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Cost already spent on existing capital projects Cost Already Spent on Existing Capital Projects Cost already spent on existing capital projects. Remaining capital required for capital projects Remaining capital required for capital projects Remaining capital required for capital projects. 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Land Held for Development SEC Schedule III, Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation, Carrying Amount of Land Held for Development SEC Schedule III, Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation, Carrying Amount of Land Held for Development Development and Construction in Progress SEC Schedule III, Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation, Carrying Amount of Construction in Progress SEC Schedule III, Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation, Carrying Amount of Construction in Progress Total SEC Schedule III, Real Estate, Gross Accumulated Depreciation SEC Schedule III, Real Estate Accumulated Depreciation Book Value of Mortgaged Properties SEC Schedule III, Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation, Amount of Encumbrances Compensation and Retirement Disclosure [Abstract] Benefit Plans Pension and Other Postretirement Benefits Disclosure [Text Block] Number of votes per each share Common Stock, Voting Rights, Number Of Votes Per Each Share Common Stock, Voting Rights, Number Of Votes Per Each Share Common stock, voting rights Common Stock, Voting Rights minimum % of REIT taxable income to be paid as dividend annually minimum % of REIT taxable income to be paid as dividend annually Minimum % of REIT taxable income (determined without regard to the dividends paid deduction and by excluding net capital gain) required to be paid out annually dividends. Special dividend, amount of cash payable above lottery Special Dividend, Maximum Amount Of Cash Payable Above The Lottery Amount Special Dividend, Maximum Amount Of Cash Payable Above The Lottery Amount Special dividend, amount Capital Distribution, Special Dividend, Amount Capital Distribution, Special Dividend, Amount Special Dividend, amount paid in cash Capital Distribution, Special Dividend, Amount, Paid In Cash Capital Distribution, Special Dividend, Amount, Paid In Cash Maximum common stock value authorized under prospectus supplement Maximum Common Stock Value Authorized Under Prospectus Supplement MaximumCommonStockValueAuthorizedUnderProspectusSupplement Preferred stock, shares authorized Preferred Stock, Shares Authorized Shares issued under prospectus supplement Common Stock, Shares, Issued Under Prospectus Supplement Common Stock, Shares, Issued Under Prospectus Supplement Issuance of common stock under prospectus supplement Proceeds from Issuance of Common Stock Under Prospectus Supplement Proceeds from Issuance of Common Stock Under Prospectus Supplement Disclosure of Compensation Related Costs, Share-based Payments [Abstract] Recognized compensation expenses Recognized Compensation Expenses [Table Text Block] Recognized compensation expenses. Summary of the activity of stock option awards Schedule of Share-based Compensation, Stock Options, Activity [Table Text Block] Exercise prices and related information of stock option outstanding Schedule of Share-based Compensation, Shares Authorized under Stock Option Plans, by Exercise Price Range [Table Text Block] Status of non - vested stock options Schedule of Nonvested Share Activity [Table Text Block] Summary of the activity of restricted stock Schedule of Share-based Compensation, Restricted Stock Units Award Activity [Table Text Block] Accrued Liabilities, Current [Abstract] Accrued Expenses and other current liabilities Accounts Payable and Accrued Liabilities Disclosure [Text Block] Statement of Stockholders' Equity [Abstract] Statement [Table] Statement [Table] Equity Components [Axis] Equity Components [Axis] Equity Component [Domain] Equity Component [Domain] Common Stock Common Stock [Member] Additional Paid-in Capital Additional Paid-in Capital [Member] Retained Earnings Retained Earnings [Member] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) AOCI Attributable to Parent [Member] Treasury Stock Treasury Stock [Member] Noncontrolling Interest Noncontrolling Interest [Member] Statement [Line Items] Statement [Line Items] Increase (Decrease) in Stockholders' Equity [Roll Forward] Increase (Decrease) in Stockholders' Equity [Roll Forward] Beginning Balance Stockholders' Equity, Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Beginning Balance, Shares Shares, Outstanding Proceeds from stock options exercised Stock Issued