Corrections Corporation of America says it's laying off 12 percent of the workforce in its Nashville headquarters — an announcement that comes as scrutiny of private prison operators is mounting.
The company said in a statement released Tuesday that it will eliminate 50 to 55 jobs from within its corporate ranks.
The announcement was made after the close of trading on Wall Street. CCA shares have fallen by half since August. The company is the biggest private prison operator in the United States.
The move comes just one day after Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton said during the first presidential debate that state governments should end their relationships with for-profit prison operators.
President Obama's administration has already cut some ties at the federal level. The Department of Justice this summer announced plans to end use of private prisons, and the Department of Homeland Security is studying the possibility.
Private prisons have always been controversial, but criticism has grown more fierce since the liberal magazine Mother Jones sent a reporter undercover at a CCA prison in Louisiana.
CCA defends its practices. It says the restructuring will eliminate 50 to 55 jobs at headquarters, leave the company leaner, and put it in position to diversify into other businesses — like helping prisoners re-enter society.