Skip navigation

TX radio show covers PLN's public records suit against CCA

Texas Public Radio, March 21, 2014.

What Will We Learn From New Transparency In Privately-Run Texas State Jails?

  MAR 21, 2014
Texas Matters: A court has ruled that privately-run jails are, in effect, governmental bodies when it comes to Texas open records law, so what will be uncovered from the new level of transparency that these institutions must follow? Will the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association be ready to pay out in the event of a destructive hurricane? Also on this show: Whooping crane populations along the coast and a new ocelot kitten in South Texas.
Privately-run jails must now open up records

What happens in a private state prison in Texas doesn’t stay secret in a private state prison in Texas. That’s the court ruling handed down on Wednesday.

A Travis County district court held that Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation’s largest for-profit prison company, is a “governmental body” for purposes of the Texas Public Information Act and therefore subject to the “act’s obligations to disclose public information.”

The case was brought by Prison Legal News, a monthly publication that reports on criminal justice-related issues and a project of the nonprofit Human Rights Defense Center.

Brian McGiverin is an attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project.

"In Texas and around the nation, the worst abuses that we see are in the context of private prisons. And the big reason is that they don't have the same level of transparency that state-run organizations have -- until this ruling anyway."

[Audio from radio show is available at the link]