During Period, Value, Stock Options Exercised Proceeds from stock options exercised, Shares Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Exercises in Period Tax benefit related to equity compensation Adjustments to Additional Paid in Capital, Income Tax Benefit from Share-based Compensation Stock based compensation expense Adjustments to Additional Paid in Capital, Share-based Compensation, Requisite Service Period Recognition Shares withheld for net settlements of share-based awards, shares Shares Paid for Tax Withholding for Share Based Compensation Shares withheld for net settlements of share-based awards Adjustments Related to Tax Withholding for Share-based Compensation Restricted stock granted Stock Issued During Period, Value, Restricted Stock Award, Gross Restricted stock granted, Shares Stock Issued During Period, Shares, Restricted Stock Award, Gross Retirement of common stock Stock Repurchased and Retired During Period, Value Retirement of common stock, Shares Stock Repurchased and Retired During Period, Shares Restricted stock cancelled Stock Issued During Period, Value, Restricted Stock Award, Forfeitures Restricted stock cancelled, Shares Stock Issued During Period, Shares, Restricted Stock Award, Forfeited Amortization of restricted stock Adjustments to Additional Paid in Capital, Share-based Compensation, Restricted Stock Unit or Restricted Stock Award, Requisite Service Period Recognition Dividends - Cash Dividends, Common Stock, Cash Dividends - Stock Dividends, Stock Dividends - Stock, Shares Stock Dividends, Shares Purchase of treasury shares Treasury Stock, Value, Acquired, Cost Method Purchase of treasury shares, Shares Treasury Stock, Shares, Acquired Re-issuance of treasury shares (ESPP), Shares Stock Issued During Period, Shares, Treasury Stock Reissued Re-issuance of treasury shares (ESPP) Stock Issued During Period, Value, Treasury Stock Reissued Shares issued for ESPP Stock Issued During Period, Shares, Employee Stock Purchase Plans Issuance of common stock (ESPP) Stock Issued During Period, Value, Employee Stock Purchase Plan Net income (loss) Net Income (Loss), Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax Ending Balance Ending Balance, Shares Discontinued Operations and Disposal Groups [Abstract] Discontinued Operations Disposal Groups, Including Discontinued Operations, Disclosure [Text Block] Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract] General liability insurance maximum recoverage per occurrence General Liability Insurance Maximum Recoverage Per Occurrence General liability insurance maximum recoverage per occurrence. GEO care insurance maximum recoverable per occurrence Segment Insurance Maximum Recoverage Per Occurrence Segment insurance maximum recoverage per occurrence. Deductible amount for general insurance liability and hospital professional insurance liability Deductible Amount for General Insurance Liability and Hospital Professional Insurance Liability Deductible amount for general insurance liability and hospital professional insurance liability. Deductible amount for worker's compensation insurance liability Deductible Amount for Worker's Compensation Insurance Liability Deductible amount for worker's compensation insurance liability. Deductible amount for automobile insurance liability Deductible Amount for Automobile Insurance Liability Deductible amount for automobile insurance liability. Undiscounted reserves for workers compensation and general liability claims Self Insurance Reserve Fair Value, Assets and Liabilities Measured on Recurring and Nonrecurring Basis [Table] Fair Value Measurements, Recurring and Nonrecurring [Table] Derivative Instrument [Axis] Derivative Instrument [Axis] Derivative Contract [Domain] Derivative Contract [Domain] Interest Rate Swap Interest Rate Swap [Member] Fair Value by Measurement Frequency [Axis] Measurement Frequency [Axis] Fair Value, Measurement Frequency [Domain] Fair Value, Measurement Frequency [Domain] Recurring Fair Value, Measurements, Recurring [Member] Fair Value, Hierarchy [Axis] Fair Value, Hierarchy [Axis] Fair Value, Measurements, Fair Value Hierarchy [Domain] Fair Value Hierarchy [Domain] Quoted Prices in Active Markets (Level 1) Fair Value, Inputs, Level 1 [Member] Significant Other Observable Inputs (Level 2) Fair Value, Inputs, Level 2 [Member] Significant Unobservable Inputs (Level 3) Fair Value, Inputs, Level 3 [Member] Fair Value, Assets and Liabilities Measured on Recurring and Nonrecurring Basis [Line Items] Fair Value, Assets and Liabilities Measured on Recurring and Nonrecurring Basis [Line Items] Assets: Fair Value, Assets, Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity