Monday, October 20, 2008

Fewer than half of authorized new treatment beds online

While Texas has earned praise for its diversion programs, of the 8,500 new treatment beds for which the Texas Legislature appropriated money in 2007, only 4,102 have been contracted so far, Nicole Porter at the blog Texas Prison Bidness reports, providing a detailed table of which companies have received contracts for how many beds (as of Oct. 3). The vendors are a mix of public, private, and not-for-profit entities.

I continue to maintain that "just because the market won't provide a service doesn't mean the government shouldn't fulfill those functions. Government policy shouldn't be limited by what vendors are willing to offer." This news only reinforces that conviction - I hadn't realized fewer than half the funded treatment beds were online. Excellent blogging, Nicole!


Anonymous said...

They need a start up figure too?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Actually that may be part of the problem. Texas' private capacity is basically full (because of immigration beds) so to contract more requires expanding capacity - i.e., extra start up costs beyond the per diem.

I'm not saying the state should necessarily pay those start up fees, but I think it's true that the main barrier to TDCJ getting all its beds is that private companies didn't want to pay those initial costs.

FleaStiff said...

what is this about treatment beds?

Shouldn't it be treatment rock piles?