Saturday, February 19, 2011

CEC Scheme To Get BOP Prisoners Bogus, Bewildering, Baloney

By The Legendary Jim Parks
Reporting by R.S. Gates

A recent gushing report in the local press allowed that McLennan County Commissioners “may consider” helping pay for renovations to a recently completed private jail operated by CEC (Civigenics), Inc.

For why?

So the brand spanking new jail, which was opened only last summer, may be expanded to hold 1,000 prisoners and thus qualify for a U.S. Bureau of Prisons contract.

Not only is the entire premise propagated by Commissioners and CEC officials erroneous to the fractured funny bone, it's bogus to the highest heavens of the nickel per butt accommodations, conveniently located in the nosebleed section of the cheapest bleacher seats.



Desperate for revenue gained by housing federal prisoners, the County government is in hock for the interest carry on the $49 million spent to build a $35 million jail. A wee bit expensive, no doubt.

So, where was Jonah when the lights went out?

The jail is only half full, its 816-bed capacity bolstered by emptying the downtown Courthouse Annex jail of all prisoners and placing them in the Jack Harwell Detention Center where they can generate some income for CEC.

Fair enough? Having fun yet?

But, wait, there's more.

According to a solicitation for a request for proposal generated by the Department of Justice on April 16, 2010, “An offeror awarded a contract must be ready to accept inmates at an existing facility within 120 days after contract award at the rate specified in the resulting contract. An existing facility is defined as an institution ready to accept inmates, or for which construction expansion began, prior to the date of this notice. Expansion of a facility or new construction of a facility initiated after the date of this notice is prohibited.”
Wot dis mean, Cholly, is that if you haven't already started construction work by April, 2010, and you get the contract, you can't really have the contract, no matter how much money you spend on a sweetheart deal with CEC's construction company, the one that took so long past the specified contract period to finish what they have finished – cost overruns, oversights, and all.

But that's not all.

The smallest number of beds the Bureau of Prisons would accept is 900, or up to 3,000.

If you could put some of the prisoners in the downtown jail, that would bring the total up to the acceptable level, but there's still a problem. They all have to be housed “Within one fence perimeter,” according to an answer to that very question given by BOP officials.
What about putting some of them in the County Jail next door, on Highway 6?

It's still a no go because that jail is totally full and housing prisoners at the Jack Harwell, privately operated detention center, which is operated for profit by CEC, Inc.

In the Jack Harwell Detention Center, 200 of the beds have been committed to housing overflow prisoners from Dallas County, should the need arise.

Besides, it still won't work because, you see, they just don't have the beds to do the deal, and besides, as County Judge Jim Lewis told the Waco “Tribune-Herald” courthouse reporter, Regina Dennis, the Commissioners' Court doesn't have to agree to pay for the renovations, anyway.

All they have to do is rob Peter to pay Paul, Paul being the CEC (Civigenics) corporation of New Jersey, Massachusetts, and other points east.

Who pays?

Why, the taxpayers, naturally. We all know who has the really deep pockets when it comes to making a buck for private jail operators like CEC, don't we?

Let's go on from here, y'all. Oh, yeah. Let's.

Solicitation Number: RFP-PCC-0018

County may consider helping pay for jail renovations

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