Measured on Recurring Basis [Abstract] Restricted investments: Restricted Cash and Investments [Abstract] Rabbi Trust Rabbi Trust Rabbi trust. Fixed income securities Held-to-maturity Securities, Fair Value Interest rate swap derivative assets Derivative Asset Liabilities: Financial Instruments, Financial Liabilities, Balance Sheet Groupings [Abstract] Interest rate swap derivative liability Derivative Liability Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities Disclosure [Abstract] Derivative [Table] Derivative [Table] Balance Sheet Location [Axis] Balance Sheet Location [Axis] Balance Sheet Location [Domain] Balance Sheet Location [Domain] Other Noncurrent Liabilities Other Noncurrent Liabilities [Member] Other Noncurrent Assets Other Noncurrent Assets [Member] Hedging Relationship [Axis] Hedging Relationship [Axis] Hedging Relationship [Domain] Hedging Relationship [Domain] Cash Flow Hedging Cash Flow Hedging [Member] Interest Rate Cap Interest Rate Cap [Member] Property, Plant and Equipment, Type [Axis] Property, Plant and Equipment, Type [Axis] Property, Plant and Equipment, Type [Domain] Property, Plant and Equipment, Type [Domain] Asset under Construction Asset under Construction [Member] Operating Phase of Asset Operating Phase of Asset [Member] Operating Phase of Asset [Member] Ravenhall, Australia Ravenhall, Australia [Member] Ravenhall, Australia [Member] Derivative [Line Items] Derivative [Line Items] Fixed interest rate on cash flow interest rate derivative Derivative, Fixed Interest Rate Notional amount Derivative, Notional Amount Change in fair value of derivative instrument classified as cash flow hedge Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Unrealized Gain (Loss) on Derivatives Arising During Period, Net of Tax Value of swap liability Interest Rate Cash Flow Hedge Liability at Fair Value Lump sum due at completion Long-term Debt, Maturities, Repayment Terms, Lump Sum Due at Completion Long-term Debt, Maturities, Repayment Terms, Lump Sum Due at Completion Payments on non-recourse debt Repayments of Other Debt Increase (decrease) in fair value of interest rate cap assets Increase (Decrease) in Fair Value of Interest Rate Fair Value Hedging Instruments Interest rate fair value hedge asset at fair value Interest Rate Fair Value Hedge Asset at Fair Value Debt Disclosure [Abstract] Schedule of Long-term Debt Instruments [Table] Schedule of Long-term Debt Instruments [Table] Senior Notes Senior Notes [Member] 5.875% Senior Notes due 2024 Five Point Eight Seven Five Percent Senior Notes Due 2024 [Member] Five Point Eight Seven Five Percent Senior Notes Due 2024 [Member] 5.125% Senior Notes Five Point One Two Five Percent Senior Notes Due 2023 [Member] 5.125% Senior Notes Due 2023 [Member] 5.875% Senior Notes Five Point Eight Seven Five Percent Senior Notes Due 2022 [Member] Five Point Eight Seven Five Percent Senior Notes Due 2022 [Member] 7.75% Senior Notes Seven Point Seven Five Percent Senior Notes [Member] seven point seven five percent Senior notes. Range [Axis] Range [Axis] Range [Domain] Range [Domain] Maximum Maximum [Member] Minimum Minimum [Member] Debt Instrument, Redemption, Period [Axis] Debt Instrument, Redemption, Period [Axis] Debt Instrument, Redemption, Period [Domain] Debt Instrument, Redemption, Period [Domain] Redemption, Period 2017 Debt Instrument, Redemption, Period Two [Member] Redemption, Period 2018 Debt Instrument, Redemption, Period Three [Member] Redemption, Period 2019 Debt Instrument, Redemption, Period Four [Member] 2020 and thereafter Debt Instrument, Redemption, Period Five [Member] Debt Instrument [Line Items] Debt Instrument [Line Items] Line of Credit, amount outstanding Long-term Line of Credit Debt instrument, face amount Debt Instrument, Face Amount Stated interest rate Debt Instrument, Interest Rate, Stated Percentage Notice period prior to redemption Debt Instrument, Notice Period Prior to Redemption Debt Instrument, Notice Period Prior to Redemption Percentage of principal amount redeemable Debt Instrument, Redemption Period, Change in Control, Percentage of Principal Amount Redeemable Debt Instrument, Redemption Period, Change in Control, Percentage of Principal Amount Redeemable Redemption price percentage Debt Instrument, Redemption Price, Percentage Redemption period, principal amount redeemable Debt Instrument, Redemption Period, Percentage of Principal Amount Redeemable Debt Instrument, Redemption Period, Percentage of Principal Amount Redeemable Debt Instrument, Redemption Price Including Accrued Interest And Liquidated Damages, Percentage Debt Instrument, Redemption Price Including Accrued Interest And Liquidated