The United States incarcerates more people, in both absolute numbers and per capita, than any other nation in the world. Since 1970, the number of incarcerated people has increased sevenfold to 2.3 million in jail and prison today, far outpacing population growth and crime.
Not everyone is treated equally in the criminal justice system. Racial bias keeps more people of color in prisons and on probation than ever before. One out of every three Black boys born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime, as can one of every six Latino boys — compared with one of every 17 white boys. Black people are also subject to pretrial detention at a higher rate than white arrestees with similar charges and history.
Violent Crime Control Act
In 1994 Congress passed the Violent Crime Control Act and Law Enforcement Act, better known as the crime bill, and it has re-emerged in the national debate around criminal justice reform and public safety. Many consider the crime bill to be one of the cornerstone statutes that accelerated mass incarceration. But the law’s negative effects did not end there. States and localities were incentivized through a massive infusion of federal funding to build more jails and prisons and to pass so-called truth-in-sentencing laws and other punitive measures that simultaneously increased the number and length of prison sentences while reducing the possibility of early release for those incarcerated.
It has been well-documented that these policies were failures. Their cost to society came not only from the staggering amount of taxpayer dollars that were invested in enforcement, but also from the disproportionate incarceration of a generation of African American men in the name of public safety. Moreover, tough-on-crime measures—specifically longer incarceration sentences—have had at best a marginal effect on improving public safety
For Profit Prison Companies
For-profit prison companies exist to make money, and therefore the size and status of the country’s criminal justice system is of upmost importance to them. There growth is generally dependent upon their ability to obtain new contracts to develop and manage new correctional and detention facilities. This possible growth depends on a number of factors out of their control, including crime rates and sentencing patterns in various jurisdictions and acceptance of privatization. The demand for their facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws. Basically,these big corporations and private prisons have a vested interested in incarceration rates continuing.
Core Civic and GEO Group were involved with ALEC at a time when it worked with members to draft model legislation impacting sentencing policy and prison privatization. These policies promoted mandatory minimum sentences, three strikes laws, and truth-in-sentencing, all of which contribute to higher prison populations. ALEC also helped draft legislation that could increase the number of people held in immigration detention facilities. While no longer a member of ALEC, Core Civic and GEO face the bottom line reality that a decline in incarceration is bad for business.
The GEO Group, Inc., headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, is a publicly traded real estate investment trust that invests in private prisons and mental health facilities in North America, Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. From 1994 to today, its stock price has grown from $1.00 to $11.86. The stock price was $15.67 just prior to Trump’s election in 2016 and grew to $31.00 by May of the following year. Coincidence?
Assignment – Core Civic
You can learn about the evils of slavery, lynching, and mass incarceration in your ethnic studies, history, criminal justice courses. But what about your accounting courses? Im not really qualified to talk about such subjects with any authority. I will leave that to experts in those other fields and classes. However, i know how to analyze financial statements, and understand that someone is profiting off of mass incarceration.
I want you to analyze Core Civic’s financial statements and prepare a report outlining the profits made from incarceration. Its up to you how to frame your report, what to analyze, what to argue….
If i was going to analyze this company, i would consider the following in getting started:
- What does the company do, meaning how does it make money?
- who owns the company?
- who profits from the company doing well?
- how much cash from operations is generated?
- how much is the stock trading for? who are the major stockholders?
- how much revenue does the company earn?
- how does it earn revenue?
- How much does it cost to run the prisons?
- What have been the trends?
- what takeaways about the broader issue can you appreciate from review of this companies financial statements?
- Does this company hire out its prisoners to private companies? Because this is a huge issue in most states….. most prisoners get paid $0.20 to $1.00 per hour for their time?
- Does the company contribute to lobbyists? and if so which lobbyists?
You have complete control in this project. You take the lead. However, i dont want to see regurgitation of some basic financial statistics or a half ass analysis of the company. Black Lives Matter and i want to see a side of that movement that is not covered by the mainstream media. I also want to see you apply the concepts of this course to that topic. I doubt there is another class doing something similar.
Here is a link to Core Civic’s financial statements. http://ir.corecivic.com/static-files/78f48d3d-5df1-44e2-ba20-fce435193496