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Private Prison Stocks Drop As the Reality of Biden’s Win Sinks In

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Sue Ogrocki/AP

Private prison companies have taken a financial hit in the past week as President-elect Joe Biden’s win became apparent. Stock prices for the country’s two largest prison companies, the GEO Group and CoreCivic, have fallen 14 percent and 19 percent respectively since Election Day.

Biden’s campaign platform, like Hillary Clinton’s in 2016, promised that he would end the federal government’s use of private prisons. That’s a serious threat to both GEO and CoreCivic, which depend on federal contracts with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the US Marshals Service for more than 50 percent of their revenue, according to their most recent annual reports.

Private prison investors are adept at reading the political winds, and their consensus is that a Democratic president is bad news. In the summer of 2016, the Obama administration’s decision to end BOP contracts sent prison stocks plummeting, and they sagged for months as Clinton appeared to be the likely election winner. Donald Trump’s victory that November caused their share prices to soar. The industry benefited as the new administration detained tens of thousands of immigrants and imposed hardline immigration policies such as family separation that caused Democrats to turn against both ICE and the prison industry. (Private prisons did not hold children taken from their families, but they did hold their parents, as........

© Mother Jones

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