It seems that the correctional world looks to Texas for guidance, and that much that is implemented here is adopted elsewhere. However, information I received this week may be foreshadowing
what we may see nationwide. In my last posting, I said that TDCJ exercises its option to re-bid contracts at the annual renewal date.
There are two newer, aggressive correctional companies entering
the management market in a big way. CSC (Correctional Services Corporation of Florida - formerly Esmor, some of you will recall,) and MTC (Management and Training Corporation of Utah - which had many government maintenance contracts and Job Corps training
programs. They are becoming a 'player' particularly in youth detention centers.)
Both companies are giving CCA/PZN a run for their money. Both also seem to be heavily capitalized, paying well over assessed value for facilites and creating what I feel is a fiscally dangerous situation.
When you have "challengers," who may contact the contracting agency (eg TDCJ,) stating they can operate more cheaply, you may end up with fierce competition, and ultimately, negotiated contracts which may NOT cover expenses. Everyone involved could suffer. This is a new phenomenon. Government will always want the lower price - but will there be a quality sacrifice? CSC and MTC are "buying" their way into Texas, and I assume, into other states.
I also heard, from sources within CCA, that they plan to walk away from all management contracts for facilities which they do not own. I would love to hear comments from message board participants about this. Do you feel this will impact the bottom line in the immediate or long term? What I see happening now, is employee uncertainty, concerns for job security, and a condition which makes it a "buyer's market." With the introduction of new agressive players I see market instability.
A comment about inmate rights and treatment: you can be assured that if we, good-living, right-thinking citizens, accidentally land in prison, our roommates will have been working diligently, day and night for decades, to ensure we will be well cared for. The filing of civil rights suits, at taxpayers'
expense, has been a passtime for numerous convicts over time. With little rehabilitation and plenty of hours to scheme and defend their rights, inmates are probably the best-protected group in the US.
However, we simply have too many non-violent offenders in the system receiving long sentences. Why should we pay between $30 and $75 per day to incarcerate an inmate who received 99 years for a rock of crack? Or a life sentence for an ounce of
I enjoy the message board very much and am anxious to hear more] from PZN as this merger settles.