Cornell Companies

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Cornell Companies Inc.
Industry Prisons
Founded 1973
Headquarters Houston, TX, USA
Area served
Key people
Chris Coonfield, Manager, Investor Relations
James E.Hyman, CEO & President
John R. Nieser, SVP, CFO & Treasurer
Cathryn L. Porter, SVP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
Patrick N. Perrin, SVP & Chief Administrative Officer
Benjamin E. Erwin, SVP, Corporate Development & ACB
Michael Caltabiano, SVP, Adult Secure
Jonathan P. Swatsburg, SVP, Abraxas Youth & Family Services
Revenue Increase $ 386.7 million (2008)
Increase $ 62.2 million (2008)
Increase $ 22.2 million (2008)
Total assets Increase $ 636.9 million (2008)
Total equity Increase $ 228.2 million (2008)
Number of employees
4,300 - September 2009

Cornell Companies (NYSE:GRN) was an American corporation that operates correctional facilities, contracting them to state and local governments. The company's headquarters are located in Houston, Texas.[1] On August 12, 2010, Cornell and the GEO Group merged.[2]


Cornell Companies, through predecessor entities, began juvenile operations in 1973, adult-community-based programs in 1974, and adult secure operations in 1984. In 1996, Cornell Companies was officially incorporated in the State of Delaware as a consolidated entity. Accordingly, Cornell has established long-standing relationships with a number of significant federal and state customers, including a nearly 20-year relationship with the Bureau of Prisons in its Adult Secure division and a 35-year relationship with the Bureau of Prisons in its Adult Community-Based division. Also, in Cornell's Abraxas juvenile division, over 70% of revenue is currently sourced from customers over 15+ years. Moreover, through its emphasis on building strong customer relationships, Cornell has attained a significant presence with the Alaska, Mississippi and Arizona Department of Corrections.

Business Segments[edit]

Cornell Companies offers a diverse portfolio of services in structured and secure environments through three operating divisions:

  • Adult Secure Services
  • Adult Community-Based Services
  • Abraxas Youth and Family Services

Within the Adult Secure Services segment, Cornell provides minimum- to maximum-security incarceration services for federal, state and local government agencies. The company ensures public safety through the operation of a secure environment which includes, among other security and safety measures, professional correctional guards, alarmed fencing, razor wire and centralized monitoring via closed circuit camera systems. Cornell also provides a variety of educational, counseling and vocational programs aimed at providing a successful transition of inmates back into the community. Group and individual counseling is available for issues such as substance abuse and addiction, victim awareness and anger management. Cornell also provides extensive training in diverse employment and life skill areas including computers and job training opportunities, decision-making, personal hygiene, parenting, banking, budgeting and money management.

Cornell's Adult Community-Based Services involve the supervision of adult parolees and probationers. Cornell offers a national presence with locations in many large urban areas, throughout the United States. The company's programs focus on transitioning offenders approaching release from a correctional facility back into society. Through education, employment training, treatment, monitoring and accountability, clients receive the necessary tools to make positive life choices that can reduce their likelihood of re-entry into the correctional system. Cornell is a leading provider of community-based services to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons and to a number of state corrections departments.

The Abraxas Youth & Family Services division includes residential, detention, shelter care and community-based services, along with educational, rehabilitation and treatment programs for juveniles, typically between the ages of 10 and 18. Cornell’s Abraxas division is uniquely equipped to address the issues currently facing the juvenile justice system because its operating scale enables the company to offer programs tailored to specific treatment programs such as sex offenders, firesetters, adolescent female programs, mental/behavioral health and drug and alcohol treatment.

Quality of Operations[edit]

Cornell operates its facilities in accordance with both company- and facility-specific policies and procedures. Where required by contract or otherwise deemed appropriate for its service environments, these policies and procedures are designed to meet requirements set forth by independent industry oversight organizations, including the American Correctional Association (“ACA”), Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (“JCAHO”), and National Commission on Correctional Health Care (“NCCHC”). Standards may also be implemented to meet the requirements of state departments of public welfare, departments of protective and regulatory services and departments of human services and education. Internal quality control, conducted by senior facility staff and senior management, takes the form of periodic operational, programmatic and fiscal audits; facility inspections; regular review of logs, reports and files; and strict maintenance of personnel standards, including an active training program. Each of Cornell's facilities is further subject to periodic audits and reviews performed by the company's contracting agencies.


At December 31, 2008, Cornell had 4,109 full-time employees and 300 part-time employees. Cornell employs management, administrative and clerical, security, educational and counseling services, health services and general maintenance personnel. As of December 31, 2008, approximately 828 employees at four of Cornell's facilities were represented by labor unions.


  1. ^ "Contact Cornell." Cornell Companies. Retrieved on July 10, 2010. "Cornell Companies, Inc. 1700 West Loop South,Suite 1500, Houston, TX 77027"
  2. ^ Home. (Direct image link) Cornell Companies. Retrieved on November 22, 2010.

External links[edit]