Private prisons in the United States incarcerated 121,718 persons in 2017, representing eight.two% of the total state and federal prison population. Given that 2000, the quantity of persons housed in private prisons has elevated 39%.
Nevertheless, the private prison population reached its peak in 2012 with 137,220 persons. Declines in private prisons’ use make these newest all round population numbers the lowest given that 2006 when the population was 113,791.
States show substantial variation in their use of private correctional facilities. Certainly, the New Mexico Division of Corrections reports that 53% of its prison population is housed in private facilities, although 22 states do not employ any for-profit prisons. Information compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and interviews with corrections officials come across that in 2017, 28 states and the federal government incarcerated persons in private facilities run by corporations such as GEO Group, Core Civic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America), and Management and Instruction Corporation.
Eighteen states with private prison contracts incarcerate much more than 500 persons in for-profit prisons. Texas, the initially state to adopt private prisons in 1985, incarcerated the biggest quantity of persons beneath state jurisdiction, 12,728.
Given that 2000, the quantity of persons in private prisons has elevated 39.three%, compared to an all round rise in the prison population of 7.eight%. In six states the private prison population has much more than doubled through this time period: Arizona (479%), Indiana (310%), Ohio (277%), Florida (199%), Tennessee (117%), and Georgia (110%).
The Federal Bureau of Prisons maintains the nation’s highest quantity of persons managed by private prison contractors. Given that 2000, its use elevated 77%, and the quantity of persons in private federal custody — which contains prisons, half-way homes and dwelling confinement — totaled 27,569 in 2017. Although a substantial historical enhance, the population declined 15% given that 2016, most likely reflecting the continuing decline of the all round federal prison population.
Amongst the immigrant detention population, 26,249 persons – 73% of the detained population – have been confined in privately run facilities in 2017. The privately detained immigrant population grew 442% given that 2002.
Political influences have been instrumental in figuring out the development of for-profit private prisons and continue currently. Nevertheless, if all round prison populations continue the existing trend of modest declines, the privatization debate will most likely intensify as possibilities for the prison business dry up and corrections businesses seek profit in other locations of criminal justice solutions and immigration detention.