Private prisons often get a bad rap in the news, and it’s not without cause. In some states, these complexes can demand money from the government if they don’t get sent enough prisoners to stay at near-full capacity (talk about a solid business model!).
A Washington-based research group on public services found that approximately two-thirds of the contracts they reviewed included so-called quotas, which are referred to as “lockup quotas” or “bed guarantees.”
Not all of these quotas are so stringent as those we mentioned earlier, but one provider of penitentiary services does stand out, in this case, the Corrections Corporation of America or CCA.
The CCA bills itself as America’s leading provider of corrections solutions both public and private.
Ever since 1980 they’ve been working alongside various states to foster the creation of private prisons under the guise of saving taxpayers money (1).
During the past years, the CCA made a push to expand its operations throughout many states by offering several governors to lease their prisons under 20-year contracts (2).
The scary news is that these proposals also included a 90% “lockup quota”, which many states find hard to fulfill.
Today the CCA operates 71 different facilities throughout the United States (3), and their push to be constantly fed new inmates may be costing taxpayers more than it would if the states themselves were to operate these prisons.