The Financial Collapse Of The Private Immigrant Detention Industry

August 4, 2015
ThinkProgress

Construction on private prison-operated facilities has grown nationwide, especially in Texas. At 39 percent, Texas has the highest concentration of privately run detention beds in the country, according to the immigrant advocacy group Grassroots Leadership.

The two largest private prison companies, Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group, operate 72 percent of the private immigrant detention industry. Both companies reported surging profits in their quarterly earnings. That’s in part because many contracts include occupancy requirements mandating that state or local governments must keep facilities anywhere between 80 and 100 percent full. On top of that, Congress has a so-called bed mandate, requiring that the Department of Homeland Security make available at least 34,000 beds every night for immigrant detention. That figure has been adjusted to around 31,000 for the 2015 fiscal year.