cross-referenced news and research resources about
private prison industry
A private prison or for-profit prison, jail, or detention center is a place in which individuals are physically confined or interned by a third party that is contracted by a government agency. Private prison companies typically enter into contractual agreements with governments that commit prisoners and then pay a per diem or monthly rate for each prisoner confined in the facility.
Today, the privatization of prisons refers both to the takeover of existing public facilities by private operators and to the building and operation of new and additional prisons by for-profit prison companies.
In the modern era, the United Kingdom was the first country in all of Europe to use private prisons to hold its prisoners. Wolds Prison opened as the first privately managed prison in the UK in 1992. Soon private prisons were established under the government's Private Finance Initiative, where contracts are awarded for the entire design, construction, management and finance of a prison. Such prisons are run under contracts which set out the standards that must be met. Payments may be deducted for poor performance against the contract. Government monitors ('controllers') work permanently within each privately managed prison to check on conditions and treatment of prisoners, and privately run prisons are subject to inspection by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons in the same way as publicly run ones. There are now 14 prisons in England and Wales operated under contract by private companies. Between them they hold about 10% of the prison population. A further 9 prisons are currently being market tested by the Government, with the public and private sectors both bidding to run them. There are also 2 privately run prisons in Scotland. Current operators in the United Kingdom are G4S (6), Sodexo Justice services (formerly know as Kalyx, and prior to that UKDS) (4) and Serco (6)
Private companies in the United States operate 264 correctional facilities, housing almost 99,000 adult convicts. Companies operating such facilities include the Corrections Corporation of America, the GEO Group, Inc, and Community Education Centers. The GEO Group was formerly known as Wackenhut Securities.
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has a capacity of more than 80,000 beds in 65 correctional facilities. The GEO Group operates 61 facilities with a capacity of 49,000 offender beds,
Most privately run facilities are located in the southern and western portions of the United States and include both state and federal offenders.
updated Wed. March 8, 2023
April 27, 2018
Management Training Center, a Utah-based company with private prisons operating in several states, is far from closing a deal to build the 500-bed facility. They must win a U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement contract to detain immigrants suspected of being in the United StatesÃâÃÂ ...
April 25, 2018
William Ramirez, executive director of the ACLU of Puerto Rico, told BuzzFeed News that “the Puerto Rican constitution assures that prisoners will go through a rehabilitation process. That's not the mission of private prisons in the US. The private prisons in the US are about business. They are about gettingÃâÃÂ ...
April 24, 2018
The debate over a proposed private prison in Evanston encapsulates the economic head scratching happening these days all over the country. ... Management Training Center, a Utah-based company with private prisons operating in several states, is still far from closing a deal to build the 500-bed facility.
Jackson Free Press
April 24, 2018
#"Unfortunately, the regional jails weren't funded while the private prisons were. The private facilities have been funded, and you may have seen one of these facilities in the news lately," Allen said referring to the class-action lawsuit against the East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian brought byÃâÃÂ ...
Jackson Clarion Ledger
April 20, 2018
Jackson said he has been told by MDOC officials that they aren't moving inmates to private prisons, but rather they are reducing inmate numbers at regional jails. "I'm not a big fan of private prisons, but we have contracts with them," Jackson said. March and others say one of the private prison's contracts,ÃâÃÂ ...
April 19, 2018
LBE: The early congressional hearings [in November 1985] that Congress held on the private prison industry [were] fascinating. It was really the first time that the country wrestled with the legal issues, the moral issues, the economic issues, of private prisons, and one of the themes of my book is that privateÃâÃÂ ...
New York Times
April 10, 2018
Though a federal review found private prisons are more dangerous than government-run prisons for both guards and inmates, the Trump administration indicated earlier this year that it will ... Private prison companies can be found at every level of government, housing 9 percent of the nation's prisoners.
Bowling Green Daily News
April 9, 2018
The House then approved money that would allow the state to open two more private prisons if the need arises. But the Senate pulled that from its version of the budget. Senate leaders say it would be better to house more state prisoners in local jails because it is cheaper. The state pays $58 a day to houseÃâÃÂ ...
New York Times
April 3, 2018
The genesis of the problems at East Mississippi, according to prisoner advocates, is that the state requires private prisons to operate at 10 percent lower ... Neither the state nor the private prison company has contested the accuracy of the prisoners' accounts heard in court, although lawyers for the state sayÃâÃÂ ...
March 15, 2018
The American taxpayer pays the private prison for the difference and also pays in some instances for empty beds and guarantees of occupancy rates. The aggregate US prison population is 2.3 million costing the US taxpayer more than $180 billion a year. Despite this massive investment in incarceration,ÃâÃÂ ...
Jackson Free Press
March 14, 2018
#Operated by the Utah-based Management and Training Corporation since 2012, EMCF is one of three private prisons in the state that MTC operates. MDOC is responsible for the facility and stations a monitor there to track how the facility operates. More than 80 percent of the inmates there are on someÃâÃÂ ...
Jackson Clarion Ledger
March 13, 2018
When she emailed Tony Compton, who oversees the private prisons for the state Department of Corrections, he replied, "Amazing what you find when they least expect you to come in." During her testimony, Thomas struggled to come up with the minimum number of correctional officers that the prisonÃâÃÂ ...
Yale Daily News (blog)
March 6, 2018
Yale remains invested in the for-profit prison industry overseas and has made no formal commitment to avoid future investment in domestic for-profit prisons. ... Yet Swensen himself isn't giving readers the full picture when he argues that Yale's endowment has no exposure to private prison companies.
March 5, 2018
Issa Arnita, a spokesman for the private prison company — which is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit although its employees will testify during the trial — said he could not talk about specific allegations because of the ongoing court case. “We can say — unequivocally — that the East MississippiÃâÃÂ ...
March 5, 2018
WASHINGTON — A memo has surfaced that elucidates the Trump administration's position on private prisons, which signals an unequivocal pro-business ... Private prison companies invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and today they got their reward.
March 2, 2018
The private prison industry is certainly “winning” this presidency—meanwhile, the ACLU says the industry is creating “serious gaps in accountability and transparency,” while the authors of a 2016 Hamilton Project paper haven't found evidence that private prisons are cheaper for the government—or anyÃâÃÂ ...
February 21, 2018
Although Mr. Trump's 2019 budget would maintain the federal Bureau of Prison's annual spending at $7.1 billion, some analysts expect spending to shift to private prison companies. At the same time, the budget calls for $2.5 billion to hold as many as 47,000 illegal immigrants within detention centers,ÃâÃÂ ...
December 31, 1999
Private Prison Industry conglomerates CCA and GEO Group reportedly made $3.3 billion dollars USD in annual revenue in 2012, with CCA operating 67 Prisons and GEO operating 95 prisons, in USA. — making up 75% of the prison industry in 2012. A lower crime rate is not in the slave labor specialÃâÃÂ ...
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