Humpday Hall of Shame: GEO Group aims for take-over of Texas state hospital

Welcome to The Hump Day Hall of Shame:  Every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

In Texas, where both incarceration and immigrant detention rates soar, we’re accustomed to scrutinizing the state’s privatization efforts of these facilities.  However, there’s a new trend afoot in our state; privatizing state mental health facilities under the guise of cost savings to taxpayers, and Texas is turning over control of these facilities to companies that run for-profit prisons to provide care and safety to our state’s mentally ill population.

The state is currently considering a bid to privatize a state-run psychiatric facility by GEO Care, who promises to save the state millions of dollars a year.  


Humpday Hall of Shame: Texas Governor & Presidential Candidate Rick Perry

Every Wednesday we’ll be highlighting the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

While Texas Governor Rick Perry's record on criminal justice reform has been mixed, his cozy relationship with the private prison industry has raised eyebrows.   Texas has more private prisons, immigrant detention centers, and jails than any other state.

And, according to an article by Tim Murphy in Mother Jones ("Flush With Prison Industry Dollars, Rick Perry Pushed Privatized Prisoner Care," September 1), Perry has been a friend to the private prison industry:

"As governor, Perry, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, has supported privatizing everything from public lands to highways, but according to Scott Henson, a criminal-justice watchdog who runs the blog Grits for Breakfast, the governor had remained largely quiet on the prisons issue—until this year... [node:read-more:link]

Video of Notorious Texas Private Prison Auction

SOLD: Five one-story air-conditioned buildings constructed of concrete block with a brick veneer and pitch seamed metal roofs with a capacity of 383 inmates in 5 housing pods, complete with dayrooms and other amenities. The buildings are contained behind a strengthened perimeter of double fences with an electronic shaker detection system and eight video surveillance cameras. Approximately 10 acres are contained within the fence. The facility also has a freestanding gymnasium, maintenance shed, armory and parking lot.

The Billy Clayton Detention Center was sold last week for $6 million to an anonymous buyer in an auction conducted by Williams & Williams Worldwide Real Estate Auction.


Op. Streamline overwhelms federal courts in El Paso, doesn’t deter migration

A new report by the El Paso-based youth development organization Community Scholars shows that federal judges in El Paso are overwhelmed by cases related to Operation Streamline and a glut of vacancies of the federal bench.  According to the KFOX report (“West Texas Federal Judges Flooded With Cases,” August 30):

Some new statistics KFOX has obtained said the federal court system in West Texas had more cases per judge than any other part of the Lone Star State.


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