Our History

The CCA Story: Our Company History

New companies are created every day. But it’s not every day that new industries are established.

Inmate Group

Back in 1983, three enterprising leaders came together, united under the banner of a game changer that would transform the way government and private business work together. T. Don Hutto, Tom Beasley and Doctor Crants were each distinguished in their own right.

T. Don Hutto

Don HuttoDon Hutto is a distinguished corrections veteran whose experience includes serving as a correctional officer, counselor, assistant warden and warden of a state prison, followed by service as a director of corrections in Arkansas and Virginia. In Arkansas, Hutto implemented the compliance requirements of the Holt v. Sarver case, making him one of the few corrections professionals in the nation at the time with experience in successfully bringing a system out of federal court supervision. Hutto is a past president of the American Correctional Association and, in 1987, received the E.R. Cass Correctional Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to the field of corrections. He was instrumental in the development of national correctional standards, which have brought consistency to corrections management practices, and has authored articles for magazines and professional journals. He holds a bachelor's degree in history and sociology from East Texas State University.

Tom Beasley

Tom BeasleyTom Beasley is an esteemed leader in business, law and politics. He practiced law in Dickson, Tenn., from 1973-1977 with the firm of White, Regen, Burch and Beasley. From 1977-1981, Beasley was chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1966 and served as a commissioned officer in the U. S. Army in Vietnam, the Panama Canal Zone and the Republic of Nicaragua. For his service, Beasley received the Silver Star and two Bronze Stars for valor in Vietnam. Beasley holds a doctor of jurisprudence degree from Vanderbilt Law School and received an honorary doctorate degree from Cumberland University.

Doctor Robert Crants

Doctor CrantsDoc Crants, a West Point graduate who served two tours of duty in Vietnam, joined CCA in its formative years after careers in real estate and the cable television industry. He was later vice chairman of Prison Realty Trust, Inc. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School and a law degree from Harvard Law School.


A Brand New Industry Sparked by One Bright Idea

Like many other leaders before them, the trio wanted to fix a problem. They wanted to invent an approach that benefited many. And they wanted to do so while respecting the government institutions they so valued.

Hutto, Beasley and Crants created the vision that led to what first became known as private prisons that were operated by business, not government. Experience proved the term “private prisons” to be a bit of a misnomer. Indeed, CCA prisons would be transparent and in many ways just like the correctional facilities of government. CCA facilities would be guided by the tight accountability, stringent guidelines, strong oversight and high standards of government partners. But they would bring cost savings, design and technology innovations and business agility to government.

Founded as Corrections Corporation of America, this new start-up in the early 1980s changed the landscape of corrections in the United States. CCA could design, finance, build, operate and manage correctional facilities of many types in direct partnership with government agencies. The company could also tailor correctional solutions based on correctional agencies’ precise needs, with budget, population, classification, policies and procedures in mind.

The promise of public-private partnership in corrections was planted when CCA secured its first-ever contract with the U.S. Department of Justice for an Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) for the development and operation of Houston Processing Center. Within five years, CCA was being traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange and had earned ACA-accreditation for its earliest facilities. A decade after its founding, CCA had opened and assumed management of more facilities, including Leavenworth Detention Center, the first maximum-security facility under direct contract with a federal agency, managed by a corrections company.

By 20 years in business, CCA operated 60 facilities in 21 states and the District of Columbia, with 14,000 employees. After a quarter-century, the company had been named by Forbes magazine as the nation's "best managed company" in the business services and supplies category, plus recognized by G.I. Jobs magazine as a “Top 50 Military Friendly Employer.”®

Now entering its fourth decade, CCA continues to create new paths in the industry. The company still develops partnership models and new corrections innovations that reflect an even greater commitment to high quality safety and security, and rehabilitation and reentry.

Review many of CCA's highlights over the past three decades:

CCA Incorporated (January 1983)

CCA was founded on January 28, 1983 with a progressive vision: to create public-private partnerships in corrections, replacing the government-only failures of the past with smarter, more effective solutions for the future. Co-founders Tom Beasley, Don Hutto and Doctor Crants brought diverse skills to their new venture: public policy, knowledge of the legislative process, experience in public corrections and financial expertise.

First Federal Contract (November 1983)

CCA receives a contract from the U.S. Department of Justice for an Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) facility in Texas.

