is not a great state for the privates, however, I disagree with your comment that the regulatory bodies are driving privatization into the ground. Texas' issue is that there are too many inmates and not enough funds, combined with some small companies (like MTC) that will still bid low.
However, there are few states that are doing this, and there is just the opposite in the Federal area. The Federal business is booming in the private market, and all estimates are that it will only get stronger. The Federal business looks more to quality vs low price, and the recent Federal contracts (with per diems in the $80's) points to this.
I do agree that the privates need a much more concentrated effort on the legislative front vs each of them doing it on their own, but I think that will come.
Don't let Texas confuse the issue...in the end, this is a service that MUST be done, and the privates can do it more cost effectively...we just need to get the small guys to stop bidding low in Texas, but that will pass soon...in the meantime ... go Feds!!