The Business of Correctional Facilities

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Joined Jun 22, 2008


What is the most profitable industry in America? The privately run prison industry.
In the 1980s, several private corporations specializing in "correctional facilities" began taking prison management off the hands of federal and state agencies. Since then, those companies have grown into massive operations. They're in almost every state and their complete takeover of the "correctional market" is predicted to happen in the next five years.

The largest, Corrections Corporation of America, boasts 82,000 beds in 66 facilities, in 19 states and Washington, DC. The corporation has grown since 1983, with stock going from $8 to $30 per share by 2000; it now stands at just over $15. The crime wave of the early 1990s, ensuing "three strikes" legislation, and the War on Drugs have made private prisons a profitable business.

Several factors have led to the increase in private prisons, but let's consider the number of prisoners currently in American jails. The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate, and total documented prison population in the world. As of year-end 2007, a record 7.2 million (2.3 million were incarcerated) people were behind bars, on probation or on parole. More than 1 in 100 American adults were incarcerated at the start of 2008. The People's Republic of China ranks second with 1.5 million, while having four times the population.




Statistics:
-740 in every 100,000 Americans are imprisoned
-1 in every 100 Americans is in jail or on probation

In the US, a ballooning number of people, predominantly Black males, are being imprisoned. The cost of managing all of these "correctional facilities" has ballooned accordingly:
The Bureau of Justice recorded an increase in spending from $9 billion for corrections in 1982 to $65 billion in 2005. Taking into account police and judicial expenditures; just over $35 billion in 1982 and just under $200 billion in 2005.

A privately-run prison system has absolutely no incentive to reduce the rate of incarceration in the US; in fact, the only reason a private sector even exists is due to the quadrupling of prisoners since 1980.

It's not just facilities management: weapons contractors, telecom providers and financiers underwriting prison construction are all getting into the booming business of lockdown.
All of the major investment banks, including Goldman Sachs and Co., Merrill Lynch, and Smith Barney, have a stake in private prisons. Today's economic crisis has hit all sectors of the economy, but with joblessness on the rise and incomes plummeting, expect to see the stock prices of firms like CCA, the Geo Group and other fine institutions continue to rise.

Leading Corporations:
The three leading corporations in the private prison business in the U.S. are the Corrections Corporation of America, the GEO Group, and Cornell Companies.

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA
) is a company that manages public prisons and detention centers, and has concessions for many others. The company is the largest private corrections company in the United States. As such, CCA manages more than 60 facilities with a designed capacity of 85,000 beds. Revenue: US$ 1.478 Billion (2007)

The GEO Group (GEO) is a leading provider of government-outsourced services specializing in the management of correctional, detention and mental health and residential treatment facilities in the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. GEO operates a broad range of correctional and detention facilities including maximum, medium and minimum security prisons, immigration detention centers, minimum security detention centers and mental health and residential treatment facilities. Revenue: US$ 1.024 Billion (2007)

Cornell Companies is a large American corporation primarily concerned with providing corrections services and facilities to state governments on a contract basis. Cornell currently operates 71 corrections facilities in 15 states and the District of Columbia. Revenue: US$ 360.6 million (2007)

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/w...United_States_of_America
http://en.wikipedia.org/w...s_Corporation_of_America
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEO_Group
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornell_Companies
http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=867
http://matadorpulse.com/how-the-us-prison-system-has-become-a-big-business/
 
1,879
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Joined Apr 2, 2007
Prison Industrial Complex indeed.
Angela Davis wrote a pretty decent book about this. "Are Prisons Obsolete?"
This discussion could be interesting...
 
17,888
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Joined Jan 20, 2006
I remember we had this discussion during my Crime and Punishment class in grad... dominated thee entire class, even spilled over for an additional 15mins. Wasa damn good discussion
 
4,331
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Joined Nov 6, 2008
Originally Posted by Elocin023

Prison Industrial Complex indeed.
Angela Davis wrote a pretty decent book about this. "Are Prisons Obsolete?"
This discussion could be interesting...
how about you give some cliffnotes on the book
 
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Joined Dec 31, 2007
this past semester my poli sci professor asked the class how many women were wearing victoria secret bras. he then asked where we thought they were made, and ihad assumed another country, but he then told the class that victoria's secret apparel are actually manufactured by prisoners in privately owned prisons.

i did a little googling and it looks like they make a bunch of stuff
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2008/07/what-do-prisoners-make-victorias-secret
 
1,879
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Joined Apr 2, 2007
Originally Posted by ericberry14

Originally Posted by Elocin023

Prison Industrial Complex indeed.
Angela Davis wrote a pretty decent book about this. "Are Prisons Obsolete?"
This discussion could be interesting...
how about you give some cliffnotes on the book
Basically the book was asking the readers to determine whether or not they believed prisons are obsolete because they are not doing what they were originallyresponsible for doing.
She discusses the subject of how there is no rehabilation and that the prisons are just creating a cycle. She also explains how males and females are treateddifferently in prisons. She discusses the premises in which males and females were locked up. (Of course minorities are a large number of prisoners.) Shediscusses the history of prisons especially in California. Because the rapid increase of prisons in California was incredible. One thing that caught myattention was that early on women were imprisoned during their childbearing years so that they would not have children because they were thought to beirresponsible and incapable of raising children. Education is also brought up and how it was removed from most prisons. Prisoners were used as medicalexperiments, resulting in sickness and death. And today, with the prison industrial complex they are forced to work for major corporations with no rights.Victoria secret, airlines, credit card companies, beauty products manufacturers etc are all companies who have bought out prisons and use them to make moneyalong with the states the prisons are in because they tax them.
 
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