Normally, we dedicate Wednesday blog posts to the the Hump Day Hall of Shame – highlighting the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.
However, today we decided to celebrate some good news from deep in the heart of Texas. After months of organizing by Grassroots Leadership and our allies across the state, state leaders have rejected private prison corporation GEO Group's bid to take over the Kerrville State Hospital! According to the Kerrville Daily Times:
"The Kerrville State Hospital will remain under state management — at least for now. Texas state commissioner David Lakey rejected GEO Care’s proposal to privatize the state hospital.
The Daily Times received an internal email from acting superintendent Jay Norwood sent to employees today that confirmed Lakey rejected GEO Care's proposal, which was to privatize the Kerrville State Hospital."
Our organizing efforts paid off! In August, Grassroots Leadership and our allies sent a sign-on letter urging state leaders to halt privatization efforts. In September, more than 700 people from across Texas signed our petition to stop private prison corporation GEO Group from taking over the Kerrville State Hospital.
State and local officials raised their voices to oppose privatization. The media across the state ran exposes on GEO's troubled record operating prisons and jails.
Today's victory is for all those who care about the mentally ill and who oppose profiting off incarceration and detention. Help us celebrate today by making a donation to further our work, and next week we'll be back with the Hump Day Hall of Shame.