DALLAS -- Texas officials say that developers are again proposing construction of for-profit jails to localities that are eager to generate jobs, including one rural county that defaulted last summer on just such a project.

Wayne Gondeck, deputy director of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, said that as many as 15 counties have contacted the oversight agency about developer proposals. The firms urged setting up corporations that could sell tax-exempt debt for projects to relieve the state's crowded prison system.

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