Re: Two links

1

Usually the pro-prison lobby includes not just the prison companies, but also the prison guards union. This may be a case where Texas' anti-unionism actually resulted in liberal policy, for once.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 7:13 AM
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2

Heh. I've been in a couple of those. Wells, in particular, is beautiful. Angry owls and all.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 7:13 AM
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3

I didn't realise diaper was an architectural term.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 7:25 AM
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4

Texas has a little more political appetite for this kind of thing, , maybe related to Republican dominance. But better coordination between all the various Departments of Human Suffering at the county level, looking especially at the highest-risk and people who need multiple types of services, is an idea whose time has come - an outgrowth of the Gawande hotspotting stuff, maybe, but with medical services only one of many components. I may be getting more involved in promoting it where I am over the next couple of years, which is exciting. Of course cannabis decriminalization and sentencing reform would go farther on their own, but there will still be people who benefit highly.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 7:33 AM
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5

This is not quite the same thing, but our town is building a scholar house for full-time college students who are both eligible for section 8 housing and parents. There will be on-site childcare and lots of family supports in place. All three of my girls have a parent who's trying to get a post-HS education, and something like this seems like it would have been a great resource for families like theirs and maybe could have helped keep the girls out of foster care in the first place.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 7:41 AM
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6

Great mistakes in sections of posts having to do with great mistakes in Medieval architecture.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 7:46 AM
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7

Are San Antonio and Bexar County united on their goals? That would be nice, as opposed to the tdynamic I'm familiar with, in which the county government is voted in by suburbanites who think the city is a terrifying hellscape that only serves to drain money from the taxpayers.


Posted by: cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 7:52 AM
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8

Midieval is the tinny style of music they played on early cathedral organs.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 8:00 AM
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9

Looks like the city of San Antonio makes up about 80% of the county's population.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 8:00 AM
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10

which the county government is voted in by suburbanites who think the city is a terrifying hellscape that only serves to drain money from the taxpayers

It even happens when there's not really a difference in voter base. City of Austin has about 85% of the population of Travis County and the Travis County Sheriff still won't back down from participating in Secure Communities, despite the City opting out and the City police commissioner hating it.

On the OP, as 4 points out, the prison reform advocacy community in Texas is a cross-ideological lot. It has the largest slice of the sliver of growing right-wing support nationally.

[Ed., written before 9]


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 8:16 AM
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9:The Texas annexation laws have traditionally been very favorable to large cities in that they could unilaterally annex (no vote or petition) under a variety of circumstances. This has been under attack in recent years, but it has generally kept the big ones from being completely hemmed in by established suburbs. The politics of it is somewhat mixed, when I lived there Houston annexations were being fought by black politicians as they viewed Houston's aggressive annexation (coupled with at-large voting) as a means of diluting black electoral power. They were somewhat right, of course.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 8:27 AM
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Glancing through the actual Texas code, came up with this great bit of tightly-targeted legislation:

AUTHORITY OF GENERAL-LAW MUNICIPALITY TO ANNEX AREA; CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. A general-law municipality may annex adjacent territory without the consent of any of the residents or voters of the area and without the consent of any of the owners of land in the area if:
(1) the municipality has a population of 1,762-1,770 [emphasis added - DAS], part of whose boundary is part of the shoreline of a lake whose normal surface area is 75,000 acres or greater and which is located completely within the State of Texas;


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 8:36 AM
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13

I believe North Carolina has a similar concept of "extra-judicial territory."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 8:36 AM
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For instance, here is a recent map of Austin's EJT compared to its city limits (and some other in-between categories like "Austin Limited Purpose" contrasted with "Austin Full Purpose'.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 8:41 AM
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15

I've seen a state document making a particular program available to counties "containing a population of 4 million and over".


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 8:42 AM
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16

I haven't though about it too much, bt the forced annexation thing sure seems like a good idea.

