The N.C. Department of Corrections is developing a proposal for a private contractor to take over medical care and mental health treatment for inmates.
DOC posted a request for proposals from private care providers early last year, but withdrew from the plan after officials found none of the responses acceptable. DOC spokesman Keith Acree said this week that the agency is in the process of developing a new RFP, but that it would likely be "a few months before a new one is finalized and posted."
Last month, the state Department of Health and Human Services issued a call for companies interested in taking over the care of about 90 patients with mental illness accused of crimes or found not guilty by reason of insanity. With more than 40,000 inmates currently incarcerated in the state prison system, the DOC proposal would potentially be much larger.
The state has a checkered history with privatization efforts. Two prisons operated by a private company contracted by DOC had to be taken back over by the state in 2000 due to serious problems at the facilities.