Last summer, the Obama Department of Justice announced it would no longer use private prisons. Shortly after the DOJ announcement, the Department of Homeland Security also said it would reevaluate its use of private prisons. The stocks of companies like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA, now CoreCivic) and GEO Group promptly tanked. But then in November this thing no one thought would happen actually happened, and suddenly the private prison industry turned that frown upside down.
If the presidency of Donald Trump was an unexpected gift to the private prison industry, and Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as attorney general was a bow on the box, then today is Christmas morning for for-profit corrections companies:
BREAKING: Justice Dept. rescinds earlier guidance on private prisons. Bureau of Prisons will keep using them. pic.twitter.com/ymAIo3G3nE
— Matt Zapotosky (@mattzap) February 23, 2017
Sharp spikes in the stock prices of Core Civic and GEO Group, the biggest American prison corporations, following the Jeff Sessions memo: pic.twitter.com/ukJ1YyAYJa
— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) February 23, 2017
Shane Bauer spent four months in a private prison working as a guard, and his article detailing that experience in the pages of Mother Jones should be read by anyone who has ever wondered what hell might actually look like.