The July/August issue of Mother Jones (MJ) magazine portrays Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) in great detail.
The nation’s second-largest private prison company, based in Nashville, began operations in 1983 in a motel in Houston, Texas.
CCA now houses more than 66,000 prisoners in 61 facilities across the nation. It owns 50 of them. In 2015, it declared $1.9 billion in revenue and $221 million in net income. This adds up to $3,300 per prisoner.
However, last year CCA revealed to stockholders it had $4.2 million in liabilities due to lawsuits, but said none of the cases seriously affected its bottom line.
Details on more than 1,200 cases obtained by Prison Legal News (PLN) reveal the types of civil cases filed by prisoners and employees against CCA.
MJ’s analysis of state and federal cases filed against CCA between 1998 and 2010, obtained from PLN, reveals some of the subjects represented and their percentages of the total suits.
- Civil rights/prison conditions – 16.1 percent
- Injuries – 15 percent
- Medical care – 14.9 percent
- Work related – 8.6 percent
- Physical assault – 5 percent
Prisoners filed 82 percent of more than 1,000 federal civil cases against CCA from 2010 to 2015, stated MJ.
Some major investors have sold their CCA stock because of a divestment movement. The following are some of them:
- Pershing Square Capital Management: $196 million
- Systematic Financial Management: $93 million
- General Electric: $54 million
- University of California divestment in 2015 prompted a CCA spokesman to say, “Frankly, we’re delighted to have a greater share of investors who are thoughtful about our business, can tell the difference between rhetoric and reality.”
A chart by MJ demonstrates that the CCA stock price from 1997 to 2016 fell from a high in 1998 of $150 a share to almost zero in 2000 and gradually recovered to a present price of approximately $35.
CCA requires states to pay a fee if they fail to furnish a certain number of inmates,called “occupancy guarantees,” in their contracts, according to MJ.
The Vanguard Group, the nation’s second-largest money management firm, is CCA’s biggest stockholder. It owned 14 percent of CCA stock, worth $447 million in late 2015, reports MJ.
Some CCA board members are: Thurgood Marshall Jr., son of the first African-American Supreme Court justice; Charles Overby, former CEO of the Freedom Forum; and C. Michael Jacobi, chairman of gunmaker Sturm Ruger, states MJ.
Harley Lappin, CCA’s chief corrections officer, was a former director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said MJ.