Anonymous Exposes U.S.’s Biggest Private Prison Company As a Bad Financial Investment

The oldest and largest for-profit prison company is not what it would have you believe, at least according to Anonymous. A faction of the hacktivist group released a report this morning concluding that the publicly traded prison operator Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is not an efficient, profitable free-market solution -- but a bad investment for shareholders.

Companies like CCA currently profit from America's addiction to incarceration – converting a bloody trail of prison riots, deaths, and general human misery into black balance sheets. The conventional financial wisdom is that CCA will be reliably profitable in the future because of its strong history of growth over the past thirty years. But this growth has been fueled by an historical anomaly. Between 1970 and 2005, the U.S. prison population grew by 700 percent, far outpacing both population growth and crime. As a result, our country now has 5% of the world's population but 25% of the world's prisoners.

CCA did not exist before this massive expansion of incarceration – and the company depends on it to survive. But Anonymous' report shows us that as America weans itself from that addiction, CCA's ledgers will quickly turn red.

This is not Anonymous' first foray into corporate issues. Since 2011, it has published four reports digging into the financials and governance of publicly traded Chinese companies. Each report has seriously rattled the target company; in one case, the Financial Times reported that the company responded by suspending trading of its shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Today's report on CCA marks the first time, however, that Anonymous has trained its sights on a U.S. company. They have certainly found a deserving target.

Anonymous points outs that state governments are increasingly enacting policy reforms designed to reduce their reliance on incarceration – including top CCA "customers" like California and Colorado. Based on a state-by-state examination of these reforms, combined with a close look at CCA's falling occupancy rates and decreased spending on new construction, Anonymous identifies ongoing criminal justice reforms as posing a far more serious risk to CCA's business model than CCA's management is willing to admit. It concludes that CCA's management "has been caught up in its own hype" and that "winter is coming" for the company.

Recent events lend support to Anonymous' conclusions. In just the last few months, four state governments have announced the cancellation of five prison contracts with CCA: Idaho, Kentucky, Texas, and Mississippi. While the Idaho and Mississippi cancellations seem to have arisen from dissatisfaction with CCA's performance (the Mississippi prison was rocked by two riots in just twelve months, and CCA employees at the Idaho prison recently falsified nearly 4,800 hours of staffing records), the Texas and Kentucky cancellations were driven by falling state prison populations that rendered the CCA contracts unnecessary.

Of course, continuing this momentum requires the political will to further reduce the flow of people into prisons. The ACLU is working on a number of fronts to make this happen, and an increasing number of state legislators are realizing that current incarceration rates are unsustainable. And we will continue to emphasize that handing control of prisons over to for-profit prisons are a bad public investment: one that fails to offer a real solution to state or local fiscal problems, lets those companies engage in sharp tactics to garner more government contracts and avoid public accountability, and has resulted in a truly horrifying track record of abuse, neglect, and misconduct.

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What's a "for-prison company?" I think perhaps "for-PROFIT prison company" is what was intended. Maybe.


Release all non violent and any prisoner who would not be a danger to society because we need to make room for the criminals in this government! AND there are many!




Even Kentucky doesn't want private prisons


CCA lives off of lucrative contracts holding tens of thousands of immigration detainees. The mandatory detention provisions of the immigration act provides an opportunity for CCA to make handsome profits by detaining individuals who poses absolutely no threat to our community. Immigration reform is badly needed to stop CCA from leeching off of immigration detainees.


My husband was just sent to Irwin County Detention in Georgia, we live in South Carolina, for a bench warrant. I JUST FOUND OUT that he had been moved from SC when he called! The price for calls are outrageous and you have to go through a system to put money on your phone for calls. He has done time before for a nonviolent, nondrug related charge and he is terrified! He's also disabled and said that as soon as he got there inmates had access to weapons! They rather inmates kill each other than take care of them! We have 3 young children and no money for lawyer! I hate this racist state of GEORGIA!!

Mother of a good son

My son just got out of lockdown in a privately owned (by Sheriff) in a Louisiana parish. I was worried sick for 24 days about his safety, physical and psychological health! His big offense was to allow another inmate use his calling card for a 15 min call. My son was afraid the man was going crazy who had no money himself for a call and needed to call his family!.

My son was falsely accused and convicted for rape, and this puts him as a violent sex offender status! The private prison he is in walks all over civil rights and has used lockdown/solitary to add their own "punishment" onto his sentence!

The La. sheriffs assoc. is meeting this week in a Destin, Florida resort, and I wanted to attend and pass out a flyer I had made for them. However, my son begged me not to, because they could force me to divulge my name, and he's afraid. Afraid! Afraid of retribution! I REALLY hate not going, because it would have helped my anger....but.

Date and place of 4 day conference of La Sheriffs Assoc.

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