Private prisons in the United States incarcerated 126,272 people in 2015, representing 8% of the total state and federal prison population. Since 2000, the number of people housed in private prisons has increased 45%.
States show significant variation in their use of private correctional facilities. For example, New Mexico and Montana incarcerate over 40% of their prison populations in private facilities, while states such as Illinois and New York do not employ for-profit prisons. Data compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) show that in 2015, 28 states and the federal government incarcerated people in private facilities run by corporations including GEO Group, Core Civic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America), and Management and Training Corporation.
According to BJS data, 21 of the states with private prison contracts incarcerate more than 500 people in for-profit prisons. Texas, the first state to adopt private prisons in 1985, incarcerated the largest number of people under state jurisdiction, 14,293.
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