t inmates are screened to weed out anyone with a history of violence or other behavioral problems behind bars before they can be housed there, said Adan Munoz, director of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.
"We’ve got enough troublemakers in Texas,” Munoz said.
Language added late
Terrill inserted the language late in the session into a bill that authorized the Corrections Department to transfer illegal-immigrant inmates to federal authorities before they finished their sentences in Oklahoma.
Terrill said the language surfaced late in the session because it involved intense negotiations among the governor’s office, state House and Senate, Corrections Department, the private prison industry and the Oklahoma Public Employees Association.
The bill passed overwhelmingly and was signed June 2 by the governor. Both the Corrections Department and the employees association said they supported the final version.
But state Sen. Richard Lerblance, a Democrat whose McAlester district has two private prisons, said he still is concerned that the new law could pose a threat to those private prison workers.
"You bring these hardened criminals in, the worst of the worst, and you’re going to subject the employees of these prisons to more danger,” he said.