Private Prison Profits Skyrocket, As Executives Assure Investors Of ‘Growing Offender Population’

Think Progress – by Nicole Flatow

A major U.S. private prison operator known for inmate abuseviolations, and disregardfor the truth reported a 56-percent spike in profit in the first quarter of 2013, due in part to its new strategy for drastically reducing its taxes, the Associated Press reports. During a conference call touting its success, representatives at GEO Group boasted that the company continues to have “solid occupancy rates in mid to high 90s” and that they are optimistic “regarding the outlook for the industry,” in part due to a “growing offender population.” GEO Senior Vice President John Hurley assured investors during the call:  

We have a longstanding partnership with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the United States Marshal Service and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE. … We continue to see meaningful opportunities for us to partner with all three of these federal agencies, notwithstanding the various issues with the federal budget, which we believe will have no material negative impact on our business. The federal bureau of prisons continues to face capacity constraints coupled with a growing offender population.

The federal prison population has swelled 790 percent since 1980, in large part due to draconian drug and immigration laws. And the United States maintains the title of the world’s number one jailer. Private prison operators nonetheless remain enthusiastic about the prospects of high incarceration rates for business. Representatives on this call shied away from the strong language fellow prison firm Corrections Corporation of America used during its investor call in February, when CEO Damon Hininger assured a strong “continued demand for beds” even after immigration reform. GEO executives explained that they are now taking the position that “discussing our approach and strategies about any particular procurement is really not in the best interest of our company or our shareholders.”

Following a trend of corporations achieving dramatic tax reductions by becoming a real estate investment trust (REIT) – a mechanism historically reserved for firms holding real estate as an investment — both GEO and fellow prison operator Corrections Corporation of America successfully persuaded the Internal Revenue Service recently that they are essentially holding real estate, analogizing prisoners to renters paid for by the government. In reality, the job of running a prison is only nominally about the facility where it’s housed, and primarily about ensuring humane prisoner treatment, inmate rehabilitation, and public safety. But private prison corporations charging “rent” to house prisoners make no more or less money depending on whether they achieve these goals, particularly not when immense political spending to lobby for incarceration and privatization outweighs the public pressure from widely reported abuses at private facilities.

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/05/09/1990331/private-prison-profits-skyrocket-as-executives-assure-investors-of-growing-offender-population/?mobile=nc

6 thoughts on “Private Prison Profits Skyrocket, As Executives Assure Investors Of ‘Growing Offender Population’

  1. The private prisons have “solid occupancy rates in mid to high 90s” because when the state lets out the contract to these vultures, it’s up to the state to maintain a 90%+ occupancy rate to honor the contract.

    Start arresting and tossing in prison those gangsters at the ‘Too Big to Fail’ Wall Street banks and the prisons will be overflowing. While you’re at it, arrest the frauds at the FED that have been stealing our money since 1914.

    As long as I’m dreaming, round up the Congress and toss those clowns into a Super Max and let them experience the joys of solitary confinement with only one roomate, a 350 pound psychotic rapist.

    1. No Greg Bacon, I think the luxury facilities at Gitmo should be reserved for all those in the House and Senate and, let’s not forget the entire Executive branch, DHS, TSA, CIA, and FBI. I we took on their mentality, just think about what we could extract from each and every one of these traitors using the new and improved “enhanced interrogation techniques!

  2. Well, it was either prosecute the bankers for the toxic mortgage/LIBOR scams that impoverished the world, punish the banking cartel’s multi-billion dollar drug-money laundering, investigate and punish the Bush-CIA-mafia S&L pillage, stop the looting of Social Security and the social safety net, investigate why we’re out-sourcing jobs and manufacturing to China even as the US is close to going to nuclear war with China as it threatens the US economy (national security), investigate who was really behind 9/11 that touched off the serial, never-ending wars of pillage against the nation-states of the world, while creating the pretext for the massive police state edifice threatening the freedoms of every American.

    …OR…

    Buy 2.0 billion hollow-point bullets, give away tanks to US cities and towns, train FEMA troops and subordinate the US military to the DHS, fly 30,000 soon to be weaponized drones flying over everywhere, providing an enormous profit potential for the private prison industry!

    1. OK Greg, by the authority given to us by the constitution of the United States and by the power of the US Federal Marshall’s who have sworn and Oath to Defend and Uphold the Constitution of these United Sates, We the People of these United States due make citizens arrests and prosecute the bankers,

      For the toxic mortgage/LIBOR scams that impoverished the world, Punish the banking cartel’s multi-billion dollar drug-money laundering,
      Investigate and punish the Bush-CIA-mafia S&L pillage,
      and the looting of Social Security and the social safety net, investigate the Obama administration for crimes of high treason, along with the members of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial government, investigate the poisoning of the worlds food supply with Genitally Modified Organisms, investigate why we’re out-sourcing jobs and manufacturing to China even as the US is close to going to nuclear war with China as it threatens the US economy (national security), investigate who was really behind 9/11 that touched off the serial, never-ending wars of pillage against the nation-states of the world, while creating the pretext for the massive police state edifice threatening the freedoms of every American.
      This is just the short list.

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