Damages, Percentage Debt Instrument, Redemption Price Including Accrued Interest And Liquidated Damages, Percentage Debt covenant, asset proceeds, excess proceeds Debt Covenant, Asset Proceeds, Excess Proceeds Debt Covenant, Asset Proceeds, Excess Proceeds Debt covenant, indenture agreement, period after notice Debt Covenant, Indenture Agreement, Period After Notice Debt Covenant, Indenture Agreement, Period After Notice Capitalized loan costs Unamortized Debt Issuance Expense Loss on extinguishment of debt Gains (Losses) on Extinguishment of Debt Termination of interest rate swap agreements Derivative, Gain (Loss) on Derivative, Net Schedule of Equity Method Investments [Table] Schedule of Equity Method Investments [Table] Variable Interest Entities [Axis] Variable Interest Entities [Axis] Variable Interest Entity, Classification [Domain] Variable Interest Entity, Classification [Domain] SACS South African Custodial Services Pty Limited [Member] South African Custodial Services Pty Limited. GEO Amey GEO Amey [Member] GEO Amey. Schedule of Equity Method Investments [Line Items] Schedule of Equity Method Investments [Line Items] Number of reportable business segments Number of Reportable Segments Number of managed correctional facilities in Australia Number of Managed Correctional Facilities in Australia Number of managed correctional facilities in Australia Equity in earnings (losses) of affiliates, net of income tax provision Income (Loss) from Equity Method Investments Investment in Joint Ventures Equity Method Investments Dividend distributions received Proceeds from Dividends Received Advances to Affiliate Advances to Affiliate Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Table] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Table] Foreign currency translation adjustments, net of tax Accumulated Foreign Currency Adjustment Attributable to Parent [Member] Unrealized loss on derivatives, net of tax Accumulated Net Gain (Loss) from Cash Flow Hedges Attributable to Parent [Member] Pension adjustments, net of tax Accumulated Defined Benefit Plans Adjustment Attributable to Parent [Member] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Line Items] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Line Items] AOCI Attributable to Parent, Net of Tax [Roll Forward] AOCI Attributable to Parent, Net of Tax [Roll Forward] Beginning balance Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax Other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax, Portion Attributable to Parent Ending balance Earnings Per Share [Abstract] Basic and diluted earnings per share Schedule of Earnings Per Share, Basic and Diluted [Table Text Block] Debt Debt Disclosure [Text Block] Employer discretionary contribution amount Defined Contribution Plan, Employer Discretionary Contribution Amount Number of non-contributory defined benefit pension plans Number of Non-Contributory Defined Benefit Pension Plans Number of Non-Contributory Defined Benefit Pension Plans Period of average compensation for pension benefit computation Defined Benefit Average Compensation Period Period used to average compensation for calculation of pension plan benefits. Age limit for a lump sum payment Minimum Age to Be Eligible to Receive Lump Sum Payment Upon Benefit Minimum age to be eligible to receive lump sum payment upon benefit. Deferred compensation arrangement with Individual, recorded liability Deferred Compensation Arrangement with Individual, Recorded Liability Long-term portion of the pension liability Defined Benefit Pension Plan, Liabilities, Noncurrent AOCI net prior service cost Defined Benefit Plan, Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income Net Prior Service Cost (Credit), after Tax Future amortization of prior service cost Defined Benefit Plan, Future Amortization of Prior Service Cost (Credit) Retirement age Retirement Age Retirement age. Expense related to contributions Defined Contribution Plan, Cost Recognized Total deferred compensation liability Deferred Compensation Liability, Current and Noncurrent Deferred compensation liability, current Deferred Compensation Liability, Current Future minimum rentals on lease Schedule of Future Minimum Rental Revenues for Operating Leases [Table Text Block] Schedule of future minimum rental revenues for operating leases. Components of accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) Schedule of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Table Text Block] Fair value of stock-based awards Schedule of Share-based Payment Award, Stock Options, Valuation Assumptions [Table Text Block] Fair value assumptions of restricted stock Schedule of Share-based Payment