These 5 Corporations Are Making BILLIONS Off Incarceration

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by James Kilgore, via OCCUPY.com:


Likely the most well-known prison profiteers in the United States are the Corrections Corporation of America and The GEO Group. Between them, these two firms pulled in about $3.3 billion last year running scores of private prisons and immigration detention centers.

However, these two firms are not alone feasting at the trough of corrections expenditure. Many other companies, most of them off the popular radar, are also benefiting from epidemic prison and jail building. Some may even be even operating in your neighborhood. Here we’ll do a quick sketch of five such companies, outline their activities, ponder their deeds of infamy, and reflect a little on how to curtail their profiteering.

No. 1: Turner Construction: If We Build it They Will Come

Let’s start with the construction sector. Prison construction managers don’t come with a tool box and a pick-up. They are world-class operators. The largest player in this field is New York-based Turner Construction, a subsidiary of the German giant Hochtief.

According to IbisWorld, Turner’s average annual income for prison and jail construction came to $278 million per year from 2007 to 2012. This represents lots of money in most quarters, but qualifies as only slightly more than pocket change to a firm that earned $9 billion in total revenue for 2013. In almost a century and a half of operation, Turner has been involved in building New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium and constructing corporate headquarters for Boeing and the RAND Corporation. It has about 5,000 employees worldwide.

Despite prisons and jails not being their core business, they are still virtually omnipresent in the sector. Turner did construction management for a 6,000-bed facility in Bunker Hill, Indiana, participated in an $800 million overhaul of several state prisons in Pennsylvania in 2009, led work on jail construction in Forsyth County, Georgia ($100 million), Fort Bend County, Texas ($75 million), Johnson City, Kansas ($50 million), Kenton County, Ohio ($41 million), as well as on two jails custom-built for Corrections Corporation of America in Georgia’s Wheeler and Coffee counties at an estimated total cost of $80 million.

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