Maggie Hassan made it pretty clear during her successful campaign for governor that she has no interest in turning over control of New Hampshire’s prisons to for-profit corporations. The majority of Executive Councilors elected in November feel the same. While the State is still formally reviewing proposals from four private companies to build and operate its prisons, the chance that a contract for prison operation would be drawn up in the next two years is about as close to zero as it can get. So why at least two of the companies (CCA and MTC) bothered to invest in lobbying services to defeat HB 443, a bill which would ban private prisons in New Hampshire?
For insight into this and other questions, the companies’ Form 10-Ks, filed annually with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), are worth a read….
Form 10-K for the Corrections Corporation of America
Form 10-K for the GEO Group
…While CCA’s 10-K sates, “Our policy prohibits us from engaging in lobbying or advocacy efforts that would influence enforcement efforts, parole standards, criminal laws, and sentencing policies,” CNN notes “Corrections Corporation of America, which builds detention facilities to house illegal immigrants, [has] contributed heavily to the campaigns of lawmakers who take tough stances on the issue.” …
…GEO makes another interesting point in its 10-K (page 31 if you want to look it up): “State budgetary constraints may have a material adverse impact on us,” they say. This is a curious observation given the fact that the private prison companies insist they save money for taxpayers. Yet, GEO says, “budgetary constraints in states that are not our current customers could prevent those states from outsourcing correctional, detention or community based service opportunities that we otherwise could have pursued.” In other words, GEO appears to acknowledge that private prisons aren’t less expensive after all.
There’s plenty of other data in these reports. There are lists of their prison facilities. CCA reports that only 785 of its 17,000 employees are unionized, while GEO says 21% of its workforce is covered by collective bargaining agreements. Both companies see union organizing as a risk. Both companies provide extensive details about their creation of Real Estate Investment Trusts. Enjoy your reading, with awareness that if you are working for immigration reform, reduced incarceration, and the shut-down of the private prison industry, someone in GEO’s and CCA’s corporate offices sees you as an element of their risk profile….
Tech giants, private prisons big players on immigration reform
Source: Halimah Abdullah, CNN, March 11, 2013