Private Prison Company’s Contracts in California Have Soared
The Capitol Weekly has this report on the Corrections Corporation of America, the leading private prison company in the U.S., whose contracts in California alone have soared from $23 million to $700 million, just since 2006.
Even in a state accustomed to high-dollar contracts, the 31-fold increase over three years is dramatic.
During the same period, the company’s campaign donations rose exponentially, from $36,750 in 2006, of which $25,000 went to the state Republican Party, to $233,500 in 2007-08 and nearly $139,000 in 2009. The donations have gone to Democrats, Republicans and ballot measures. The company’s largest single contribution, $100,000, went to an unsuccessful budget-reform package pushed last year by Gov. Schwarzenegger.
The lack of competitive bidding has raised concerns about in the Democrat-controlled Legislature about prison-system procurement.
CCA operates five out-of-state facilities for the Golden State — holding about 8,000 California inmates (to increase to about 10,000 under the latest contract) — in Arizona, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. CCA, and some state officials, argue that the company has helped alleviate California prison system’s severe overcrowding problem.