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McLennan County commissioners select new jail vendor

MGN Online
POSTED: Monday, June 17, 2013 - 12:31pm
UPDATED: Monday, June 17, 2013 - 9:33pm

On April 30, 2013, the McLennan County Commissioners Court was fortunate to have received two very competitive offers in response to our RFP for Operation and Management of the Jack Harwell and Downtown Jail Facilities. The Commissioners Court wishes to compliment both responders on their proposals. During the past week, both vendors have negotiated in good faith, in a professional manner on an almost round-the-clock basis.

This afternoon, the McLennan County Commissioners Court made the decision to select LaSalle Corrections as our vendor for the operation and management of the Harwell and Downtown county jail facilities, effective beginning June 13, 2013.

LaSalle Corrections is a family owned business, which has been managing jails for over 15 years. Currently, LaSalle manages and/or owns 12 facilities with a total inmate capacity of over 8,000 inmates and 1,100 employees. Contracting with various state, county, city and federal agencies for housing of inmates, LaSalle has built an excellent reputation for being innovative, professional and for treating detainees with dignity, respect and courtesy.

LaSalle feels that outstanding corrections management drives their success and points to their qualified professionals, including former state corrections directors, wardens, law enforcement officers and federal government personnel who work together to combine their knowledge, experience and leadership to give LaSalle a service oriented competitive edge in the corrections marketplace.

In Texas, part of the LaSalle portfolio consists of four facilities in the state with similar characteristics to the McLennan County Project, including Burnet County, Johnson County , Jefferson County Jails and the Bowie County Correctional Center. The addition of the McLennan county detention facility to these four facilities provides the opportunity for sharing of resources and the ability to collectively bargain for services. The centralized geographic locations for these five facilities should provide a competitive advantage to LaSalle in its efforts to service both federal populations and state populations. By offering housing and transportation services to all key Texas courts and airports, LaSalle will position itself as a major customer to the ICE and USMS. LaSalle believes its relationships and expertise will help McLennan County to market its available beds to the Northern and Southern District ICE offices, to the US Marshals and to be prepared for any future TDCJ needs.

In weighing the two proposals received, the Court found the long term proposal at a reduced operator fee offered by LaSalle attractive. The proposal offers a 5 year agreement, consisting of an initial 3 year period, with mutual renegotiation opportunities for both the County and LaSalle after 16 months and again for the remaining 20 months of the first 3 year period. Thereafter, two additional 1 year renewal options are available for years 4 and 5 of the contract period.

The Court feels that LaSalle presented a comprehensive, thoughtful marketing plan and values their documented recent marketing successes with other locations that have similar needs as the McLennan County facility. Another aspect of the LaSalle proposal that the Commissioners Court felt would be extremely beneficial is their thoughtful transition planning which proposes to utilize the majority of the staff currently employed at the Harwell facility.

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