When crime does pay

January 11, 2011: 5:00 AM ET

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard an appeal to a ruling that California must cut its overcrowded prison population by 40,000. A decision is due this spring, but California has been shipping inmates to private prisons out of state since 2006. From 2000 to 2008 the number of inmates nationwide held in private facilities grew 40%, good news for the corrections business. --Jessica Shambora

Californian prisoners, housed by Corrections Corp. of America at its La Palma Correctional Center in Eloy, Ariz., December 2010

9.3: The percentage of California's 163,400 inmates to be housed in private prisons in states like Michigan, Oklahoma, and Arizona once the next round of transfers is completed in 2012.

$3.2 Billion: The combined revenues of publicly traded companies GEO Group (GEO) and Corrections Corp. of America (CXW), the two dominant U.S. corrections firms.

31,500:  The total number of beds in contracts expected to be awarded by states and federal agencies during the next 18 months. With 85,000 beds, CCA is the largest private provider -- and the fifth-largest correctional system in the U.S. overall.

Sources: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Corrections Corporation of America, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Barclays Capital

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