Friday, May 25, 2007

Are there "strings" attached to new prisons or not?

I already mentioned that Mike Ward reported today on the Statesman's blog that new prison building in Texas would come with "strings" attached that would keep them from being built if incarceration growth didn't require it.

Now I'm hearing a wave of rumors that the Rider, which contained the "strings" Ward referenced, isn't in the final budget, though NOBODY will admit to having seen a final copy yet. Staff are nervous to say anything, even on background. It's really weird - makes me think there's something sneaky going on. More when I get it.

UPDATE: I just heard from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition's Ana Correa that the restrictive rider Ward referenced definitely is NOT in the budget. LBB still has a decisionmaking role, she said, but there are no benchmarks regarding what incarceration level triggers new prison building to guide their decision. The budget text still isn't available yet (it's nearly 5 p.m. as I write), but I'll update as soon as I hear more.


Anonymous said...

Go to: Section 19.71, Page IX-92 and you will find the funding to build 3 Hobby-like Units. The triggers are when the LBB reports to the legislature on January 1, 2008, July 1, 2008, and January 1, 2009 as to whether their alternatives to provide bed capacity are working (page X-3).

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I see the reports you're talking about, but no "trigger" language in Article IX, just an authorization that's only trigger is if voters approve the bonds, which naturally are lumped in with a bunch of other pork. Am I missing something?