By the Numbers: The U.S.’s Growing For-Profit Detention Industry

Suevon Lee
Pro Publica / News Report
Published: Thursday 21 June 2012
We’ve taken a look at some of the numbers associated with the billion-dollar and wide-ranging for-profit detention industry—and the two companies that dominate the market.
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The growth of the private detention industry has long been a subject of scrutiny. A recent eight-part series in the New Orleans Times-Picayune chronicled how more than half of Louisiana’s 40,000 inmates are housed in prisons run by sheriffs or private companies as part of a broader financial incentive scheme. The detention business goes beyond just criminal prisoners.

As a Huffington Post investigation pointed out last month, nearly half of all immigrant detainees are now held in privately run detention facilities. Just this week, the New York Times delved into lax oversight at industrial-sized but privately run halfway houses in New Jersey.

We’ve taken a look at some of the numbers associated with the billion-dollar and wide-ranging for-profit detention industry—and the two companies that dominate the market:

General Statistics:

1.6 million: Total number of state and federal prisoners in the United States as of December 2010, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics

128,195: Number of state and federal prisoners housed in private facilities as of December 2010

37: percent by which number of prisoners in private facilities increased between 2002 and 2009

217,690: Total federal inmate population as of May 2012, according to the Bureau of Prisons

27,970: Number of federal inmates in privately managed facilities within the Bureau of Prisons

33,330: Estimated size of detained immigrant population as of 2011, according to theU.S. Department of Homeland Security

Corrections Corporation of America

66: number of facilities owned and operated by Corrections Corporation of America, the country’s largest private prison company based on number of facilities

91,000: number of beds available in CCA facilities across 20 states and the District of Columbia

$1.7 billiontotal revenue recorded by CCA in 2011

$17.4 million: lobbying expenditures in the last 10 years, according to the Center for Responsive Politics

$1.9 million: total political contributions from years 2003 to 2012, according to theNational Institute on Money in State Politics

$3.7 millionexecutive compensation for CEO Damon T. Hininger in 2011

132: recorded number of inmate-on-inmate assaults at CCA-run Idaho Correctional Center between Sept. 2007 and Sept. 2008

42: recorded number of inmate-on-inmate assaults at the state-run Idaho State Correctional Institution in the same time frame (both prisons at the time held about 1,500 inmates)

The Geo Group, Inc., the U.S.’s second largest private detention company

$1.6 billion: total revenue in year 2011, according to its annual report

65: number of domestic correctional facilities owned and operated by Geo Group, Inc.

65,716: number of beds available in Geo Group, Inc.’s domestic correctional facilities

$2.5 million: lobbying expenditures in the last 8 years, according to the Center for Responsive Politics

$2.9 million: total political contributions from years 2003 to 2012, according to theNational Institute on Money in State Politics

$5.7 millionexecutive compensation for CEO George C. Zoley in 2011

$6.5 milliondamages awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit against the company last June for the beating death of an inmate by his cellmate at a GEO Group-run Oklahoma prison. An appeal has been filed and is pending.

$1.1 million: fine levied against the company in November 2011 by the New Mexico Department of Corrections for inadequate staffing at one of its prisons



So we have a for profit

So we have a for profit prison system & we wonder why we have the largest prison population in the so called civilized world?

When will the American people figure out that their greatest enemy is not Islam, but the lowlifes that run & control their government [ the pillars of society & the parasites you give your vote to]

so lee thinks the USA should

so lee thinks the USA should shoot prisoners

This, of course, is another

This, of course, is another travesty. It is, as can be well imagined, corporate welfare. Again, you privatize a government function using taxpayer dollars. The corporation cuts back on everything fromfood to guards and pockets the profits. This then will breed disgruntled convicts. What happens next?

A friend's husband was doing

A friend's husband was doing time in a privately run prison in Texas. He was THRILLED when he was transferred to a state prison because he would get to eat "real chicken". There are two ways to increase profit. One is to increase revenue by keeping those beds full, so these corporations will lobby and support candidates who are "tough on crime" even if it's possession of marijuana. The other way is to cut costs by overcrowding, keep staffing to a minimum will poorly trained and poorly paid guards and feed the prisoners "mystery meat".

You forgot to mention the

You forgot to mention the renting out of prisoners to work for corporations .

Slavery is alive & well in the Capitalist $hithole of America!

Plutocracy results in

Plutocracy results in slavery. See it coming?

It's already a done deal!

It's already a done deal!

Private prisons are the

Private prisons are the biggest threat to freedom in this country today. Consider this: Private Prison corporations can lobby Local, state and federal government for more laws, for more hard line laws, for absolute enforcement of law. Why would they do this? So they can have more people in their jails so they can make more profit. And what happens when these companies support the elections of Judges, and Sheriffs?
Private prisons are a clear threat that will undermine our whole sense of American freedom. Who benefits from private prisons? Taxpayers? No. Because honest taxpayers will be more and more necessary to increase private prison profits and populations.

"Private" prisons are a

"Private" prisons are a function of the long-term stealth agenda to prepare
for insurgency or even revolution in the near future. The NWO Plutocracy
use cold logic in these preparations.

Part of Globalization and the

Part of Globalization and the destruction of the American middle class.

Either work for the privatized for-profit prisons or live in them.

Norman Allen's picture

They are laying the

They are laying the foundation of a prison planet, similar to what England did in 19th century to its poor citizens: convicting of crimes so they could populate Australia for the British lords' profits. We are going backwards to 19th century England for our 21st century economic structures. Prisons will have their lobby to pay Congress to pass laws to make more people criminal so the money flows to the rich and their protectors in Congress. Why pass a bidness opportunity. Do we have a government of a bunch of mafiosi running the system for personal gain? It seems more of the latter in recent times....

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