CRIMEPrivate prison, detention companies spending on Alabama politiciansRICKEY STOKES
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Sep 16 2019 7:59 AM
ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER
ALABAMA: Geo Group, the nation’s largest private prison and detention center company, is investing in Alabama’s lawmakers just as the company hopes to land a portion of the state’s nearly $1 billion contract to build three new prisons.
Other players are also investing in lobbyists and lawmakers to compete for a share of the prize.
Geo Group gave at least $80,000 to Alabama lawmakers in 2017 and 2018, while CoreCivic spent just $4,500 those two years. (Figures taken from campaign finance reports and compiled by the Montana-based nonprofit National Institute on Money in State Politics.)
Gov Kay Ivey has received a combined $12,500 from Geo Group and CoreCivic in 2017 and 2018.
U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, received the most campaign contributions from private prison and detention center companies, taking in $22,500 since 2011, but his selection in 2011 to be chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security makes him an outlier. As chairman Aderholt headed the congressional committee that funded the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The two largest private prison and immigrant detention center companies in the U.S. – Geo Group and CoreCivic (formerly called Corrections Corporation of America) – received a combined $358 million in ICE contracts in 2018. In 2011 and 2012, while serving as chairman of the appropriations subcommittee, Aderholt received $12,500 from Geo Group and CoreCivic.
The Center for Immigration Studies found that on a single day, Sept. 22, 2012, private prison and detention center companies housed 67 percent of all immigrant detainees in facilities those companies owned and/or operated.