Award, Restricted Stock, Valuation Assumptions [Table Text Block] Schedule of Share-based Payment Award, Restricted Stock, Valuation Assumptions [Table Text Block] Consolidation Consolidation, Policy [Policy Text Block] Discontinued operations Discontinued Operations, Policy [Policy Text Block] Use of Estimates Use of Estimates, Policy [Policy Text Block] Dividends Stockholders' Equity, Policy [Policy Text Block] Cash and Cash Equivalents Cash and Cash Equivalents, Policy [Policy Text Block] Concentration of Credit Risk Concentration Risk, Credit Risk, Policy [Policy Text Block] Accounts Receivable Receivables, Policy [Policy Text Block] Notes Receivable Notes Receivable [Policy Text Block] Notes receivable. Note Receivable from Joint Venture Note Receivable from Joint Venture [Policy Text Block] Note Receivable from joint venture. Restricted Cash and Investments Cash and Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents, Policy [Policy Text Block] Prepaid expenses and Other Current Assets Prepaid Expenses and Other Current Assets [Policy Text Block] Prepaid expenses and other current assets. Direct Finance Leases Lease, Policy [Policy Text Block] Property and Equipment Property, Plant and Equipment, Policy [Policy Text Block] Asset Impairments Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets, Policy [Policy Text Block] Assets Held Under Capital Leases Assets Held Under Capital Leases [Policy Text Block] Assets held under capital leases. Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets Goodwill and Intangible Assets, Policy [Policy Text Block] Debt Issuance Costs Debt Issuance Costs [Policy Text Block] Debt issuance costs. Variable Interest Entities Consolidation, Variable Interest Entity, Policy [Policy Text Block] Fair Value Measurements Fair Value Measurement, Policy [Policy Text Block] Revenue Recognition Revenue Recognition, Policy [Policy Text Block] Income Taxes Income Tax, Policy [Policy Text Block] Reserves for Insurance Losses Reserves for Insurance Losses [Policy Text Block] Reserves for insurance losses. Comprehensive Income (Loss) Comprehensive Income, Policy [Policy Text Block] Foreign Currency Translation Foreign Currency Transactions and Translations Policy [Policy Text Block] Derivatives Derivatives, Policy [Policy Text Block] Stock-Based Compensation Expense Share-based Compensation, Option and Incentive Plans Policy [Policy Text Block] Treasury Stock Treasury Stock [Policy Text Block] Treasury stock. Earnings Per Share Earnings Per Share, Policy [Policy Text Block] Recent Accounting Pronouncements New Accounting Pronouncements, Policy [Policy Text Block] Income Statement [Abstract] Revenues Sales Revenue, Services, Net Operating Expenses (excluding depreciation and amortization) Operating Costs and Expenses Depreciation and Amortization Depreciation, Depletion and Amortization, Nonproduction General and administrative expenses General and Administrative Expense Operating Income Operating Income (Loss) Interest Income Investment Income, Interest Interest Expense Interest Expense Loss on Extinguishment of Debt Income Before Income Taxes, Equity in Earnings of Affiliates and Discontinued Operations Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations before Equity Method Investments, Income Taxes, Extraordinary Items, Noncontrolling Interest Provision (Benefit) for Income Taxes Income Tax Expense (Benefit) Equity in Earnings of Affiliates, net of income tax provision of $2,038, $2,302 and $2,389 Income from Continuing Operations Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations, Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Loss from Discontinued Operations, net of income tax provision (benefit) of $0 Income (Loss) from Discontinued Operations, Net of Tax, Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Net Income Less: loss attributable to noncontrolling interests Net Income (Loss) Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Net Income Attributable to The GEO Group, Inc. Net Income (Loss) Attributable to Parent Weighted Average Common Shares Outstanding: Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding, Diluted [Abstract] Basic (in shares) Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding, Basic Diluted (in shares) Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding, Diluted Income per Common Share Attributable to The GEO Group, Inc.: Basic earnings per share Earnings Per Share, Basic [Abstract] Income from continuing operations (in dollars per share) Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations, Per Basic Share Loss from discontinued operations (in dollars per share) Income (Loss) from Discontinued Operations