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The Budget for the Private Prison Was Approved by the Commissioners Court at $17.5 Million

The Hays County Commissioners Court gave its approval on August 16 to a budget of $17,500,000 to outsource housing for offenders in Hays County over the next four years. The vote took place on August 16.

The Hays County Jail now has a capacity issue, which prompted Commissioner Walt Smith to propose this motion as a solution to the problem.

Due to the limited number of available possibilities, it was initially proposed to relocate some of the prisoners to either Oklahoma or Louisiana. Instead, we switched our attention to working together with counties in other parts of Texas.

The members of the court were presented with a solution in the form of a proposal by LaSalle Corrections West LLC, which is based in Haskell County. Before this, the company had reached out to other counties in the region in the hopes that they would be able to assist in reducing the overcrowding at the Hays County Jail.

If this item of the agenda is approved, it will eventually result in the execution of an Intergovernmental Inmate Housing Agreement between Hays County, Haskell County, and LaSalle Corrections West. This agreement will involve the provision of care and custody for inmates who have been relocated from the prison because of overcrowding.


The court’s assistant general counsel, Jordan Powell, provided a detailed breakdown of the costs associated with holding convicts at the LaSalle Corrections facility.

Powell stated that the cost was approximately ninety-five dollars per inmate, every day.

This takes care of the majority of the offender’s medical expenses, such as routine medical checkups and medications, as well as the transportation expenditures required when relocating an inmate from one facility to another. In addition to money collected from taxpayers, the cash would come from the American Rescue Plan.

The transfers are scheduled to begin as soon as the following week, with an initial cohort of 100 offenders being moved in 2019, to increase that number to 200 inmates in 2023 and 2024.

The judge and the other members of the court did not all agree with this approach.

In contrast to the notion of contracting out the work that needs to be done, Judge Ruben Becerra advised that the funds be put toward incentivizing new staff members to work at the existing facility by providing them with “high-dollar signing incentives.””

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“Instead of sending $10,000 per day to a private organization to house our neighbours, perhaps we could use the money to turbo spike the salary for these corrections positions.” — “Instead of donating $10,000 per day to a private organization to house our neighbours,” “Becerra stated.

The motion was approved by the court in a decision of 4-1, with Becerra being the sole member of the court to vote against it. Despite Becerra’s dissenting opinion, the plan was approved.

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