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Push To Privatize US Prisons Lurks in Corporate Investment Scheme

Firm will purchase facilities from states in exchange for guaranteed 90% occupancy rate

The privatization of US prisons is in the news today after a close vote in the Florida state senate on Tuesday defeated an attempt to privatize a huge swath of correctional facilities in the southern state. Also, a report in the Huffington Post on Tuesday highlighted how Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation's largest operator of private prisons, has a plan in place to purchase public prisons from 48 states.

Huffington Post's Chris Kirkham reports:

As state governments wrestle with massive budget shortfalls, a Wall Street giant is offering a solution: cash in exchange for state property. Prisons, to be exact.

Corrections Corporation of America, the nation's largest operator of for-profit prisons, has sent letters recently to 48 states offering to buy up their prisons as a remedy for "challenging corrections budgets." In exchange, the company is asking for a 20-year management contract, plus an assurance that the prison would remain at least 90 percent full, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Huffington Post.

The CCA letter cites a new program called the "Corrections Investment Initiative" that has earmarked $250 million for purchasing state facilities. The requirements, according to the letter, include (emphasis added):

Read on...


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