International growth trends in prison privatization study:
As the growth of the U.S. prison population has stalled, American private prison companies have expanded their reach across the globe, operating prisons and detention centers in at least 11 countries, according to a new report by The Sentencing Project, a non-profit advocacy group.
The United States continues to house the highest total number of inmates in private prisons, but other — primarily English-speaking — nations use private prisons for a greater percentage of their inmates.
Nearly one in five Australian inmates are housed in private prisons, according to the report. In Scotland, private prisons account for 17 percent of inmates and in England and Wales, 14 percent, according to The Sentencing Project.
“As in the United States, immigrant detention has been a particular target of privatization in the United Kingdom, which has 73 percent of its immigrant detainees held privately,” the study notes.
“And Australia, which has a wholly private immigrant detention system.”
The study highlights The Geo Group, America’s second largest private prison company, for its international growth. About 14 percent of The Geo Group’s revenue in 2012 came from international services.