Stocks of private prison companies are tanking after the Justice Department's announcement

Source: AP
Source: AP

Break out your tiny violins! 

The stock prices for GEO Corp and Corrections Corporation of America — the two largest publicly traded companies in the for-profit prison industry — are plummeting on news that the Justice Department announced it would be letting its contracts with private prison companies expire. 

Shares for both companies immediately dropped like bricks, losing almost a third of their value shortly after the DOJ's announcement Thursday morning. 

The ruling only applies to federal prisons, which account for a relatively small percentage of America's incarcerated. For that reason, the announcement is unlikely to put these companies out of business anytime soon.

Luckily for at least some shareholders, Corrections Corporation of America has been diversifying over the past year by acquiring halfway houses, known in the business as the "residential reintegration market." 

Damon Hininger, CCA's CEO, said in a press release in October that such facilities were a "natural extension" of the company's existing businesses. 

CCA and GEO Corp did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

James Dennin

James is a staff writer covering money and millennials. Send your tips and your money problems to jdennin@mic.com.

MORE FROM

5 genius things to do with $1,000 right now

What should you do with extra money? Here are some clever ways to invest your cash today.

Owed money from a class action settlement? How to find out — and get your cash.

Owed a payout from a company because of a class-lawsuit? Here is how to get the cash you deserve.

How much you should actually spend on wedding gifts

This is what is normal — and polite — to pay for a wedding present.

7 secrets of entrepreneurs who turned side gigs into baller full-time jobs

Want to take your side hustle full time? Here's what to do before taking the plunge and starting your own company.

Why the new Senate health care bill could make your insurance more expensive

As many as 22 million people could lose their insurance coverage if the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 makes it into law, and out-of-pocket costs could also rise.

These 10 chill gigs offer high pay and low stress

Workers in certain low-stress professions actually earn higher-than-average wages.

5 genius things to do with $1,000 right now

What should you do with extra money? Here are some clever ways to invest your cash today.

Owed money from a class action settlement? How to find out — and get your cash.

Owed a payout from a company because of a class-lawsuit? Here is how to get the cash you deserve.

How much you should actually spend on wedding gifts

This is what is normal — and polite — to pay for a wedding present.

7 secrets of entrepreneurs who turned side gigs into baller full-time jobs

Want to take your side hustle full time? Here's what to do before taking the plunge and starting your own company.

Why the new Senate health care bill could make your insurance more expensive

As many as 22 million people could lose their insurance coverage if the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 makes it into law, and out-of-pocket costs could also rise.

These 10 chill gigs offer high pay and low stress

Workers in certain low-stress professions actually earn higher-than-average wages.