There are 2.3 million people living behind bars, costing the federal government 55 billion dollars every year. Crime pays, but to whom? Between 1990 and 2010, the number of privately operated prisons in the United States had grown 1,600%. Private prisons rake in about 3 billion dollars in revenue annually, over half of that coming from holding facilities for undocumented immigrants. In fact, more than 50% of detainment facilities for immigrants are run by private prisons.
Turns out that prison is a big business, and private prison companies rely on people committing crimes (or at least getting convicted of them) to keep their wallets fat. The two biggest private prison companies in the United States, Corrections Corporation of America and the The GEO Group make up 75% of the private industry, as well has having some pretty sweet deals with the government. Contracts that state that prison occupancy is guaranteed by the government to stay at or above a specified level and that if the rates fall below, the government will still pay for the empty beds. A lot of these contracts have a minimum occupancy rate of over 90%.
Here is an infographic with more on the subject, give it a look and let us know what you think about it in the comments. Don’t forget to like and share.