Corrections Corporation of America to Enhance and Expand Reentry Programming Opportunities that Reduce Recidivism

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Company Expects to Award 12,000 GEDs and 25,000 Vocational Certificates by 2019

Effective reentry programs help us deliver for our government partners, our shareholders and our communities...For inmates, their time in prison can be the moment that makes the difference in their lives.

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) today announced a series of commitments with the goal of creating the best inmate reentry programming value in corrections. Pledging that the company would play a larger role in helping reduce the nation’s high recidivism rate, CCA President and CEO Damon Hininger made the commitments at the company’s Nashville headquarters in a speech before executive management that was also simulcast into each facility.

“Reentry programs and reducing recidivism are 100 percent aligned with our business model,” said Hininger. “The fewer crimes people commit, the safer our communities are. The more people stay out of jail, the lower the cost to taxpayers. Effective reentry programs help us deliver for our government partners, our shareholders and our communities.”

In his speech, Hininger made three core commitments for CCA, including:

1.    Reentry will be a “Day One” priority at CCA facilities;
2.    Every CCA professional will be a reentry professional;
3.    Every dollar government partners invest in reentry will be a dollar proven to reduce recidivism.

Along with these commitments, Hininger established measurable goals for evaluating CCA’s success and holding the company accountable for long-term progress. The goals include:

  •     Education opportunities: Over the next five years, CCA will increase high school equivalency credentials by 5 percent annually based on the current inmate population. CCA expects to graduate more than 12,000 inmates with high school educations, by the end of 2019.
  •     Vocational training: Currently, 7,000 inmates in CCA facilities participate in vocational programs every day. Over the next five years, CCA will increase the number of industry-recognized certificates by 5 percent annually based on the current inmate population. CCA expects to award more than 25,000 industry-recognized certificates by the end of 2019.
  •     Faith-based programs: Over the next five years, CCA will enroll between 1,900 and 2,300 inmates in faith-based residential programs and achieve a 95 percent completion rate for those who participate.
  •     Victim impact programs: Since 2011, over 1,000 inmates have completed CCA’s victim impact program in the four Tennessee facilities where it’s offered. Over the next three years, the company will quadruple access to this program to as many as 16 facilities. 4,000 inmates will complete CCA’s victim impact program over the next three years.
  •     Addiction treatment programs: CCA’s average monthly enrollment in substance abuse treatment programs is 2,000 inmates and average annual completions add up to 2,500. Over the next five years, CCA will provide this treatment option at no less than a 60 percent completion rate.

Hininger discussed his expectations for the company as it pursues these goals: “I am under no illusions about what is ahead. Will it be a hard road to deliver the kind of progress that we need to truly lead? Absolutely. We have a lot of work to do. Is it possible that we could hit some bumps along the way? It certainly is. If we don’t make mistakes, we’re probably not pushing hard enough. After all, recidivism is one of the toughest and most complex challenges that our country faces.”

The Recidivism Problem

According to the Department of Justice, 95 percent of inmates in state prisons will at some point be released back into the community. Studies show 67.8 percent of released inmates are rearrested for a new crime within 3 years and 76.6 percent are rearrested within 5 years.

“Inmates who recidivate inflict pain on themselves, their families and the victims of their crimes. Their re-incarceration drives up costs for governments and taxpayers. And their cycle of behavior only becomes more and more difficult to break with time,” said Hininger. “As a country, we must do more to provide inmates with the opportunity to succeed when they are released.”

Current CCA Reentry Efforts

Today’s commitments add to CCA’s wide-ranging offerings across its system. Currently, CCA helps more than 3,000 inmates earn a GED -- the equivalent of a high school diploma -- each year. Additionally, every day, more than 20,000 inmates participate in CCA programs that teach life and vocational skills.

“We’re very proud of the work we’ve been doing for decades at CCA to help inmates successfully renter our communities,” said Hininger. “There’s more we can do, and we need to do. At CCA, we’re always working to be a better company. And that doesn’t just mean finding ways to be more cost-effective, to make our facilities more secure, or to be a better place to work. It also means getting even better at helping inmates successfully reenter society and break the cycle of crime.”

Reentry Programs that Work

Inmates who receive an education while in prison are less likely to return to the system. According to RAND, inmates who obtain GED’s while in prison are up to 30 percent less likely to return to prison, and individuals who participated in vocational training programs have 28 percent greater odds of finding employment post release.

“With recidivism, the cost is in doing nothing. Savings come with doing something. For inmates, their time in prison can be the moment that makes the difference in their lives. Effective reentry programs can give people who have made mistakes -- and they can be terrible and painful mistakes for victims -- one more chance to do right.”


About CCA
CCA is the nation's largest owner of partnership correction and detention facilities and one of the largest prison operators in the United States, behind only the federal government and three states. CCA currently operates 69 facilities, including 53 facilities that CCA owns or controls. CCA specializes in owning, operating and managing prisons and other correctional facilities and providing inmate residential and community reentry services for governmental agencies. In addition to providing the fundamental residential services relating to inmates, CCA facilities offer a variety of rehabilitation and educational programs, including basic education, religious services, life skills and employment training and substance abuse treatment.

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Jonathan Burns
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