Watchdog group challenges private prison secrecy

McClatchy Washington BureauFebruary 19, 2014 

A watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, is calling in a new report for "increased transparency" in the booming private prison business.

In a 26-page accounting, CREW asserts that "highly profitable private prison companies...have quite a deal; they rake in taxpayer dollars without suffering taxpayer scrutiny."

The two largest private prison contractors, CCA and GEO, are said in the report to have had combined revenue of $2.9 billion in 2010. Of the 1.57 million prisoners held in state and federal prisons as of December 31, 2012, 137,220 were housed at private correctional institutions.

But because they are private, and not government entities, they are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. The new report delves into lobbying activities and the like, and makes recommendations.


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