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Operator of Family Immigrant Detention Center Named Among the 400 Best Businesses in America by Forbes

LatinaLista — In 2004, at a company investors’ meeting, representatives from Corrections Corporation of America, operators of the family immigration detention facility, the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas, told their investors that business was good.

T. Don Hutto Residential facility
(Photographer: Jay Johnson-Castro)

At the time, federal prisons were experiencing severe overcrowding. Since the majority of the people behind bars were males between the ages of 18 and 24, the company’s representatives told investors that since this demographic was increasing the longterm outlook for the company pointed to a very profitable future.

How right they were!

Ben, a Latina Lista reader, alerted us to the fact that Corrections Corporation of America was just named by Forbes as one of “The 400 Best Big Companies in America.”

Crime pays. At least for John Ferguson, chief of $1.3 billion (sales) Corrections Corporation of America (nyse: CXW), the nation’s largest privatized prison operator. If there’s one thing Ferguson can rely on, it’s that criminals are never in short supply and there aren’t enough bars to put them behind. Ferguson’s 23-year-old firm, in Nashville, Tenn., is the oldest company of its kind. And it has cells to spare. “We have seen this percolating demand for many years that we didn’t sense other people saw,” he says. “This company has prepared itself.” Earnings per share are up 130% over the last 12 months.
(Forbes January 2007)

Back at that investors’ meeting two years ago, the company directly attributed their future profits to the White House:

Â…CCA also noted that the national turn toward private prisons has been greatly helped by the Bush administration, which has reduced the construction of prisons in favor of contracting private companies and local governments.

Due in part to this “free enterprise” system:

– The company is the fifth largest corrections system in the nation, behind only the federal government and three states.
– CCA is the founder of the private corrections industry and is the nation’s largest provider of jail, detention and corrections services to governmental agencies.
– CCA has approximately 72,500 beds in 65 facilities, including 40 owned facilities, under contract for management in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
– The company manages approximately 70,000 inmates including males, females and juveniles at all security levels and does business with all three federal corrections agencies, almost half of all states, and more than a dozen local municipalities.
– CCA continues its market leadership position in the corrections industry managing over 50% of all beds under contract with private operators in the United States.

Some would argue “business is business” but as was reported earlier this week on Latina Lista, the CCA not just oversees the incarceration of criminals but children as young as infants too. The incarceration of children in immigrant detention facilities sheds a whole new light on the business proposition.

In an interesting article at New America Media, the author takes note of the increase in immigrant detainees.

Thanks to the Department of Homeland Security’s Operation Reservation Guaranteed, the number of immigrants in detention has risen from 18,000 when the operation was launched in July 2006, to 25,000 by the end of September. President Bush’s budget for 2007 includes funds to increase detention bed space by 25 percent.

Since it’s been admitted that families/immigrants are detained indefinitely in these facilities without due process, the CCA and companies like it, are profiting on the false imprisonment of people – since these are noncriminals being detained.

“Play yard for children incarcerated at T. Don Hutto Residential Facility.
(Photographer: Jay Johnson-Castro)

And in the meantime, men, women and children innocent of committing/violating gross crimes against humanity are being criminalized.

It brings a whole new definition to business profits.

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