Prison board drops privatization

Source: New Castle News, January 30, 2014

Privatizing the Lawrence County jail is off the table for three years. The Lawrence County Prison Board agreed Wednesday to stop considering proposals for privatizing the jail for the three-year term of the new jail workers’ contract. The employees’ union agreed to concessions in a new contract, which covers the 2014, 2015 and 2016 calendar years. …. Since November, the prison board has been considering a proposal from Community Education Centers Inc. of West Caldwell, N.J., to determine the cost of contracting services at the jail in order to save money. …

Deadline moved for jail privatization bids
Source: Debbie Wachter, New Castle News, June 20, 2013

The Lawrence County commissioners have extended the deadline for proposals to privatize the jail. …. Should privatization occur, the 96-member jail staff no longer would be county employees. Most of them — 79 — have a contract that expires Dec. 31. They are members of Construction and General Laborers Union Local 964.

County considering jail privatization
Source: Debbie Wachter, New Castle News, May 16, 2013

Lawrence County government officials are mulling the idea of privatizing the jail. The matter came to light when a company toured the 268-bed facility after answering a request for proposals that was sent out by the commissioners. The 11-page letter, sent to seven prospective management companies, indicates that if the jail is privatized, the managing firm would take over running the facility Jan. 1….The idea came about because the county is beginning its 2014 budget process, he said, noting that could be difficult with looming health care changes….

…The county’s general fund budget totals $29 million, Gagliano said, and $6.1 million of that is jail budget. He said the jail is not operating at a deficit right now. “I’m merely recommending to the commissioners to look at the options.” The request for proposals is for operating and maintaining the facility, not for the sale of the jail, he noted….