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Texas 2011 budget plan includes private prison cuts at TDCJ

With the new year comes the newly proposed Texas budget plans. While seemingly no department or sector was spared from the widespread cuts, we were surprised to hear that private prison cutbacks were on the table in this tough-on-crime state:

In public safety and corrections programs, the budget report recommends shutting down a unit in Sugar Land, three Texas Youth Commission lockups and 2,000 private prison beds, a move that could close at least two additional lockups. About 1,562 prison jobs were also chopped.

Probation programs would see funding cut by 20 percent, parole supervision would be cut by almost 9 percent, and the agency's construction and maintenance funding could be cut by 83 percent, along with 90 jobs. The Victims Services Division would be eliminated. (Kate Alexander, Austin American-Statesman, "Spartan budget plan calls for broad cuts," January 19, 2011).

When browsing around the actual budget plan document itself, the Legislative Budget Board looks to other states that, in an attempt to balance the state budget, have also cut private prison contracts:

Other states, including New York, Colorado, North Carolina, and Kansas, closed units with excess capacity, left correctional positions vacant, reduced correctional staffing levels, reclassified facilities and ofenders, and terminated contracts for private facility operations. In most cases, decisions on prison closures, reclassifications, and changes in staffing levels necessary to achieve the desired level of savings were made by the chief executive leadership of the states’ Department of Corrections under direction by the Legislature or governor. North Carolina and Kansas both experienced savings of approximately $23 million from the realignment decisions, while New York’s changes resulted in savings of $8.4 million per year. (page 337)

We will continue to monitor the 2012-2013 budget plans while trying to find more specific information regarding which private prison contracts (if any) are on the chopping block.


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well if you all would let people out on parole that no harm to people may be yall would not have to cut back on thing no cause yall dont wanna let people out on parole

 You, TDCJ have a responsibility to each inmate to give fair consideration to all involved.   When it comes to victims, after 10 years that person (victim) should be on a good road to having adjusted to a new life.  If that person (victim) has not taken the time to improve their own situation, they should have no hold on an inmate's ability to be considered for parole.  If that potential parolee has shown improvement, and has supportive family, serious consideration should be given to that inmate for release.  With all else you should pray about your decisions.

i just married an inmate doing life in prison who has already done 18 yrs, please let him come home already hes been gone to long already so we can start our new life together everyone deserves a second chance especially after 18 yrs.

my husband is doing a life sentence and has done 18 yrs already please let him come home so we can start our new life together. my husband had a bad head injury and hes not in his right mine anymore, he forgets things and he gets bad headaches and dizzy spells he needs to be home already hes been gone to long. I love him so much and I cant wait for him to come home.  thank you for your time.

there is no such thing as justice any more, its not innocent until proven guilty anymore, your guilty as soon as they catch you doing something, because if you dont take the plea bargain and you make the judge take it to court you will get more time, thats not justice and some just because they have been in trouble with the law before so they judge decides to give them life, where is the justice in that? please take a good hard look at the ones doing life because they dont deserve that hard punishment for that, inmates are also doing life because they were in fear for there lifes and they protected themselves so that makes them bad people? there is always two sides of the story and the attorneys always go with the ones who got hurt in the process even if there's two against one, if one person can kill you, what can two do? more right? if two people have a knife you feel threatned and its either do or die so what do you do to protect your self? i think thats why alot of people dont survive when there being attack because they dont fight back and sometimes you do what you have to do to survive, I would.

I just got sentenced to 180 days in state jail and I am concerned that with all these budgets cuts and closing of private jails, what happens to the prisoners? Lets face it... no money no sustaining of life....right? I hope when I go turn myself in tommorrow I will survive into 2012 in a state jail.

My boyfriend has been in for the last two and half years, and he has been denied on his first parole review. My boyfriend has alot of family support, and he wants to change his way of life. My boyfriend has anger issues which he is attempting to change. He has been taking correspondence course, and he wants to get his GED. That is not offered to offenders that is in Admin Segregation. My boyfriend has decided to enter a REENTRY program to keep his life going in a good direction. He wants to take vocational courses but you cant get that in Segregation. Reality is these offenders will be getting out eventually so why not educate them. Then help get jobs so we dont have to worry about them wanting to go back to their old way of life. I have faith in my man and I know the lord has a plan for us and he will get out and improve our life for the better.