You can watch the video of Friday's Senate Committee on Criminal Justice as they talked about monitoring (and the lack of monitoring) of Texas' private prisons and jails. (The link requires Real Player to work.) I decided to offer some signposts for those of you who may want to watch just a particular part of it instead of the entire three-and-a-half hour hearing.
The committee opens with Ms. Dimitra Pope, the acting head of the Texas Youth Commission, and includes an extensive back and forth with her and committee members about monitoring of private prisons for youth (and public ones as well). Here's where it becomes obvious where some of the senators stand.
Then, onto Brad Livingston of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) about overall monitoring issues of the wide range of private lockups (1:18 mark in the hearing). Mr. Livingston indicated that TDCJ has just over 17,400 "contract beds" in secure settings (translation: beds that are operated by private companies, some for-profit, some non-profit) and 1,600 private beds that are in halfway houses and treatment facilities.
He's followed by Bonita White of TDCJ (1:58) to talk about the use of private beds in her system of community corrections (adult probationers).
Then came the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (at 2:03) who explained the monitoring system of Texas county jails, in which four inspectors are responsible for annual inspections of over 267 county jails (private and county-operated lockups). They explained, among other things, that they have no authority to monitor the Texas prisoners who have been exported from Harris County's jail to a private prison in Lousiana or jails in Texas holding only federal detainees.