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Harris County Increases Number of Detainees Sent to Louisiana

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Harris County Commissioners approved ("Harris County rejects leasing Galveston jail," Houston Chronicle, June 3, 2008) earlier this week measures to send up to 1,000 jail detainees to Louisiana through private contracts with three parishes in the state. Over the last year, the county had already relied on sending 730 prisoners across state lines.

As of Tuesday, about 11,000 inmates were being held in Harris County Jail facilities. The jail is certified to hold 9,400 inmates, but the county has the state's permission to temporarily hold 2,000 more on "variance beds," nonstandard metal frame bunks on the floor.

Sending jail detainees out of state will cost local tax payers $15 million a year. In addition to this recently approved measure, Commissioners also considered leasing a vacant jail in nearby Galveston County.

These latest developments emphasize that county officials continue to focus on expanding capacity to deal with chronic overcrowding measures -- rather than looking at other solutions. We have posted previously the litany of recommendations that have been suggested by Scott Henson with Grits for Breakfast and Marc Levin with the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Voters denied lawmakers the authority to expand the jail during last November's elections. Yet, still officials continue to explore ways to build further jail capacity. According to reports, these discussions will surface again at a meeting later this month and at the budget meeting in September. Voters should watch out for the strong possibilty that jail expansion will once again be on the November ballot.

Related Posts:

  1. Harris County to Move More Jail Detainees to Private Facilities in Louisiana
  2. Harris County Sending More Prisoners to Private Facility in Louisiana
  3. Louisiana Residents Pose Questions About Harris County Jail Transfers
  4. Harris County Making Wrong Decision to Deal with Inmate 'Surge'
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Louisiana and Texas are surely running scams on Texas residents going into Louisiana to visit Harris County inmates 5 and 7 hours away. I went the end of last year and received three speeding tickets from three different jurisdictions. Those officers are preying on Texas license plates. I went again this month same thing, ticketed in broad daylight and I absolutely was not speeding. Two witnesses in car with me. The officers know we are from Texas and more than likely will not come to court. Texas needs to get real and stop sending our county inmates 5 to 7 hours away and STOP letting Louisiana abuse visitors going to the state. My licenses only had an accident on it were I was hit from the back. Now thanks to Louisiana Im on my fourth ticket at 52 years old.

Why cant we ease overcrowding by writing tickets for lesser crimes, instead of all the arrest for misdemeanors & less serious felonies. Houston has scams inside of scams... its terribly and all the officials need to be investigated. People are stressed to the very max and still hatred rules. People's rights are constantly violated in the system, its no secret. How do we stop the prejudice that is still in place after all we have gone thru, apart and together!! Ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!