The News article, however, fails to mention that TYC recently issued and received bids on another RFP for private contractors to begin to house 10-13 year olds by October 31 of this year. See Grits coverage of the RFP and the list of those who submitted bids.
Why isn't that part of a story on TYC private contractors? I know for a fact the reporters knew about it. That's a little frustrating, even though overall they did a good job with the story.
But coupled with that knowledge, the Morning News article raises an important question: If problems already exist at private TYC contract facilities (and there's little reason to suspect they do not), why rush into shipping out TYC's youngest and most vulnerable kids to private contract care? Why not at least have a public discussion of whether that's a good idea?
Let's hope the DMN story is just a first step toward forcing TYC's leadership to finally have that conversation more openly. After all, it has important implications for the future of the agency.
The News also provided these interesting links to prior stories and statistical resources on problems at TYC private contractors.
- Texas' youth jail operators have troubled histories
- GEO Group's facilities were closed in Louisiana, Michigan
- Nonprofit is no stranger to scrutiny
- Firm's leaders linked to problems
- Read the state auditor general's March 2007 report on TYC: Overall conclusion | Full report (.pdf)
- GEO Group Inc.'s answers to The News' questions (.pdf)
- Interactive graphic: Mistreatments at TYC contract facilities
- Interactive graphic: Texas private contracts around the nation
- Archive: Complete coverage of the Texas Youth Commission scandal