The Private Prison Project

For-profit detention continues to reap the rewards of an incarceration system filled to the brim and facing an uncertain future. Our FOIA requests have released thousands of documents that show how for-profit prisons have leveraged the legal system to their advantage, letting companies pick-and-choose inmates to off-load costs, ignore complaints and concerns, and create dangerous conditions for prisoners and staff alike. This is all done while billions of taxpayer dollars are funneled into these private companies, which then pour millions into politicians' campaigns to keep their growth going. With your help, we can provide needed scrutiny of an industry few are even aware exists.

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The Private Prison Project is an effort to use public records laws around the country to draw attention to the gaps and blocks in accountability around the for-profit detention industry. By contributing, you’ll be helping us fund fees and release records to policy makers, journalists, lawyers, and curious individuals nationwide.

Backed by Kevin Pierce, Wren Saylor, Annette Heist, carolina guerrero, and 106 others.

$4,525.00 raised out of $10,000.00.

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The private correctional industry as we now see it grew out of eighties privatization fervor. Like so many corporate promises, the prospect of a quick fix has gotten many a government “partner” to sign on.

Over two-thirds of immigrant detention facilities are privately-managed. A steady number of state and local facilities are also under contract with for-profit operators. And, though the privatization of prisons has been controversial for decades, the current administration is poised to expand the industry.

Want to learn more about how we got here? Want to stay on top of where it’s going? Check out our previous articles and sign up for our mailing list.


Delve into the dirty details of corporate corrections.

Browse through our archive of stories and public records requests to learn more about the history of private prisons, new developments, and other facts about one of the most secretive industries in operation today.

Five myths of the private prison industry

Five concerns about private prisons from the ‘80s that are still valid today

Five ways private prisons break the rules - and get away with it


Whether you want to donate dollars, thoughts, or feedback, we’re happy to have you here and interested.

Five ways to contribute to the private prison project.


Learn more about the growth and maintenance of private interests sustained by bodies under lock and key.

How is this even legal? - Part One and Part Two

Who regulates this? - Part One and Part Two

Stolen shoes and the Kingman riots - Part One and Part Two

A tale of two prison towns - Part One and Part Two

At what cost? - Part One and Part Two

What are we really signing on for? - Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four

All prisons are private prisons.

93 Articles

GEO Group has donated over a million dollars to Florida elections since 2016

GEO Group has donated over a million dollars to Florida elections since 2016

Since the 2016 general election, Florida-based for-profit prison operator GEO Group has donated over a million dollars to Political Action Committees and political candidates throughout the State of Florida, support Republican PACs and gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, as well as a number of elections for representation in both houses of the Florida Congress.

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Idaho and Vermont opt to send more prisoners out of state

Idaho and Vermont opt to send more prisoners out of state

Two of the least populated states in the nation are experiencing enough prison crowding to warrant, by their estimates, the transfer of hundreds of inmates to private prison facilities in other states.

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GEO Group continues to expect gains from the feds for the rest of the year

GEO Group continues to expect gains from the feds for the rest of the year

Earlier this month, on the same day that GEO Group execs held a Second Quarter earnings call with shareholders detailing its immigration-based growth, the company issued a Cease and Desist order to the group Dream Defenders, in part a response to its organizing a day of action against the company.

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