Monday, March 08, 2010

Private prison contract renewals may cost Texas additional millions

At a House Appropriations Committee meeting today, House Corrections Chairman Jim McReynolds asked TDCJ chief Brad Livingston if private prison-contracts up for renewal might increase their rates and increase costs for the state.

Livingston said that was possible, since contracts covering the 12,000 or so private beds for which TDCJ contracts are 5-7 years old. Most of these are up within the coming year and all new contracts should be negotiated by mid-2011. Livingston said that in general, for every dollar increase in per-inmate costs represented a $4.5 million cost increase to TDCJ.

The committee was also told that after the first two days, all health care costs for inmates at private prisons are paid for by TDCJ. So the committee was cautioned against comparing per-inmate costs between private units and TDCJ's state facilities because the privates' costs per-inmate don't include healthcare costs.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Personnel expenses attribute more than 50% plus of TDCJ's operating budget. Private prison contracts are a bargain for the state in the way of reducing personnel and personnel associated costs (salary, overtime, health insurance, workers compensation, retirement, holiday and sick pay.)

Perhaps TDCJ should consider contracting out their existing facilities as well.

Retired LE

Anonymous said...

Don't think it includes transportation costs either and something else (will have to look up because all 3 make a big difference!).

Gritsforbreakfast said...

That's right, 4:07. Privates' cost per day do not include transportation costs.

Also, no privates operate ad seg units, which are much more expensive. Inmates with extreme disciplinary problems are transferred back to state-run units.

Between not paying for health care, transportation, and only supervising better-behaved inmates, those 3 things largely explain private prisons' supposedly lower per-inmate costs.

Anonymous said...

Do you mean Brad Livingston?

Anonymous said...

Hospitals have JCAHO to keep them inline. CCA is developed for TDCJ to pretend they have an accrediting body that over-see's them. It's a joke. The private prison's are even worse than TDCJ from the experiences my friends who've had sons in the private run sites have shared. We need a better over-seeing body before we spend millions on private run organizations that mis-treat human beings and facilitate mis-treatment of human beings. ...Sandra

Boyness said...

Dont renew them.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Yes, 7:40, Brad Livingston. I corrected it in the post. Just a brain fart!

TexasAnnie said...

Private prisons for profit is just wrong and all should be closed. They make their money off of human beings being a commodity. And one reason TX sentences have become longer, and more laws being felonies is just to feed the profit machine.
Close them all, and go back to non profit state ran. Maybe then we would no longer be the state with largest per capita prison population.

Human beings should never be a business commodity.

Anonymous said...

Private prisons are a legal policy option. Unfortunately, it is also a dangerous policy option. First, the "reduced costs" are artificial because they exclude all high cost components which makes the costs associated with state facilities look higher on that fact alone. Second, the profit margins and interest on their construction loans are directly passed onto the public through the daily rate (like a hotel) without providing added public service benefits for those costs. Third, like any hotel, benefits (i.e., profits) are privatized to the company and its shareholders and costs are socialized to the tax payer. Fourth, there is no such thing as too much confinement in a civil society -- they will gladly build prisons if our policies will continue to fill them. Fifth, and MOST IMPORTANT, increased reliance on private providers for prison incarceration gradually shifts policy influence to private providers who will lobby aggressively for laws that fill prisons (e.g., longer sentences, more crimes, less use of parole and probation) and against policies rely less on prison space (e.g., expanded use of probation and parole, legalization or decriminalization of drugs).

The advice from Anon Retired LE at 3:09 on Mar. 8 to privatize all prisons would be a disasterous policy decision because it would immediately transfer all public interest representation on corrections policy into the hands of private providers who would then control both the lobbyist sector and corrections bureaucracy providing advice to legislators. Under such conditions we could easily see policy capture and rapid increases in prison populations.

So, how much is too much incarceration in a "free society"? The answer to that question is important to a free society. The answer to that question is very different when viewed from the profit interest and values of the private prison industry than from the public interest perspective of public officials.

kathie thorley said...

I NEED HELP MY BROTHER IS IN YOUR MAVRICK DETENTION CENTER IN EAGLE PASS, TEXAS. HE HAS M/S AND IS NOT BEING TREATED. HE IS GOING DOWN HILL FAST. I NEED TO KNOW WHO CAN HELP ME WITH THIS PROBLEM. HIS NAME IS GARY L. DIETERMAN GEO UM2001-280. HE HAS BEEN WRONGLY ACCUSED, THEY HAVE NO PROOF AND NO EVDIENCE. HIS P/D WON'T DO ANYTHING EXCEPT GET POST PONDMENTS. MY NAME IS KATHIE THORLEY AND I LIVE IN FLORIDA AND DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO . PLEASE IF ANYONE READ THIS I NEED HELP, BEFORE IT'S TO LATE HIS HEALTH IS FAILING, THANK YOU E-MAIL kathie50@live.com

sfenn said...

Kathie ~ You need to contact Diana Claitor at the Texas Jail Project
http://www.texasjailproject.org/complaints

(512) 597-8746

Susan Fenner
Texas Inmate Families Association
tifa@tifa.org www.tifa.org

Boyness said...

TexasAnnie said...

Private prisons for profit is just wrong and all should be closed. They make their money off of human beings being a commodity. And one reason TX sentences have become longer, and more laws being felonies is just to feed the profit machine.
Close them all, and go back to non profit state ran. Maybe then we would no longer be the state with largest per capita prison population.

Human beings should never be a business commodity.

3/09/2010 08:27:00 AM
-----------------------------------
AMEN! Welcome to the largest prison-industrial complex in the free world. TEXAS!!! YEE-HAW!!!!

Golf Lessons said...

A private prison for parole violators is bidding for a new contract to continue operating at 4700 Blue Mound Road. The facility is run by The GEO Group, which has had a spotty record with some of its other Texas prison facilities the past several years. Before the contract is awarded, a public hearing will be held.

Golf Videos said...

A private prison for parole violators is bidding for a new contract to continue operating at 4700 Blue Mound Road. The facility is run by The GEO Group, which has had a spotty record with some of its other Texas prison facilities the past several years. Before the contract is awarded, a public hearing will be held.

Anonymous said...

If you don't like private prisons you can spend more of your tax money to run 100 year old state prisons but you can' t have it both ways more taxes or private prisons