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Grits on House Appropriations Examining Private Prison Contracts

State lawmakers continue to review the budget and ways to cut costs and private prison contracts are on the table.  Scott Henson at Grits for Breakfast covered a recent House Appropriations hearing where Corrections Chairman Jim McReynolds asked about private prison contract renewals.  According to Grits:

At a House Appropriations Committee meeting today, House Corrections Chairman Jim McReynolds asked TDCJ chief Brad Livingston if private prison-contracts up for renewal might increase their rates and increase costs for the state.

Livingston said that was possible, since contracts covering the 12,000 or so private beds for which TDCJ contracts are 5-7 years old. Most of these are up within the coming year and all new contracts should be negotiated by mid-2011. Livingston said that in general, for every dollar increase in per-inmate costs represented a $4.5 million cost increase to TDCJ.

How the state will deal with it's budget in 2011 may certainly impact these contracts.  We will continue to monitor the situation and post developments.

Previous coverage:


Just to be clear, Livingston didn't say eliminating contracts was possible (beyond the 817 in their suggestions) - he was saying increases in contract RATES were possible when they negotiated renewals, particuarly because some of the contracts are up to seven years old.

IMO if prisons are to be closed or contracts non-renewed, the Lege will probably have to do it over Livingston's objection or his grudging acquiescence.

Thanks for catching this. I've doctored the post with more of a direct quote from you.