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December 2012

Big Stories of 2012 - #3 - CCA Offers To Buy State Prisons in Return for 90% Occupancy Guarantee, Gets Rejected

To round out 2012, Texas Prison Bid'ness is highlighting the top private prison stories of the year, based on stories covered by our blog.  Our number three story of the year is Corrections Corporation of America's bold offer to buy prisons from 48 cash-strapped states, including Texas, in exchange for long-term guarantees to keep the prisons 90% full.  

TPB Big Story #3 - CCA Offers To Buy State Prisons in Return for 90% Occupancy Guarantee, Gets Rejected

First reported in the Huffington Post in February, Corrections Corporation of Ame

rica wrote a letter to 48 governors offering to buy state prisons and give states an infusion of quick cash.  What was the catch?  In exchange, CCA wanted a 20 year management contract and guarantee that the prison will remain at least 90% full.  As Frank wrote at the time, the deal highlighted one of the fundamental flaws of the for-profit prison model: the need to maintain high numbers of incarcerated individuals regardless of the impact on our tax base and our communities. 

Big Stories of 2012 - #4 - Conditions at Two Texas Detention Centers Highlighted In "Expose and Close" Campaign

To round out 2012, Texas Prison Bid'ness is highlighting the top private prison stories of the year, based on stories covered by our blog.  Our number four story are the two private immigrant detention centers - the Corrections Corporation of America's Houston Processing Center and Community Education Centers' Polk County Secure Adult Detention Center - highlighted as amongst the worst detention centers in the country by a national report issued by Detention Watch Network.  

TPB Big Story #4 - Conditions at Two Texas Detention Centers Highlighted In "Expose and Close" Campaign 

Texas immigration advocates (including Grassroots Leadership, a sponsor of this blog) have

Polk protest
Polk protest
 joined a national effort to "Expose and Close" some of the nation's worst immigrant detention facilities.  As part of that effort, two private detention centers in Texas - the Community Education Center's Polk County Detention Center and Corrections Corporation of America's Houston Processing Center - have come under fire for a range of human rights violations.
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Big Stories of 2012 - #5 - Momentum Grows Against Private Prisons Nationally

To round out 2012, Texas Prison Bid'ness is highlighting the top private prison stories of the year, based on stories covered by our blog.  Our number five story is the growth in the national movement against private prisons and subsequent victories.   

Private Prison Story #5 - Momentum Grows Against Private Prisons Nationally

2012 saw the movement against for-profit private prisons grow dramatically across the United States.  In perhaps one of the biggest victory for anti-privatization activists, the Florida legislature rejected what was considered a "slam-dunk" proposal to privatize 29 prisons.  Similar mass privatization proposals were defeated in Louisiana and have thus far been staved off New Hampshire and Michigan.  What's more, immigrant detention centers proposed by Corrections Corporation of America outside of Miami and Chicago were both defeated with help from anti-privatization activists, immigrant rights organizations, and community groups.   

Big Stories of 2012 - #6 - The Ballad of Liberty County

To round out 2012, Texas Prison Bid'ness is highlighting the top private prison stories of the year, based on stories covered on our blog.  Our number six story of the year is the Ballad of Liberty County.

 TPB Big Story #6 - Liberty County Debates Ending Private Prison Contract 

Earlier this year, we brought you the Ballad of Liberty County. With the goal of lowering the operating

costs of the Liberty County Jail, 253rd District Court Judge Chap B. Cain initiated a plan to reduce the number of non-violent individuals housed in the jail.  The plan was successful, reducing the number of non-violent offenders in the jail dramatically.  

As we wrote back in March - 75th District Court Judge Mark Morefield, who supports the inmate reduction plan, stated: “’One (private prison) bid said that if the inmate population goes below 200, the cost per inmate goes from $63 to $68 per day. If we work really hard to decrease the inmate population, the cost will go up to $70 per day, … [t]hey are taking all the incentive out of it.’” 

Private prison contracts now available through Texas Prison Bid'ness

For the last few months, Texas Prison Bid’ness has been in

the process of making available private prison contracts in the state of Texas.  To find a contract, visit our map, where you can search by operating company and contracting agency or explore geographically; underneath the map you can choose to see a list of the facilities operated by a company.  

You can also use the search function on the left of our page to look for a specific facility. available contracts and other official documents for each of the private prison facilities in ourstate.   Through Texas public information laws, we’ve been able to compile contracts from nearly every state and county facility; thanks to our allies, we also have access to a number of federal contracts.  We will continue to update the site as more contracts come in.

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Welcoming a new blogger at Texas Prison Bid'ness - Piper Madison

We are pleased to welcome Piper Madison
as our newest Texas Prison Bid'ness blogger. Piper is working this year in the Grassroots Leadership's Austin office, coming to us through the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.’s Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) Program, which matches young adults with non-profits for a year of service.
Piper graduated in May from the University of Alabama in Birmingham with a degree in North African Studies, which involved studying not only French and Arabic language but also the effects of political and economic colonialism on non-dominant ethnicities. Piper has served the PCUSA in various functions, most recently as an advisory delegate to the 220th General Assembly, where she advocated for queer rights and inclusivity.