Private prison company stocks jumped sharply on the morning after Donald Trump was elected president.
The largest private prison company in America, CoreCivic (a.k.a. Corrections Corporation of America), saw its stock price rise 42% in the first 15 minutes after the markets opened, while the GEO Group was up 19%
Trump praised private prisons during his campaign. “I do think we can do a lot of privatizations and private prisons. It seems to work a lot better,” he said in March. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton called for all private prisons to be shuttered.
The election stands to provide a big turnaround for the private prison industry. In August, the federal Department of Justice announced it would phase out all federal private prisons, based on reports that inmates in those facilities faced more violence and neglect. The companies’ stocks immediately tumbled. But when Trump takes office, he can easily reverse that policy with executive power.
The companies have also seen gains in profits as more immigrants have been detained in recent months, and Trump has vowed to increase deportations.
The stock gains Wednesday did not bring the companies’ prices back to where they were before the DOJ decision, but substantially made up that gap.
During the campaign, private prison companies and industry PACs had donated to a Super PAC supporting Trump’s campaign.