Idea suggested to fix prison with no tax increase
BATON ROUGE - Some members of the East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council say the parish should hire a private company to finance, build and operate a new jail without a tax increase.
The proposal comes as local law enforcement leaders seek a new jail to replace one they say is too small and dated. Mayor-President Kip Holden and law enforcement leaders had touted a $335 million public safety tax plan. But the Metro Council blocked a referendum on the plan.
Some council members want to seek proposals from private prison firms, saying Baton Rouge pays less to house prisoners outside the parish than at its own jail.
But officials doubt privatization would be effective. Criminal justice advocates argue against for-profit prisons, warning of worse conditions.