By Damon Hininger, CoreCivic President and CEO
It is hard to believe another year just closed, but even more remarkable to me is that on Jan. 28, CoreCivic will celebrate its 40th anniversary! CoreCivic has many reasons to commemorate these past 40 years of service to our government partners and the communities we serve. And it brings me deep pride as CoreCivic's President and CEO to know that I get to celebrate this milestone alongside a team of some of the most dedicated people in the fields of correction and reentry.
Looking broadly, our company has expanded both in the number of government contracts and our capabilities through these partnerships. We have grown in the size of our workforce, which reflects the need for the services CoreCivic provides. Even more encouragingly, our reentry services have evolved to reflect a more robust rehabilitative approach to programming to further support those in our care as they return home to their communities.
CoreCivic has achieved a great deal in just 40 years—and so has the corrections industry at large. In 1983, the year CoreCivic was founded, the courts deemed that prisons in more than 40 states were in crisis due to challenging infrastructure and services. The conditions were not good, and two of our company's founders, Terrell Don Hutto and Tom Beasley, saw a way to provide a needed solution to such pressing issues.
In fact, Mr. Hutto believed so strongly in the need for more humane conditions that he was on the ground at CoreCivic's first facility, Houston Processing Center, to help. Mr. Hutto was an incredible leader for many reasons, but to me, his actions exemplify how our company has truly been grounded with roots of service to our nation's criminal justice system since day one. In fact, he went on to help establish the standards of care still upheld by the American Correctional Association (ACA) and its members today.
CoreCivic's partnership and support to local, state, and federal governments have helped to drastically improve conditions for all incarcerated individuals, and that is absolutely worth celebrating.
Beyond our business growth, we have also grown as a company to reflect a more inclusive workforce. Corrections was historically a male-dominated field 40 years ago. Today, I am proud of the progress CoreCivic has made to champion greater gender diversity, with more than 50 percent of our employees identifying as women. Additionally, about 56 percent of our workforce is made up of underrepresented minorities. I highlight these numbers because I believe we find our greatest strength as an organization by embracing our diverse experiences and viewpoints.
Corrections is not an easy field. It takes commitment, focus and a dedication to helping people. Through our four decades of dedicated service, CoreCivic has continued to be relied upon again and again as a solution to the needs of our government partners and those in our care. We have earned a reputation as a trusted partner because Team CoreCivic shows up daily to help improve the lives of incarcerated individuals and keep our communities safe.
As we enter this exciting year, I encourage Team CoreCivic to remember the progress we have made as an organization, while focusing on ways we can continue serving as a leader in safety and second chances.