Management of First Facility (January 1984)

CCA assumes management of its first facility, Tall Trees, a 63-bed juvenile facility in Shelby County, Tenn.

CCA Opens First Facility (April 1984)

CCA opens Houston Processing Center, located in Houston, Texas – the first detention center in the world designed and constructed by a corrections company.

Assuming Management (October 1984)

CCA assumes management of Silverdale Detention Facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Connecting Communications (Spring 1985)

CCA establishes its employee newsletter - The Private Line.

ACA Accreditation (February 1986)

Houston Processing Center and Tall Trees are the first CCA facilities to be accredited by the American Correctional Association (ACA).

First Private Juvenile Facility (May 1986)

CCA opens Shelby Training Center in Shelby County, Tenn., the first privately operated secure juvenile correctional facility in the United States.

Going Public (October 1986)

CCA goes on the NASDAQ stock exchange (CCAX) at an initial share price of $9.

Awarding CCA Leaders (August 1987)

CCA co-founder T. Don Hutto receives the E.R. Cass Correctional Achievement Award from the American Correctional Association (ACA).

A Milestone Anniversary (January 1988)

CCA celebrates its fifth anniversary.

Company Store Established (January 1989)

CCA establishes its company store.

Employee Recognition (May 1989)

CCA founds service recognition and Employee of the Year awards.

First CCA Women's Facility (June 1989)

CCA opens New Mexico Women's Correctional Facility in Grants, N.M., the first women's prison operated by a company in the United States.

Working Safe (Fall 1989)

CCA's WorkWise! Program, now Team Safety, launches to encourage workplace safety.

First Medium-Security CCA Facility (March 1990)

CCA opens Winn Correctional Center in Winnfield, La., at the first medium-security prison in the United States operated by a company.

Assuming Management (May 1990)

CCA assumes management of Winn Correctional Center in Winnfield, La.

Facility Opening (September 1990)

CCA opens West Tennessee Detention Facility in Mason, Tenn.

Facility Opening (December 1990)

CCA opens Torrance County Detention Facility in Estancia, N.M.

Assuming Management (February 1992)

CCA assumes management of Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility in Nashville and South Central Correctional Center in Clifton, Tenn.

First Private Maximum-Security Facility (June 1992)

CCA opens Leavenworth Detention Center in Leavenworth, Kan., the first maximum-security facility under direct contract with a federal agency, managed by a corrections company.

A Milestone Celebration (January 1993)

CCA celebrates a decade in the industry.

Facility Opening (October 1994)

CCA Opens Central Arizona Detention Center in Florence, Ariz.

CCA Lists on NYSE (December 1994)

CCA lists its stock and warrants on the New York Stock Exchange (CXC) at $16 per share.

Acquiring TransCor (January 1995)

CCA acquires TransCor America Inc., the nation's largest long-distance inmate transportation company.

A Major Acquisition, and Facility Openings (April 1995)

CCA acquires industry competitor Concept Inc. CCA opens Bridgeport and Mineral Wells Pre-Parole Transfer Facilities in Texas, and Eloy Detention Center in Arizona.

Continued Growth by Acquisition (August 1995)

CCA acquires industry competitor Corrections Partners, Inc.

A New Partner – The Sunshine State (August 1995)

CCA assumes management of Bay Correctional Facility in Panama City, Fla., after winning a contract to build and manage from the State of Florida.

Facility Opening (September 1995)

CCA opens Eden Detention Center in Eden, Texas.

Assuming Management (October 1995)

CCA assumes management of Bartlett State Jail in Bartlett, Texas, and Citrus County Detention Facility in Lecanto, Fla.

Facility Opening (April 1996)

CCA opens Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville, Okla.

Facility Opening (October 1996)

CCA opens Bent County Correctional Facility in Las Animas, Colo.

Assuming Management (January 1997)

CCA assumes management of Elizabeth Detention Center in Elizabeth, N.J.

A Facility Dedication, and Management of New Facility (February 1997)

CCA's T. Don Hutto Correctional Center in Taylor, Texas, is dedicated in honor of company co-founder T. Don Hutto. CCA also assumes management of Lake City Correctional Facility in Lake City, Fla.

