The federal government has experienced a steady decline in inmate populations over the past several years, so today’s announcement was no surprise considering the agency’s diminished need for capacity. It’s a trend we’ve watched carefully, and we’ve worked hard to diversify the solutions we provide. We’re extremely proud of the critically important services we’ve provided to our federal, state and local partners over our 38 year history. Providing our partners flexibility to manage ups and downs in their populations is one of the most important ways we provide value.
Any assertion that our company or the private sector is responsible for the rate of incarceration or detention is false. Under longstanding policy, we don’t lobby on any policies, regulations or legislation that impact the basis for or duration of an individual’s incarceration or detention. What’s more, only 8 percent of inmates are cared for in facilities run by private contractors.
While we aren’t the driver of mass incarceration, we are working hard to be part of the solution. Our efforts are fully aligned with the administration's goal to prioritize rehabilitation and redemption for individuals in our criminal justice system. Every day, CoreCivic helps nearly 1,500 inmates learn the life and vocational skills they need to find and keep employment once released. In 2014, we made commitments to strengthen reentry programming unprecedented for the public or private sector. Our most recent ESG report shows we’re making real, measurable progress on our goals to expand proven reentry programs to fight recidivism and change lives – programs that help those in our care develop to their fullest potential and find success in their next step in life.
Our facilities are safe and secure for those in our care and our staff. The 2016 Inspector General’s report cited today has significant flaws. For example, its authors freely admit that they “were unable to evaluate all of the factors that contributed to the underlying data,” and they failed to account for the impact of elements such as population demographics. The findings simply don’t match up to the numerous independent studies that show our facilities to be equal or better with regard to safety and quality, or the excellent feedback we get from our partners at all levels of government.