As Trump Vows to Lock ’em Up, Private Prison Stocks Surge

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Investors in America’s private prison industry like what they are hearing from President-elect Donald Trump, reports the International Business Times. Share prices for the nation’s largest for-profit prison companies have spiked since Trump’s election. The GEO Group, Inc. (GEO), which donated to Trump’s campaign, saw its shares jump to $31.77 as of the market open on Tuesday from $23.88 at the close on Nov. 8. The share price of Corrections Corporation of America (CXW) closed at $14.19 on Nov. 8 and reached $21.36 as of Tuesday’s market open. “It’s certainly true that for-profit prison stocks are soaring on hopes that Trump will incarcerate more people,” said Bob Libal, executive director of the advocacy group Grassroots Leadership.

At the end of October, Trump promised to immediately enact a law that “reduces surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a Task Force On Violent Crime” and to boost funding for police and federal law enforcement agencies. He also pledged to imprison undocumented immigrants returning to the U.S. after a previous deportation for a minimum of two years. Such policies point to a future of growth for the private prison industry and the incarceration state.  Federal and state governments have increasingly used taxpayers’ money in recent decades to buy contracts with firms providing private prison facilities. But for-profit detention facilities are reviled among critics, and in August the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would end its use of private prisons for federal inmates.

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