Private prison companies like CCA and The Geo Group approach cash-strapped states and offer to save them money by buying their prisons. However, evidence that private prisons save money is mixed at best. States pay a daily fee for each prisoner housed in a private prisons, and corporations set a number of beds (usually no less than 1,000) and an occupancy rate (usually around 90 percent) that states must meet or pay a fine for each empty bed. It is unbelievable that such deals are legal since they give states an incentive, other than crime, to keep people in prison.
*The Geo Group spent $2.5 million on lobbying in the last 8 years and $2.9 million in political contributions between 2003 and 2012. They help to write laws that create more prisoners.