DETENTION RISING: The U.S. is locking up more illegal immigrants than ever, and the nation's largest prison companies are benefitting. The cost to American taxpayers is on track to top $2 billion for this year.
GROWING SYSTEM: The past decade has seen a sprawling private system of 250 detention centers grow throughout the country. Last year, nearly half the beds in the nation's civil detention system were in private facilities, up from just 10 percent a decade ago.
BIG SPENDING: The industry's three largest companies — Corrections Corporation of America, The GEO Group, and Management and Training Corp. — have spent at least $45 million combined on campaign donations and lobbyists at the state and federal level in the last decade.