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Private prisons are a $5 billion industry that employs more than 33,000 people, per the market research firm IBISWorld. Here's where they're most prevalent:

Expand chart

Note: States with no private prison population are as of December 31, 2015; Data was not available for Nevada, Oregon and Vermont; Data: Bureau of Justice Statistics; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios

Why it matters: The Obama Justice Department pushed to end the federal government's use of private prisons. But the Trump administration's decision to rescind the order has led the industry to hope for a resurgence, though some states like New York, Iowa and Illinois, have ended their use for state prisoners.

Key takeaways:

  • In 2015, 126,272 people — or about 8% of the country's prison population — were housed in private facilities.
  • The states with highest shares of inmates in private prisons were New Mexico (42.2%) and Montana (40.4%).
  • Texas alone housed 14,293 inmates in private prisons.
  • Per IBISWorld, the private prison industry has been growing at a rate of about 1% per year since 2012.
  • If a state has a private prison population of zero, that does not necessarily mean that the state does not have such facilities, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The data simply indicates that no prisoners were held in private prisons at the end of the year in 2015.

Go deeper

Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial

Sarah Palin. Photo: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, delaying the start of her defamation trial against the New York Times.

Why it matters: The trial will be closely watched, as it's a rare instance of a major media company defending its editorial practices before an American jury.

S&P 500 slides into correction territory

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their worst drop of the year, pushing the S&P 500 on track to fall into a "correction."

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February — FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated."
  2. Vaccines: The shifting definition of fully vaccinated — Annual vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO — Team USA 100% vaccinated ahead of Beijing Olympics.
  3. Politics: Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate — Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance — Arizona governor sues Biden administration over funds tied to mandates.
  4. World: Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games — Beijing officials urge "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics — Austria approves vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker