A debate that we've largely missed has been brewing in Ellis County, just south of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The County Commission has been discussing the possibility of privatizing its local jail since at least January, according to a story by Andrew Branca in the Waxahatchie Daily Light ("County debates privatizing jail," March 12, 2013):
"The Ellis County Commissioners Court continued its discussion of using a jail management company for the Wayne McCollum Detention Center at a workshop meeting Monday morning.
Proponents of privatizing the county jail told commissioners that using a jail management company could provide a significant savings to the county and to taxpayers.
The operation of the detention center is currently run by the detention bureau, which is a division of the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office. The detention center operates under the direct supervision philosophy, which means a detention officer is present inside the housing unit at all times to directly supervise and interact with the inmates.
The county has had exploratory meetings with LaSalle Correction and Community Education Centers to learn more about their jail management services."