and Disposal of Discontinued Operations, Net of Tax, Per Basic Share Net income per share — basic (in dollars per share) Earnings Per Share, Basic Diluted: Earnings Per Share, Diluted [Abstract] Income from continuing operations (in dollars per share) Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations, Per Diluted Share Loss from discontinued operations (in dollars per share) Income (Loss) from Discontinued Operations and Disposal of Discontinued Operations, Net of Tax, Per Diluted Share Net income per share — diluted (in dollars per share) Earnings Per Share, Diluted Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation SEC Schedule III, Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation Disclosure [Text Block] Recognized compensation expenses Share-based Compensation [Abstract] Stock Option Plan Expense Stock or Unit Option Plan Expense Restricted Stock Expense Restricted Stock or Unit Expense Income Tax Disclosure [Abstract] Federal income taxes: Federal Income Tax Expense (Benefit), Continuing Operations [Abstract] Current Current Federal Tax Expense (Benefit) Deferred Deferred Federal Income Tax Expense (Benefit) Federal Income Tax Expense (Benefit), Continuing Operations, Total Federal Income Tax Expense (Benefit), Continuing Operations State income taxes: State and Local Income Tax Expense (Benefit), Continuing Operations [Abstract] Current Current State and Local Tax Expense (Benefit) Deferred Deferred State and Local Income Tax Expense (Benefit) State and Local Income Tax Expense (Benefit), Continuing Operations, Total State and Local Income Tax Expense (Benefit), Continuing Operations Foreign: Foreign Income Tax Expense (Benefit), Continuing Operations [Abstract] Current Current Foreign Tax Expense (Benefit) Deferred Deferred Foreign Income Tax Expense (Benefit) Foreign Income Tax Expense (Benefit), Continuing Operations, Total Foreign Income Tax Expense (Benefit), Continuing Operations Total provision (benefit) for income taxes Income Tax Expense (Benefit), Continuing Operations, Discontinued Operations, Extraordinary Items Investment in Direct Finance Leases [Abstract] Investment in Direct Finance Leases. Schedule of future minimum rentals to be received Schedule of Minimum Rentals to be Received under Direct Financing Lease in Future Years [Table Text Block] Schedule of minimum rentals to be received under direct financing lease in future years. Business Combinations [Abstract] Schedule of Business Acquisitions, by Acquisition [Table] Schedule of Business Acquisitions, by Acquisition [Table] Counterparty Name [Axis] Counterparty Name [Axis] Counterparty Name [Domain] Counterparty Name [Domain] Soberlink Healthcare, LLC Soberlink Healthcare, LLC [Member] Soberlink Healthcare, LLC DevCo, LLC DevCo, LLC [Member] DevCo, LLC Finite-Lived Intangible Assets by Major Class [Axis] Finite-Lived Intangible Assets by Major Class [Axis] Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Major Class Name [Domain] Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Major Class Name [Domain] Technology Technology-Based Intangible Assets [Member] Customer Relationships Customer Relationships [Member] Business Acquisition [Axis] Business Acquisition [Axis] Business Acquisition, Acquiree [Domain] Business Acquisition, Acquiree [Domain] Soberlink, Inc Soberlink, Inc [Member] Soberlink, Inc Business Acquisition [Line Items] Business Acquisition [Line Items] Outstanding common stock acquired, percent Business Combination, Common Stock Acquired, Percent Business Combination, Common Stock Acquired, Percent Cash consideration Payments to Acquire Businesses, Gross Retrospective adjustment related to working capital Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Working Capital Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Working Capital Identifiable intangible assets, useful life Acquired Finite-lived Intangible Assets, Weighted Average Useful Life Accounts receivable and other current assets Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Current Assets, Receivables Inventory Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Inventory Intangible assets Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Intangible Assets, Other than Goodwill Total assets acquired Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Assets Accounts payable Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Current Liabilities, Accounts Payable Deferred tax and other tax liabilities Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Deferred Tax Liabilities Noncurrent Total identifiable net assets Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Net Goodwill Goodwill Total consideration