Monday, February 18, 2013

Hidalgo Sheriff claims expanded jail would be profit center

Stop me if you've heard this before:
"Since 2003 we have paid out 11.2 million dollars to outsource our inmates to the private corrections corporations, we are making millionaires out of them," said [Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe] Trevino.

And money to pay that bill comes directly out of tax payers wallets. But Trevino said he knows a way to end this never ending money pit.

"The solution I believe to our overcrowding is expansion. and that is really about the only way we can do it. We can expand this current facility to 2,000 beds, which is an addition 768 beds," said Trevino.

Expansion comes at a price, fortunately Trevino has a solution for that too.

"We could work out a contract with the U.S. Marshals where I could lease them 500 beds at about 52 to 57 dollars a day per bed depending on the negotiation. And we could probably raise, generate $10 million a year," said Trevino.
How many Texas counties have issued bonds to build oversized jails only to look up afterward and find that the contracts for prisoners weren't forthcoming? Here's a short, probably incomplete list. Jails are never free and incarceration is seldom a profit center for counties. Even if they strike a deal, their client can pull out in the future when they don't need the beds, while the county is stuck paying on the bonds no matter what.


Anonymous said...

I suspect that the new jail being built in Walker County(Huntsville) will be the next example of over building. If "we" would stop locking up class "B" misdemeanor types, how many less cells would we need?

Anonymous said...

Commercial Bail is and always will be the best way to help with jail over crowding at no cost to the taxpayer.
See the UT Dallas Jail Release study... The results are the same in every Texas county.

Anonymous said...