Formulations like 15 are very common in state legislation.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 9:05 AM
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16.1: Yes, I'm generally for them. Of course, they can be used per 11 as tools in the furtherance of entrenched white political power. But if Texas annexation laws were restrictive,those would have been used as tools of entrenched white political power.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 9:12 AM
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16: In Canada, I'm not a fan. Provinces amalgamate cities. There are parts of Ottawa that have fields in them.

And, in Toronto, parts of the city that I consider suburban and even exurban have too much power over the urban core. That's how people like Rob Ford get elected.

To me, it would be like Arlington, VA, Alexandria, VA and Fairfax, VA being rolled into DC. Sure DC needs the money, and Arlington, VA probably ought to be part of the District, but Fairfax has very different priorities from the African-American residents of the District.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 9:13 AM
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16.2: Yes, and I'm quite fine with them. But I like the specificity they had to go to in the example in 12. Town of population within a range of 8 on biggish lake located completely within the state (so none of you Sabine Lake or Toledo Bend Reservoir towns even think about trying this.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 9:18 AM
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(1) the municipality has a population of 1,762-1,770 [emphasis added - DAS], part of whose boundary is part of the shoreline of a lake whose normal surface area is 75,000 acres or greater and which is located completely within the State of Texas

My understanding is that this sort of wording is designed to get around the bill of attainder prohibition, right? But does something like that, where there's obviously only one target in reality, actually fly when challenged?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 9:19 AM
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21

Arlington* (and part of Alexanfdria) was part of the District.

*As its outer boundaries reveal.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 9:20 AM
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22

But does something like that, where there's obviously only one target in reality, actually fly when challenged?

"We actually have one customer for this already. We can't say who it is, but it's a predominantly Jewish country in the Middle East" - aerospace manufacturer talking to a colleague of mine


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 9:24 AM
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23

21: Shockingly, considerations of slavery were involved.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 9:26 AM
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20 -- They're not bills of attainder, since there's no penalty or criminal sanction attached. There are some arcane and complicated municipal law rules within states that govern discrimination between the legislature w/r/t municipalities, that I don't claim to understand, and the weird statutory language is crafted to and may or may not be necessary to get around those rules.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 9:30 AM
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I'm having a senior moment/brain fart:What is the freaking common term for a law specifically designed to help a single entity? Ofttimes characterized as "pork barrel"and basically a reverse bill of attainder. It's a common term and yet I've lost it (I had it a few days ago). Must lateral think.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 9:31 AM
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25: Congress worked marginally better when they could do them but the radical fuckwits declared them evil incarnate.

Not "set asides."Something like "benchmarks"...ah ha! Earmarks. Holy shit.

Perth Amboy. </thurber>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 9:33 AM
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27

Earmarks.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 9:34 AM
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28

Earmark? Giveaway?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 9:34 AM
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29

Allow me to be the first to suggest "earmarks".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 9:42 AM
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30

It comes from the Vikings. When you were allotted a particular prisoner whose home you could loot and whose wife you could make your bondswoman, you were allowed to carve a rune onto his ear, hence the "earmark."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 9:46 AM
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31

Perhaps the some of the private prison companies also run mental health services?


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 10:23 AM
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32

31: Milo Minderbinder's post-war business model. And everybody has a share.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 10:37 AM
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33

I think it might be more public/nonprofit/charity - mental health for poor people is something private providers are really wary of, I think. But no idea how it is in Bexar.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 12:05 PM
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34

33: That kind of surprises me. I suspect there would be a pretty high amount of profit if one ran a county mental health facility in the same way there would be profit in running a prison. Vulnerable population, few avenues for complaints, not terribly high expenditures, and government funding that would remain relatively stable. Also, there are lots of private senior care facilities which deal with memory care patients on Medicare. I don't follow why mental health centers would be different. Does Medicaid reimburse way less for mental health than other claims?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 12:18 PM
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35

