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Report

An examination of private financing for correctional & immigration detention facilities

While governments have traditionally used municipal bonds to finance the construction of correctional facilities, there is evidence that the two major private prison companies, CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA) and GEO Group, are actively pushing governments to consider the use of private financing to build new facilities... This private financing boom has serious implications for policy making:

  • Private prison construction deals embed private interests in the criminal justice system, perpetuating mass incarceration...
  • Private prison construction deals prop up companies with records of human rights abuses. Regardless of whether a new facility will be operated by private or public sector staff, these deals grow and strengthen CoreCivic and GEO Group, both of which have extensive records of human rights abuses.

While this report focuses on the facility construction financing aspects of these contractual arrangements, it is important to note that CoreCivic and GEO Group’s track record providing facility operations has been consistently abysmal. There are numerous examples of both companies cutting corners and failing to provide humane treatment of prisoners and appropriate prison conditions... These records of human rights abuses should give any governmental entity serious pause before signing any type of contract with private prison companies.

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