Facility Openings (May 1997)

CCA opens Cimarron Correctional Facility in Cushing, Okla., and Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown, Ohio. CCA also opens Correctional Treatment Facility, a facility specializing in substance abuse treatment for adults, in Washington, D.C.

Assuming Management (June 1997)

CCA assumes management of Hardeman Correctional Facility in Whiteville, Tenn.

Assuming Management (July 1997)

CCA assumes management of Dawson State Jail in Dallas, Texas.

A New Corporate Location, and Management of New Facility (November 1997)

CCA moves into new corporate headquarters in Nashville, Tenn. CCA also assumes management of Marion County Jail II in Indianapolis, Ind.

Record Number of New Facilities (1998)

CCA opens a record 11 facilities this year.

Assuming Management (January 1998)

CCA assumes management of Wilkinson County Correctional Facility in Woodville, Miss.

Facility Openings (April 1998)

CCA opens Lee Adjustment Center, Marion Adjustment Center and Otter Creek Correctional Center in Beattyville, St. Mary and Wheelwright, Ky., respectively. CCA also opens Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, N.M.

Facility Opening (May 1998)

CCA opens North Fork Correctional Facility in Sayre, Okla.

Facility Opening (June 1998)

CCA opens San Diego Correctional Facility in San Diego, Calif.

Facility Opening (July 1998)

CCA opens Whiteville Correctional Facility in Whiteville, Tenn.

Facility Openings (December 1998)

CCA opens Kit Carson Correctional Center in Burlington, Colo., and Coffee Correctional Center and Wheeler Correctional Facility in Nicholls and Alamo, Ga., respectively.

Facility Opening (July 1999)

CCA opens Webb County Detention Center in Laredo, Texas.

Facility Opening (August 1999)

CCA opens Crossroads Correctional Center in Shelby, Mont.

Facility Opening (December 1999)

CCA opens California City Correctional Center in California City, Calif., and Florence Correctional Center in Florence, Ariz.

A Major Player (December 1999)

CCA becomes the sixth-largest corrections system in the country, contracting with 26 states and the District of Columbia.

Facility Opening (April 2000)

CCA opens Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Tutwiler, Miss.

Assuming Management (June 2000)

CCA assumes management of Idaho Correctional Center in Kuna, Idaho.

A New Leader (August 2000)

John Ferguson joins CCA as President and CEO, and William Andrews becomes Chairman of the Board.

A New Stock Symbol (October 2000)

CCA's ticker symbol on the NYSE changes to CXW.

A Coordinated Response (October 2001)

CCA initiates its Incident Management Team (IMT) program.

Facility Opening (December 2002)

CCA opens McRae Correctional Facility in McRae, Ga.

A Growing National Footprint (December 2002)

CCA operates 60 facilities in 21 states and the District of Columbia, with 59,000 beds under ownership or contract and 14,000 employees.

Two Decades of Business (January 2003)

CCA celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Facility Opening (January 2003)

CCA opens Crowley County Correctional Center in Olney Springs Colo.

Leadership Excellence (August 2003)

CCA's J. Michael Quinlan receives the E.R. Cass Correctional Achievement Award from the American Correctional Association (ACA).

A Major Partnership with the Lone Star State (November 2003)

The State of Texas awards CCA seven contracts, with a total of 8,315 beds.

Assuming Management (January 2004)

CCA assumes management of Bradshaw State Jail, Lindsey State Jail and Willacy State Jail in Henderson, Jacksboro and Raymondville, Texas, respectively.

Better Defining Ourselves (August 2004)

The CCA Way is launched, defining the company's vision, mission and guiding principles.

A Rehabilitative Model (May 2005)

CCA for the first time implements the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP) at select facilities.

Joining Reentry Professionals (June 2005)

CCA approved for organizational membership in the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC).

A Significant Redesign, with a Mission Change (May 2006)

CCA redesigns the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas, for detention of immigrant families.

Facility Opening (June 2006)

CCA opens Red Rock Correctional Center in Eloy, Ariz.

Employees Helping Employees (July 2006)

CCAssist Fund is founded as a 501c(3), tax-exempt charity through which "employees help employees" in times of need.

Awarding Leadership Excellence (August 2006)

CCA's Warden Mike Samberg receives Warden of the Year Award from the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents (NAAWS).

