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Articles by Rick Paulas

America's Private-Prison Industry Has Always Been All Right

President Donald Trump has restored consumer confidence in private prisons—but they were never in danger of failing to begin with.

by Rick Paulas

For the country's largest private prison corporation, the last six months at the stock market have been wilder than the prison fight scene in Face/Off.

Last year, on August 17th, stock prices in CoreCivic—previously known as the Corrections Corporation of America—were steady at 27.22 a share. The next day, after former president Barack Obama's attorney general issued a memo directing the Department of Justice to phase out its use of private prisons, stocks plummeted 10 points. When Donald Trump won the presidency, stocks jumped six points and continued an upward trajectory, topping out at 35.03 on February 24th, the day after new Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the 2016 directive.

Consumers' new confidence in private prisons' finances shouldn't come as a surprise: Trump has broadly hinted since his candidacy that he intends to use plenty of prison space with promises to bring back "law and order" and also deport three million people—who would first need to be detained. Though crime rates have largely declined since 1992, Americans' concern about crime and violence rose 14 percent between 2014 ...