Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the largest for-profit prison firm in the United States, and the subject of a recent scathing Mother Jones undercover investigative report that detailed numerous deficiencies at a Louisiana prison operated by the company, effectively found itself “pink-slipped” by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ announced in August 2016 that it plans to eliminate its use of privately-operated facilities to house federal prisoners, which sparked a sharp decline in CCA’s stock price. [See: PLN, Sept. 2016, p.28; Aug. 2016, p.54].
That was a serious setback for a company that has bragged about its profitability for decades and touted its ability to “save money” by operating detention facilities for less than what the government spends. Following the DOJ’s decision to phase out private prisons, the resulting 40% drop in CCA’s market value put it into full survival mode.
One of CCA’s first remedial moves, announced on October 29, 2016, was to change its name to “CoreCivic.” However, no matter what it’s called, the company’s business model remains the same – to make money by not spending enough to provide safe, secure facilities and adequate medical care for prisoners.
Marketers call this “rebranding” but it is really an admission of failure which indicates that a company’s name has lost whatever value it once had. Despite the name change, CCA’s sordid history and reputation for shoddy business practices remain.
As noted by Prison Legal News managing editor Alex Friedmann, himself a former prisoner who served time at a CCA-operated facility, “If nothing else this rebranding effort indicates the company knows its CCA brand – which it developed over more than 30 years – had become a liability due to its connection with higher levels of violence, sexual abuse, corruption and questionable cost savings at CCA-run prisons and jails. The company may now be called CoreCivic but it will always be remembered as CCA and can’t escape its past.”
Sources: www.motherjones.com, www.nashvillescene.com, www.fusion.net
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