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New Report from The Sentencing Project on For-Profit Detention Growth

Dollars and detaineesLast week, The Sentencing Project*, released new report titled Dollars and Detainees: The Growth of For-Profit Detention.  The report documents how immigration enforcement and changes in policy have led to a 59% increase in the number of detainees being held by the federal government between 2002 and 2011.

Specifically, the report examines how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) have increasingly relied on private companies to detain these individuals, as well as the complex network of facilities that house federal detainees, and the failings of private detention. The report’s major findings include:

  • Between 2002 and 2011 the number of privately held ICE detainees increased by 208%, while the number of USMS detainees held in private facilities grew by 355%;
  • In 2011, 45% of ICE detainees and 30% of USMS detainees were held by private companies;
  • Federal detainees are held in a complex network of facilities in which information on where individuals are being held, and by whom is often unavailable or incomplete; and
  • The private detention industry is dominated by the same companies that are regularly criticized for their management of private prisons.

The full report, Dollars and Detainees: The Growth of For-Profit Detention, includes a list of the privately-operated facilities actively employed by ICE and USMS, as well as detailed graphs and data on the growth of private detention, and the lobbying activities of Corrections Corporation of America.  

*The author of this blog post works as the Director of Advocacy for The Sentencing Project.