The report, available here, essentially says that private prisons enter into contracts with states that require beds to be filled, which in turn pressures states to keep crime and incarceration levels consistent, instead of aspiring to lower crime and convictions. In the case of Arizona, according to the report, a contract states that 100 percent of the Corporate prisons’ beds must be filled, or else the state just pays for the beds to be empty. Other states, such as New York, have seen incarceration rates drop dramatically in recent years and have closed state-run prisons. Contracts with privatized prison operators may make shutting down unused prisons difficult or impossible.
An article about the report appearing in liberal news magazine Mother Jones says that Corrections Corporation of America has sent letters to 48 US governors offering to buy prisons from their state. According to the article, Corrections Corporation’s profits have risen 500 percent in the past two decades.