Out-of-State Placement with California, and a Facility Opening (October 2006)

CCA contracts with California to house 1,000 inmates in out-of-state facilities, a first for the state. CCA opens Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga.

A Good Fit for Military (November 2006)

G.I. Jobs magazine for the first time names CCA one of the nation's "Top 50 Military-Friendly Employers." ®

Recognized by Forbes (January 2007)

Forbes magazine names CCA the nation's "best managed company" in the business services and supplies category.

Facility Opening (June 2007)

CCA opens Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Ariz.

Growing in Mississippi (August 2007)

CCA breaks ground on its fourth Mississippi facility in Natchez – Adams County Correctional Center.

Continued National Growth (December 2007)

CCA operates 66 facilities in 19 states and the District of Columbia, a designed capacity of more than 75,000 beds and over 16,000 employees.

Corporate Responsibility (February 2008)

CCA is named one of the "100 Best Corporate Citizens" in the U.S. by Corporate Responsibility Officer magazine.

A Record Project, in Record Time (July 2008)

CCA's largest project ever, La Palma Correctional Center opens, in Eloy, Ariz., two months ahead of schedule.

Facility Opening (July 2009)

CCA opens Adams County Correctional Center in Natchez, Miss.

Assuming Management (September 2009)

CCA assumes management of North Georgia Detention Center in Gainesville, Ga.

A Change in Leadership (October 2009)

Damon Hininger, who started with the company as a correctional officer after graduating from Kansas State University, becomes President and CEO of CCA.

Introducing "Partnership Corrections" (January 2010)

CCA's tagline and logo change to "America's Leader in Partnership Corrections."

Record Giving with CCAssist (July 2010)

CCA's 501c (3) fund for employees and their families, CCAssist, passes the $1 million milestone in distributions.

Warden of the Year (August 2010)

CCA's Warden Ralph Kemp receives Warden of the Year from the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents (NAAWS).

Transitioning Two Florida Facilities (August 2010)

CCA transitions into management of Graceville Correctional Facility and Moore Haven Correctional Facility in Graceville and Moore Haven, Fla., respectively.

Facility Opening (September 2010)

CCA opens Nevada Southern Detention Center in Pahrump, Nev.

Recognizing Heroism (October 2010)

CCA establishes the Courage Award, an annual recognition of employees who perform acts of extraordinary bravery, even at the risk of their own personal safety.

Valuing Our Volunteers (July 2011)

CCA establishes the Pete Spackman Volunteer of the Year Award, honoring faith-based volunteers at CCA facilities.

Leadership Recognized by ACA (August 2011)

Richard P. Seiter, CCA's executive vice president and chief correctional officer, is honored with the E.R. Cass Correctional Achievement Award from the American Correctional Association (ACA).

Steady Growth (December 2011)

CCA operates 66 facilities, 45 of which are company-owned, with approximately 90,000 beds, in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

2011 Yearbook Published (December 2011)

CCA provides an annual review of the progress of our organization.

A Historic Transaction (January 2012)

CCA purchases, and assumes ownership and operation of Ohio Department of Corrections facility, Lake Erie Correctional Institution, a milestone transaction in the industry.

Facility Opening (March 2012)

Jenkins Correctional Center opens in Millen, Ga., making it the sixth CCA facility in the state of Georgia.

Dividend Announced (May 2012)

CCA's Board of Directors declares a quarterly dividend to be paid to shareholders of record.

CCAssist Giving Record (August 2012)

CCA's 501c (3) fund, CCAssist, passes the $2 million milestone in distributions.

Supporting Local Charities (October 2012)

CCA hosts the 21st Annual Chairman's Charity Golf, breaking all records by raising $290,000 and donating to more than 25 charities in the Middle Tennessee community.

A Continued Military Fit (November 2012)

G.I. Jobs magazine names CCA one of the nation's "Top 50 Military-Friendly Employers"® for the sixth year.

Three Decades of Success (January 2013)

CCA celebrates its 30th anniversary.  Click HERE to read our commemorative publication.

Internal Reorganization to REIT (January 2013)

CCA announces it has restructured into a REIT.

Entering Residential Reentry (August 2013)

CCA acquires Correctional Alternatives, Inc., a San Diego-based residential reentry and work furlough company that serves the Federal Bureau of Prisons and San Diego County.