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September 25, 2013

Private Prisons Earn More than the GDP of Greenland and the Virgin Islands, COMBINED

Currently there are 1,598,780 state and federal prisoners and 128,195 state and federal prisoners housed in private facilities.

There has been a 37% increase in the private prison population between 2002 and 2009, leading to a financial windfall for Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and The GEO Group, Inc., the two largest private prison corporations.  The combined revenue of CCA and The GEO Group in 2011 was a whopping $3.4 billion, with CCA earning $1.74 billion and GEO adding $1.6 billion in profits.  That is more than the GDP of Greenland and the U.S. Virgin Islands combined.

CCA controls 66 facilities that hold 90,000 beds throughout the country and The GEO Group has 56 facilities housing 61,000 beds.  Both corporations have faced allegations of unsafe and unsanitary conditions at some of their facilities made evident by $6.5 million in damages awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit against GEO Group in the beating death of an inmate by his cellmate and a $1.1 million fine against GEO Group for inadequate staffing by the New Mexico Department of Corrections.

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