Monday, June 18, 2012

New CCA Facilities Shot Down by Sensible Communities

Posted By on Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 11:54 AM

As news of the Corrections Corporation of America's transition to a real estate holding company fails to shore up a sluggish stock price to pre-2008 levels, the company's expansionary push to open new revenue centers prison facilities in cash-strapped states appears to be losing steam.

Communities in Illinois and Florida have recently rejected proposals to open new CCA detention centers despite the company's best efforts to frame the debate in soulless (if not entirely accurate) economic terms. In both cases, the townships of Crete, Ill., and Southwest Ranches, Fla., rejected CCA proposals to build new prisons for the purposes of housing of foreign nationals for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. Despite both states facing multibillion dollar budget shortfalls for the foreseeable future, local governments strongly objected to the plans, with ICE ultimately pulling the plugs following failed negotiations with CCA, the details of which remain unknown.

Perhaps it has something to due with the Obama Administration's increasingly humane approach to immigration reform. Maybe strong local opposition and CCA's knack for bad publicity played a role in the fed's thinking. Or it could be that the people of Crete and Southwest Ranches won a battle in a longer war, as CCA and ICE are reportedly still in the market to open new facilities elsewhere.

Regardless, the news is less than optimistic for the Nashville-based private prison empire, and is sure to make shareholders less than happy.

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