Privatization of Prisons Continues in Minnesota and North Dakota

Published July 1, 2004

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation’s largest provider of corrections management services to government agencies, announced on May 20 that it has entered into new agreements with the states of Minnesota and North Dakota to house some of those states’ inmates at the company’s Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton, Minnesota. CCA previously had contractual relationships with both states.

“We are very appreciative of the confidence both Minnesota and North Dakota have placed in CCA by entrusting populations of their inmates to our care,” said John Ferguson, CCA president and CEO. “CCA is committed to providing excellent-quality operational service to these state customers. We hope to develop long-standing relationships to meet these states’ fluctuating correctional needs.”

Ferguson added, “Increasingly, many states are facing budget deficits and prison overcrowding. With limited resources, they are recognizing that sound fiscal and policy decisions in corrections can be achieved, in part, by partnering with the private corrections management industry. It is our privilege to contribute to these state correctional systems by providing safe and secure corrections management, along with quality programming for inmates.”

Under the agreement between CCA and the Minnesota Department of Corrections, CCA will manage an unspecified number of medium-security male inmates at the Prairie facility. The company expected to receive an initial population of roughly 100 Minnesota inmates by the end of June. The population may fluctuate based on the state’s needs and the space available at the Prairie facility. The terms of the contract include an initial one-year period through June 30, 2005, with two one-year renewal options.

The North Dakota agreement, which became effective in March 2004, has an initial term through February 2005 with an indefinite number of annual renewal options. That contract, similar to the Minnesota agreement, does not specify how many inmates will be managed by CCA. The company presently houses approximately 40 North Dakota inmates and expects that number to near 50 early this summer. The numbers are also expected to vary based on the state’s needs and space availability.

In addition to the North Dakota inmates, the 1,338-bed medium security Prairie Correctional Facility also houses approximately 1,100 inmates from the state of Wisconsin. CCA expects that number to fall as the state’s own correctional facilities have increased capacity and will be taking back inmates this year.

Louise Chickering is vice president for marketing and communications with Corrections Corporation of America. Her email address is [email protected].