Thursday, October 12, 2006

Problems Plague Private Prison That Let Six Escape

For those who think private prisons are a viable solution to Texas' overincarceration crisis, check out what inspectors found when they visited the private prison in South Texas that Grits wrote about last month where six inmates escaped, including a defrocked police officer. Reported the Houston Chronicle ("Problems at jail where 6 inmates escaped," Oct. 11):
There were too few guards and too many beds at a privately run South Texas jail where six inmates escaped last month, and some of the guards were unlicensed, an emergency state inspection conducted days after the jail break has found.
Unlicensed guards, and not enough of them - are you surprised there was an escape? (See more from the McAllen Monitor.)

The State of Texas already can't find enough people willing to work as prison guards for the state's paltry pay. Texas is 3,000 prison guards short right now, and one in four guards quits every year. By comparison, private prisons typically have worse pay, worse safety records, and even higher turnover.

And apparently, unlicensed guards.

Is that really the right solution?


Anonymous said...

These are not prisons, they are "" PEOPLE RANCHES "" FOR "" PROFIT "! To the point they hirer lobbyist to lobby for mandatory minimums, so they can make more profits!!! They are a DISGRACE to Freedom and Justice and the Great State of Texas!!!!

800 pound gorilla said...

Number one for inefficiency - well ahead of government employees doing the job - are contracted services where taxpayers hire someone else. The business arrangement is mostly incestuous with little accountability. The taxpayers are considered 'deep pockets' and there is zilch incentive to hold down costs once bid is accepted because there are few bad consequences for cost overruns - especially in areas where "defense" and "public safety" are involved. Do we really want to penalize people for helping out with these noble goals? That would send a chilling message to future bidders! Heaven forbid, that we penalize such patriotic and noble people.