It’s Been A Rough Few Weeks For The Private Prison Industry

Source: Donald Cohen, Huffington Post, July 21, 2016

Despite the bizarre politics on display in Cleveland, 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. In fact, they profit more the bigger our criminal justice system grows—the country’s two largest private prison companies, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, made $361 million in profits in 2015 alone. … In the past few weeks we’ve taken big steps towards getting our money back from the shareholders, executives, and Wall Street banks that profit from mass incarceration:

  • Colorado’s Kit Carson Correctional Center, operated by CCA, will close at the end of this month—it will be the fourth private prison to close in the state since 2009. …
  • In June, Mississippi announced that the notorious, privately operated Walnut Grove Correctional Facility will soon be closed. …
  • U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has introduced legislation that would make it harder for private prison companies to take advantage of federal rules that provide massive tax breaks. After converting themselves into special real estate trusts in 2012, CCA and GEO Group have avoided hundreds of million dollars in federal income taxes—they avoided a combined $113 million in 2015 alone.
  • Just last week, a federal judge ruled that the government must make contracts with private prison companies available to the public. …