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Corrections Corporation of America
CCA started the private corrections industry in 1983. Company headquarters are located in Nashville, Tennessee. With more than 55,000 inmates housed in 65 facilities, CCA is currently operates prisons in 21 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The private correctional industry is one of the fastest-growing in the U.S. One reason: overcrowding in public facilities. The CCA Web site reads: "Overcrowded conditions in prisons and jails result in unsafe management conditions and often lead to earlier-than-planned releases by courts and judges."
Like any business, CCA has competitors, including Wackenhut Corrections Corp. and Cornell Companies Inc. Nationally, private corrections companies like these house about 5 percent of the nation's local, state and federal prison population.

CEO Ferguson saved CCA from bankruptcy in Y2K. But at what cost? In general, the public's NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) attitudes toward building new prisons haven't gone away. Critics of private prisons charge that overcrowding and poorly trained personnel have contributed to violence and security problems, like a 1998 breakout at a CCA facility in Youngstown, Ohio. And wages at this prison are lower than the state-run prison. That doesn't make CCA employees very happy. Are these growing pains, or a sign of something more serious? What will Ferguson's week on the floor tell him?

Next: The Floor - New Mexico Women's Correctional Facility >>>

New Mexico Women's Correctional Facility
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