"We can pre-qualify you for a loan to build a brand new jail. Bob here will get your finances in order, for just a small percentage of what you borrow. Bob will build it for you--he's built prisons all over South Texas and knows his way around a reinforced concrete wall. Bob'll bring in his company to run it. Hell, he'll even tap into his contacts to get you some Federal detainees in there so you can make money on the deal. Yep. The Feds need beds for all these new detainees in the War on Terror. They'll pay you a good enough per diem to offset the cost of housing your own guys and leave a little to skim off the top!"
This is really happening all over the South, especially in Texas. And these Counties, once they're in for $25, $30, $40 million, they're damned committed to making sure we: 1) do not reform sentencing laws (except to make these even "tougher on crime") and, 2) keep detaining as many immigrants as possible (we're already spending billions each year), you know, so that we can win the War on Terror. It's not just the income to repay the loan they want. It's all the free federal money they've come to expect.
Yep, Los Bob have shown us a way to make money from keeping people in prison. Everybody wins. The money just materializes from the Feds. Bob, Bob, and Bob take their cut, spend a few days golfing, make some contributions to anti-immigrant, tough-on-crime, more-jail-time kinds of legislators and then throw a dart at a map of South Texas.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Bill Neve said one of the factors that interests him is the possibility that the county's $1.2 million jail budget could be totally eliminated and the county would actually receive income from the private company operating the jail. He marveled at the efficiency of the GEO operation, noting their cost per meal for prisoners was $.53 per meal, compared to $1.42 per meal in Burnet County.So why not spend nothing at all?
UPDATE: Fifteen minutes later, from the Weatherford Democrat