To the Editor,
It seems that our county judge is pushing for privatization of our county jail. Her apparent motive is the saving of money – a laudable goal for a public servant. That is unless the real goal is saving on public safety in order to spend elsewhere.
Be that as it may be, my real concern is a public safety issue. Under our current system we’ve not had any jail breaks in my memory nor have there been any reports of major crime within the county jail. So all things considered, it seems that we have a fairly good county penal system. Why change?
As I said earlier saving money is a laudable goal, provided the cost savings are not at the expense of public safety. Two companies have recently bid on the jail contract: One company from New Orleans and one from New Jersey. The record of the company from New Orleans was not worth considering.
The company from New Jersey, though somewhat better is cause for great concern. The company from New Jersey, Community Education Center, has been the subject of a revealing 10-month investigative report by the New York Times. Among the discrepancies uncovered in this investigation were murder, drugs, corruption, incompetence, criminal abuse of prisoners, lack of proper supervision, multiple escapes and in some cases the use of former convicts to manage CEC’s halfway houses.
Since our current system does not seem to have these problems, why change? Maybe we should consider privatization of the county commissioners court. I’ll bet we could a save a lot of money there!
By the way folks there will be a meeting a 2 p.m. Thursday to consider and vote on jail privatization.
Walker B. Davis,