Two weeks ago, the country’s second largest private prison company told its investors it had some bad news…
Sometimes knowing where someone stands on an issue is pretty straightforward. We can be sure about this: the private prison industry doesn’t share our goal of ending mass incarceration.
Private prison companies are extremely secretive, but in the last few weeks we’ve gotten two powerful glimpses of how these companies harm prisoners and the people that work for them.
One thing I’ve learned from decades of fighting for the public good is that winning comes in different forms.
Last week, the country’s two largest private prison operators, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, released their annual financial reports. The numbers were what we’ve come to expect — staggering. Combined, the two publicly traded companies collected $361 million in profits last year. That’s profit — taxpayer money that could be going to fixing our criminal justice system, which is badly broken.
In the Public Interest ran the numbers and that means CCA made $3,356 in profit for every person it incarcerated, and GEO Group made $2,135. What if we spent that money on mental health care, drug treatment, education or job training for those prisoners? What if, instead of lining the pockets of private prison corporate executives and shareholders, that money was invested in cultivating safer conditions in our jails and prisons?
Most agree that our criminal justice system is in crisis.
As many as five million undocumented immigrants are waiting in limbo as the Supreme Court reviews challenges to President Obama’s 2014 executive actions, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). But there’s one group that’s more than happy with the status quo.
A new look under the hood of the nation’s immigration detention system reveals a staggering trend: Immigrant detention has become increasingly reliant on facilities and services provided by private companies, which are driven by profit to keep or even expand existing services.
Companies like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group — the nation’s two largest private prison companies — are benefiting from our bloated immigration detention system, which has grown by 75 percent over the last decade. Together, CCA and GEO Group operate eight of the 10 largest detention centers.