Corrections Corporation Of America: A Critical Look At Its First Twenty Years

In 2003, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), one of the leaders in the private prison industry, celebrated its 20th anniversary. In this report, commissioned by Grassroots Leadership, the authors detail the 20-year history of a corporation that, contrary to its celebratory public relations campaign, has been fraught with malfeasance, mismanagement, and abuse. The report's findings include CCA's:

  • failure to provide adequate medical care to prisoners;
  • failure to control violence in its prisons;
  • substandard conditions that have resulted in prisoner protests and uprisings;
  • criminal activity on the part of some CCA employees, including the sale of illegal drugs to prisoners; and
  • escapes, which in the case of at least two facilities include inadvertent releases of prisoners who were supposed to remain in custody.

Other areas of CCA's legacy covered in the report include the firm's:

  • financial instability;
  • self-defeating labor practices;
  • attempts to influence public policy;
  • use of campaign contributions and soft money; and
  • use of questionable research by biased academics.