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CCA Holds 2011 Second Quarter Earnings Call, Company Pursuing 40,000 new beds

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Earlier this month, the Corrections Corporation of America held it's second quarter earnings call.  These calls often give information about where the company expects new opportunities given the current climate on corrections.  They also remind us of the scope of the for-profit private prison industry.  Company officials reported they are actively pursuing nearly 40,000 new beds and new incremental opportunities that could be decided in the next year --estimating a possible $700 million in revenues.  

Given the current economic crisis and fiscal constraints that most state are facing, CCA reps reminded it's audience that not one of the states is appropriating money for new prisons.  In fact due to financial problems a few states -- including Texas -- have cut corrections costs and are planning to close prisons this year1.  

The 40,000 new beds that CCA is looking to obtain don't necessarily have to come from private prison construction -- although a possibility.  However, the current debate on the ability of the public sector to provide services is being addressed specifically in state prison systems.  CCA and other prison profiteers are players in several states, inclduing Florida and Ohio, where governors are working to privatize existing state prisons systems.  

These events are incredibly important and will no doubt shape similar conversations around the nation including right here in Texas.  In fact, officials were excited that Harris County (Houston) issued a request for proposals in June seeking proposals for the management of the entire jail system of approximately 10,000 beds.

In addition to updating investors, CCA also reported last week that it is renewing contracts with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for the Bridgeport and Mineral Wells Pre Parole Transfer Facilities through September 2013 with an option for extension through 2017. 

Listening to CCA officials discuss all the new opportunities on the horizon is a reminder of the forces behind working to expand prison capacity despite efforts to the contrary.  We will keep ya'll posted on all of the company's developments.

1.  Disclosure: Link to a report I authored for my employer.