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For-Profit Prison Operators Trade Down As House Oversight Panel Announces Investigation

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For-Profit Prison Operators Trade Down As House Oversight Panel Announces Investigation

A U.S. House committee said Thursday it will investigate for-profit immigrant detention center contractors including The GEO Group Inc (NYSE: GEO) and Corecivic Inc (NYSE: CXW).

Representatives sent letters to three for-profit contractors after reports detailing grave conditions at immigrant detention centers and facilities for immigrant children.

The House Committe on Oversight and Reform sent letters to CoreCivic, GEO Group and DC Capital Partners, the firm that owns Caliburn International. A Caliburn subsidiary, Comprehensive Health Services, runs the nation's largest shelter for immigrant children, according to the committee. 

“The Committee is investigating the Trump Administration’s rapidly increasing use of for-profit contractors to detain tens of thousands of immigrants, including a troubling series of reports of health and safety violations and the dramatically escalating and seemingly unchecked costs to U.S. taxpayers for these contracts,” committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, and Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat and the chairman of the subcommittee on civil rights and civil liberties, said in a statement. 

GEO received $300 million in new ICE contracts in fiscal 2017, a $100-million increase over the prior year, according to the committee. 

The ICE contracts rose to nearly $342 million in fiscal 2018, the representatives said. 

GEO Group shares were down 2.8% at $19.74 at the time of publication Thursday, while CoreCivic shares were down 3.36% at $18.70. 

“We are in the process of reviewing the letter, but for more than 30 years, GEO’s processing centers have been subject to independent oversight, including full-time, on-site government monitors," a GEO Group spokesperson told Benzinga in a statement Thursday afternoon. "We are committed to transparency, and providing the safest and most humane care possible for those in our 14 ICE processing centers is our top priority.”

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