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Texas Senate Committee To Hold Private Prison Hearings on November 13

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From the Texas Senate Commitee on Criminal Justice's website,

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice
TIME & DATE: 10:00 AM, Thursday, November 13, 2008
PLACE: E1.016 (Hearing Room)
CHAIR: Senator John Whitmire

The committee will meet to hear invited and public testimony for the following:

Interim Charge 1: Determine how private prisons are complying with state laws and how cost, safety, living conditions and rehabilitative services at private prisons compare with state-run facilities. Include an assessment of the staff turnover rates and compensation of private contractors when compared with state-operated facilities, and of the contract bidding processes used by the Texas Youth Commission and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Interim Charge 4: Monitor the implementation of the new and expanded programs provided to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) within the Fiscal Year 2008 and 2009 budget, and identify their impact on the criminal justice populations. Study security issues within TDCJ, including staffing issues, use of lock down procedures, the control and containment of infectious diseases and the introduction and control of contraband within the institutions. Review the use of career ladders for employees of TDCJ and issues surrounding the retention of professional corrections staff. Study the issues of independent oversight of TDCJ, including the use and effectiveness of the TDCJ ombudsman system. Provide recommendations for the reduction or elimination of barriers to an effective corrections system.

Interim Charge 9: Review the processes for re-entry of criminal offenders into communities. Identify barriers to the successful return to law-abiding behavior, including the absence of employment opportunities created by restriction on obtaining certain state occupational licenses.Provide recommendations for improvements to our current statutes governing this matter.

Comments Witnesses show up before 10 a.m. to sign up--see for location, etc. If you'd like to email me directly regarding your experiences, please write to HOME: NOVEMBER 7, 2008: NEWS text size Naked City • Public Hearings on SAFPF Torture Anyone who'd like to comment on the state's Sub­stance Abuse Felony Punishment Facil­i­ties may testify Thursday, Nov. 13, 10am, before the Texas Senate Committee on Criminal Justice during interim charge hearings concerning "new and expanded [rehabilitation] programs." SAFPFs, operated by the private Gateway Corp., along with the Texas Department of Criminal Jus­tice, ideally rehabilitate offenders in lieu of their doing "hard time." However, in scores of narratives provided to Austin attorney Derek How­ard since January, inmates charge that SAFPFs are, in reality, state-funded torture. Specifically, they decry the harsh, global punishment of "tighthouse," when inmates must silently sit still, up to 16 hours a day, sometimes for months. The Chronicle reported on the issue this past spring ("Rehabilitation or Torture?" May 23), and Larance Coleman, of Sen. John Whitmire's office, responded by saying the Criminal Justice Commit­tee would "focus on Safe-P programming" during the hearings. But as it turns out, alleged SAFPF abuses will come up only if the public brings them up. "We won't be looking at that specifically, but feel free and come and talk about it," said committee legislative aide Tara James on Tues­day. Meanwhile, Coleman declined further comment until the conclusion of an investigation by the Office of Inspector General. – Patricia J. Ruland

I think that it is not necessary to establish private prisons. I would like that would have brought order to the state prisons.

Private prisons?What else we will see?

Movies and music


Welcome to another in the never-ending series of Whitmire sponsored, "Deflect Attention from Dimiria's Incompetence" public hearings. While he rants, you will have no choice but to forget that she (after how many months?) still doesn't have a clue. Does anyone out there think Texas will ever have enough of this crap?