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