To round out 2011, Texas Prison Bid'ness is highlighting the top five private prison stories of the year. Looking forward to the new year, our #1 story of 2011 is the current proposal to privatize the entire Harris County Jail system.
Over the summer, Nicole reported that Harris County issued a request for pr
oposals in June seeking proposals for the management of the entire jail system of approximately 10,000 beds. At the time, the Houston Chronicle
("Harris County leaders consider privatizing the jail," April 18) speculated that the proposal was merely political sparring between County Commissioner Steve Radack, a privatization proponent, and Sheriff Adrian Garcia, who opposes privatization.
However, recent reports indicate that the proposal may be much more serious. As our friend Scott Henson over at Grits for Breakfast reported last week, Corrections Corporation of America has already submitted a bid to manage the entire Harris County Jail system. (Scott also kindly posted the RFP that he obtained from and Open Records Request). Scott asks some tough questions about the process thus far: