Saturday, July 03, 2010

Should TDCJ be renewing contracts that might be subject to budget cuts?

A coupla stories related to private prisons caught my eye that deserve Grits readers' attention:
The first story raises an issue that perhaps the Legislative Budget Board should consider before the Legislature meets again next year: Should TDCJ be renewing long-term private contracts when they might need to reduce private capacity because of budget cuts? In particular there are a couple of private units that have been specifically identified as possible closure targets (Dawson State Jail and a "pre-parole" unit in Mineral Wells) that both have contracts up early next year, the same time the Bridgeport facility's contract was scheduled to wrap up. Perhaps TDCJ should slow down on renewing private contracts if the Legislature may end up closing some of these units?

The second story documents a phenomenon I've discussed here in Texas: Demand for private prison beds is shrinking thanks to reduced state and local incarceration as well as waning immigration detention. The only current growth area according to Newsweek - which has certainly been true in Texas - is in specialized treatment units aimed at reducing recidivism:
Cornell runs halfway houses and youth prisons and has noticed an uptick in the demand for drug treatment, housing, or job placement programs that help prisoners reenter society. “The challenge for reentry is funding,” says James Hyman, CEO and president of Cornell Companies. “If states can’t fund programs for their star college graduates, how do they fund programs for the prisoners?”
Finally, our friends at Texas Prison Bidness also point us to a new website called Deportation Nation that's tracking the so-called "Secure Communities" program. Their site appears to be full of interesting tidibits.


Anonymous said...

The new website called Deportation Nation has input from just about every open borders group in the country. Very impressive.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"Open border" groups like ICE? That appears to be the most frequently cited source on their site.

Anonymous said...

State jails (as they function now) are a total waste of time (ha) and money. And as far as I'm concerned, private prisons are an abomination. The pain felt by private prison companies is one of the few good things to come from the recession.

Anonymous said...

Would you care to list the names of the other 20 or so groups giving input to Deportation Nation? Didn't think so.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Who's stopping you from doing it, 1:28? Be my guest.

And please describe the "input" received ... I honestly can't tell what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

Dawson is a hell hole with drugs and alchohol being brought in by the guards for the prisoners. Some guys in the regular population don't see the sky for the entire two years they are there. It is absolutely inhumane.

TDCJEX said...

The answer is no you do not renew contracts on things that are probably going to be cut .
R S : That is one of the few good things that have come out of the economic depression it is not a recssesion depsite what we are told . I don't have any sympathy for private prison companies or the knuckle dragging thugs who work for them .

They are a abomination and should be illegal . No one should profit of of human misersy . They create a special interest gruop that wants more things to be crimes and more people to be put in their private prison They have zero intrest in red.ucing crime and every interst in more crime with more humans to incarcerate