On Sunday, Grits broke the news that Corrections Corporation of America had submitted a bid to manage the Harris County Jail, citing information given to investors about a county-issued RFP which hadn’t been reported in the local media. Last night, the local Fox TV affiliate confirmed it:
FOX 26 News obtained this news letter from Corrections Corporation of America, a private prison operation firm:
“We are also very excited about the opportunities that are before the industry and for which we feel well positioned. We’re awaiting a decision from Arizona on its 5,000 bed request for proposal as well as a managed-only opportunity for approximately 9,000 beds in Harris County, Texas.”
County officials confirm private talks are underway to consider privatizing the county jail.
You can see the RFP here. None of this is exactly news – the item came up on the Court agenda back in April (page 21) and was duly reported and blogged about at the time. The Court authorized a study of the possibilities of privatization, which as far as I know is still a work in progress. So, other than knowing that someone did in fact submit an RFP, there’s not much new here. Privatization is still a bad idea for the jail – you’ll note it was Steve Radack who was pushing this, which should tell you all you need to know – and we should keep an eye on this, but it’s not at the action stage just yet.