Corrections firm offers states cash for prisons

GREG BLUESTEIN Associated Press Published:

ATLANTA (AP) -- The nation's largest private prison company is offering to buy prisons from cash-strapped states. But some corrections departments have quickly slammed the door shut on the enticing offer.

Corrections Corporation of America sent letters in January to corrections leaders in 48 states, saying it had a pot of $250 million to purchase their prisons. In exchange, the company says states must keep the prisons mostly full and pay the firm to operate the prisons for 20 years.

Company spokesman Steve Owen says it's too early to know whether anyone is taking them up on the offer. But prison departments in California, Texas and Georgia all dismissed the idea. Officials in the company's home state of Tennessee say they aren't reviewing the proposal.