The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

13 March 2006

I lift my lamp beside the cellblock door

Vermont's prisons are full. What to do? Why, outsource the jailarity to Oklahoma, of course:

"We're looking at ... a relatively new facility in western Oklahoma as the site for coming up [with] some more beds," said Vt. Corrections Commissioner Rob Hoffman.

Hoffman says the corrections department is contracting to reserve to up to 240 beds at the North Fork Correctional Facility in Sayre, Oklahoma for Vermont inmates. But the beds will not be filled all at once.

"Let's say over the next several weeks I expect we'll start with what'll be a trickle of a few dozens to start," said Hoffman.

This presumably is good news for Sayre: North Fork is the city's largest single employer. Capacity is 1440; it's operated under state license by Corrections Corp. of America.

And it's such a deal:

Jailing the inmates out-of-state is a taxpayers bargain: it costs only $20,000 per year per inmate compared to the $40,000 per year to house them in one of Vermont's nine state prisons.

"Oklahoma Discount Prisons, now with three great locations!"

And I suppose it's something of a relief to know that even with incarceration rates increasing far faster than the population, we still can make room for out-of-state, um, visitors.

(Via Fark.)

Update, 14 March: Sayre is happy.

Posted at 6:54 PM to Soonerland

TrackBack: 6:44 PM, 14 March 2006
» OUTSOURCING PRISONS from Population Statistic
I’m sure Vermont has its share of a criminal element. But it’s hard to imagine that such a seemingly sedate State would have enough of a surplus of convicts to necessitate shipping them out to contracted jailspace in Oklahoma. Could be wo......[read more]

Watch the Dept. of Tourism numbers to skyrocket as all these "visitors" come to OK from other states. Oh, yeah... this is the stuff that dreams and bigger budgets are made of!

Posted by: Winston at 8:20 PM on 13 March 2006

Its funny about these things ... the world follows a pattern doesnt it? In the days leading up to the transport system in England (which brought us AustraliaTraz, etc.) the Crown would pony up a certain sum to "house, feed, care, and clothe" the inmates of "the system". Say for instance the Prince of something got the contract ... he would then subcontract to the Duke of something who in turn would let it out to the Earl of something who would let it out to the Warder of the whatever who turned over control to .... someone. Each level providing income to the succeeding levels until the contract arrives in the hands of the guy holding the proverbial bag at the end of the line. The result could be seen in the rags and maggot infested food of the inmates. But the cry from the top was "we spend X amount of pounds" for this ... yada yada. A lot of the emphasis of the transport system started from this "dumping ground" mentality. Even the old system of "hulks" (old decomissioned ships used as prisons) has some parallel today with some states using or anticipating the use of old barges and ships as floating prisons.

A good read of "The Fatal Shore" does for this mentality what "The Jungle" did for the meat packing industry.
Almost sounds familiar (sans the maggots ... )doesn't it?

Posted by: Ron at 8:55 AM on 14 March 2006