The Wackenhut Corporation is a US-based corporation, headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Wackenhut was founded by Mr. George Wackenhut, a former FBI agent. In 1992, Wackenhut was purchased by Group 4 Falck, a Danish corporation.

Wackenhut is a leading provider of security guard services in North America. A number of Fortune 500 companies are among its clients. Subsidiaries include the Wackenhut Corrections Corporation (WCC) and Wackenhut Services Incorporated (WSI). Wackenhut also provides contract security and emergency response services to local governments, particularly in public transport systems. Wackenhut also specializes in providing security for employers experiencing difficulties with labor unions, including strike actions.

Wackenhut is heavily involved in protecting nuclear reactors and other high-security government installations, including those of the Department of Energy. During the 1980s Wackenut was a leader in airport security but refused to compromise the company's high standards by cutting wages under pressure from airports and airlines. As a result, Wackenhut only protected four airports in the United States on September 11th. Airports in the United States are now protected by the Transportation Security Administration of the Department of Homeland Security.

Table of contents
1 Wackenhut and Private Prisons
2 Wackenhut and the CIA
3 References
4 External Link

Wackenhut and Private Prisons

Wackenhut Corrections Corporation employs about 40,000 people and operates a number of private prisons in various parts of the United States, Australia, Canada, and Great Britain.. Wackenhut owns 50% of the stock for Premier, another prison corporation (p.1181).

The goal of private prison operators is to operate a safe and effective facility at a lower cost than public agencies. Wackenhut Corrections Corporation is a leader in this growing but controversial industry.

Wackenhut was criticized following the 1999 stabbing of New Mexico guard Ralph Garcia; during that year, there were 5 murders within Wackenhut's two New Mexico prisons. Critics argued that Wackenhut decreased prison security in order to increase profits. Wackenhut has also been criticized for permitting guards to abuse inmates. Wackenhut has been further criticized by state officials who argue that Wackenhut fails to provide the services it offers, thus forcing the state to pick up the tab. For example, New Mexico maintained extra police in order to combat the relatively high level of prison riots which occur in Wackenhut prisons.

In 1999, Texas terminated a prison contract with Wackenhut after allegations of staff sexually abusing prisoners. Also in 1999, Florida terminated a prison contract with the corporation.

Wackenhut and the CIA

It has been rumored that Wackenhut and its employees have had ties to the Central Intelligence Agency, particularly in the 1950s.

See also:

  • Doncaster Prison
  • Marchington Prison


  1. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy by Greg Palast (2002)

External Link