Inpatient, I can see that, but inpatient isn't the focus of this kind of endeavor, except maybe some addiction treatment services. Counties don't want to pay for hospital days any more than they want to pay to jail people where it can be avoided - as expensive or more. I meant for outpatient services.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 12:41 PM
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36

ydnew- You seem to be proposing the re-creation of bedlam.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 1:41 PM
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37

I heard the OP topic 2 story on NPR the other day, and was blown away by it. It all sounded so very sensible. Police really ought to be trained in handling the seriously mentally ill (SMI), because they are often going to be on the front lines when the SMI go off their meds to start going down-hill. In the story, they mentioned that they have a group of such trained officers who enter the situation in plain clothes, rather than uniforms. They try to engage and communicate, rather than be authoritarian. The result will keep many more people out of jail where there will be very little (if any) psychiatric care to help get them re-stabilized. I hope the program continues to be successful, saves a ton of money, and then starts getting translated to all cities. I would also like a sparkly pony and five dollars.

I wonder if the person gets stuck with the tab for the short-term hospitalization or whatever it is that they get sent to? It would suck if the person gets stuck for the tab, particularly if they weren't planning to go on their own, but end up persuaded by the police.


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 2:43 PM
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38

36: Just wondering why, if we can create profitable Dickensian prisons via privatization, the same thing hasn't happened to mental health facilities. I understand the defunding and efforts to re-integrate patients into society at large (so no more State Asylum for the Insane), but was curious about what forces are discouraging private providers. I mean, I don't even like for-profit regular hospitals, to be honest, but I thought Minivet might have an insight into what the difference was.

37.2: Normally the patient or patient's insurance is billed for treatment at inpatient facilities, so I suspect the same is true here, but perhaps costs are highly subsidized?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 2:58 PM
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39

38: Not sure why it hasn't happened; I'm not hugely informed on this issue.

One might be that investors like the prison industry because for a generation they've seen the government's demand for their services secure and growing, whereas inpatient mental health was hugely cut back in the deinstitutionalization era and is unlikely ever to be restored much; the watchword from both budgeters and advocates is care in the community.

Qualified medical practitioners willing to do the work are hard to come by, making it harder to pare costs to the bone. (In California, of the 10 top-paid state employees in 2013, #5 and #6 were psychiatrists in the state hospitals, and #8 and #9 were psychiatrists in corrections.)

And finally, in states with public unions, there's the preservation of employment issue.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 3:16 PM
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Minivet, you don't actually know all things health care related? Could have fooled me. Wasn't meaning to pry at you in 38, just trying to explain to roger why I'd asked. Those are better guesses than I had.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 3:24 PM
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If you're as sick as that guy, you're probably on Medicare or Medicaid.

Depending on where you are, a true involuntary hospitalization is generally not billed to you --at least if you have no insurance. (It's less clear to me what happens if your guardian consents)

In MA the Dept of Public Health State hospitals (unlike the remaining mental health hospital) with mental health beds will send bills to long term patients. If they have social security, their rep payee might even pay it. They don't, however, actually try to hunt people down if they don't bother paying.

Mental Health is super weird finance wise. Medicaid reimbursements are very low, but for-profit chains dominate the hospital networks. The non-profit hospitals lose money on mental health. But Medicaid chronic patients are the bread and butter of the for-profit hospitals, because Medicare has a 190-day lifetime cap on the number of days you can be in a psychiatric hospital.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 7:37 PM
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42

My comments really only apply to Massachusetts. Until Steward came in all of our general hospitals were non-profit, but the crappy mental hospitals are for profit, much like the bad nursing homes.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 7:39 PM
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43

I'm told in Travis County, what little (outpatient) mental health treatment one can get through the county is via public employees; elsewhere in the state, it might be private via a contracted insurance plan, or sometimes a public-private partnership.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-21-14 9:01 PM
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43: Private is not necessarily for-profit. I worked for a non-profit agency for a while.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 7:33 AM
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||Salt Lake City: You Can Leave At Any Time
http://www.theonion.com/articles/salt-lake-city-hoping-to-boost-tourism-by-remindin,36743/
|>


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 7:34 AM
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