advantage of being in the system. Never understood the argument to allow unfettered illegal immigration when stopping that and increasing legal immigration is a far “kinder” solution.

  • Have to clarify: most subs have liability insurance to cover if they burn the place down and we have umbrella coverage in catastrofic cases like that but nobody has injury or medical coverage. Texas juries almost never give out PI awards.

    I’m against worldwide free for all, it’s unreasonable because of huge populations in 3rd world like India and China, but here in the US we’ve reached an equilibrium and a symbiotic relationship with our illegal Latin American population. It provides them a comfortable wage, reasonable labor rates for us, and it keeps Union scum from Texas.

  • “…but here in the US we’ve reached an equilibrium and a symbiotic relationship with our illegal Latin American population.”

    Uh, no we haven’t. They are taking advantage of us.

  • Mmmm, yeah, random nonsense figures from random time periods sprinkled with paranoia is not an immigration argument. Perhaps you should return to your trailer park and worry about your cross eyed child you had with your sister.

  • If we secure our borders, who is going to give me ebola?