Carson City, NV April 1, 2010
Unassociated Press

Governor Jim Gibbons announced a new budget reform plan and said he will call a Special Session to push through a Prison Voucher program that will give each prisoner $35,000 to be incarcerated at the prison of his or her choice.  The Governor said, “We spend between $30,000 and $40,000 per year for each prisoner in this State, so I just split the difference.”

When asked for clarification the Governor deferred to his newly appointed Chief of Staff, Roxy Jones who explained that this will be similar to a school voucher program.  Prisoners will be allowed to choose a prison and a voucher will be sent to that prison allocating $35,000 for the room, board and all related care of the prisoner.  When Jones was asked what qualifies as a prison she responded, “Gee, if you media people don’t know what a prison is I’m not going to be tricked into telling you!”

Governor Gibbons Press Secretary, Bambi Smith, then stepped up to say, “We are here today to talk about Governor Gibbons plan to fix the State budget problems, not answer questions about meaningless details.”   Smith was then asked if a prisoner used the money to stay at a private prison she responded, “Of course!  Private enterprise is always the best solution.”

When asked if that meant anyone could rent a warehouse and call it a prison, Jones said, “That is the free enterprise system, but remember, the prisoner gets to choose, so the prison will need to be attractive enough to make prisoner want to stay there.”   Jones was then asked if that meant a gaming property could define a section of its rooms as a prison and she deferred that question to the Governor’s Budget Director Heidi Ledger.  Ledger said, “We have had a problem in this State with falling gaming revenue, and while our thought was to have church-run private prisons, it would solve the gaming revenue and prison budget issues to have gaming properties convert some or all of their rooms for the prison voucher program.”

Jones stressed that the government is unnecessary in a free market and we need to start using private enterprise to replace government as it has been done in many other countries.  When asked if Somalia is one of those example countries Jones replied, “Exactly!”