paid Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired, Goodwill, and Liabilities Assumed, Net Loan provided (amount) Receivable with Imputed Interest, Face Amount Loan issued, interest rate Receivable with Imputed Interest, Effective Yield (Interest Rate) Annual royalty fee to use any improvements to the existing technology resident Royalty Expense Acquisition related costs Business Combination, Acquisition Related Costs Accrued interest Interest Payable, Current Accrued bonus Accrued Bonuses, Current Accrued insurance Accrued Insurance, Current Accrued property and other taxes Accrual for Taxes Other than Income Taxes, Current Construction retainage Construction Payable, Current Other Other Accrued Liabilities, Current Total Accrued Liabilities, Current Schedule of Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share [Table] Schedule of Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share [Table] Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share, by Antidilutive Securities [Axis] Antidilutive Securities [Axis] Antidilutive Securities, Name [Domain] Antidilutive Securities, Name [Domain] Stock Options Employee Stock Option [Member] Restricted Stock Award Restricted Stock [Member] Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share [Line Items] Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share [Line Items] Earnings Per Share, Basic and Diluted [Abstract] Earnings Per Share, Basic and Diluted [Abstract] Loss attributable to noncontrolling interests Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Income from continuing operations attributable to The GEO Group, Inc. Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations Attributable to Parent Basic earnings per share: Per share amount from continuing operations attributable to The GEO Group, Inc.: Diluted earnings per share: Weighted average shares outstanding Diluted effect of equity incentive plans Incremental Common Shares Attributable to Dilutive Effect of Share-based Payment Arrangements Weighted average shares assuming dilution Per share amount from continuing operations attributable to The GEO Group, Inc.: Antidilutive securities excluded from computation of earnings per share Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share, Amount Summary of accrued expenses Schedule of Accrued Liabilities [Table Text Block] Schedule of Operating Leased Assets [Table] Schedule of Operating Leased Assets [Table] Property Subject to or Available for Operating Lease [Axis] Property Subject to or Available for Operating Lease [Axis] Property Subject to or Available for Operating Lease [Domain] Property Subject to or Available for Operating Lease [Domain] Leased Facility 1 Leased Facility One [Member] Leased Facility One [Member] Leased Facility 2 Leased Facility Two [Member] Leased Facility Two [Member] Operating Leased Assets [Line Items] Operating Leased Assets [Line Items] Future minimum rentals on lease Operating Leases, Future Minimum Payments Receivable [Abstract] 2016 Operating Leases, Future Minimum Payments Receivable, Current 2017 Operating Leases, Future Minimum Payments Receivable, in Two Years 2018 Operating Leases, Future Minimum Payments Receivable, in Three Years Total Operating Leases, Future Minimum Payments Receivable Number of owned facilities leased to an unrelated party Property Subject to or Available for Operating Lease, Number of Units Period of lease Period Of Lease Period Of Lease Number of extensions for leases Number Of Lease Option Extensions Number Of Lease Option Extensions Period of lease extension option Period of Lease Extension Option Period of lease extension option. Carrying value of leased facility Carrying Value of Leased Facility Carrying value of leased facility. Accumulated depreciation of leased facility Accumulated Depreciation of Leased Facility Accumulated depreciation of leased facility. Rental income received on lease Operating Leases, Income Statement, Lease Revenue Lease expiration date Lease Expiration Date Continuing operations: Effective Income Tax Rate Reconciliation, Amount [Abstract] Provisions using statutory federal income tax rate Effective Income Tax Rate Reconciliation at Federal Statutory Income Tax Rate, Amount State income taxes (benefit), net of federal tax benefit Effective Income Tax Rate Reconciliation, State and Local Income Taxes, Amount REIT Benefit Effective Income Tax Reconciliation, REIT Benefit Effective Income Tax Reconciliation, REIT Benefit Impact of REIT election Income Tax Reconciliation, Impact Of REIT Election Income Tax Reconciliation, Impact Of REIT Election Change in contingent tax liabilities Effective Income Tax Rate Reconciliation, Tax Contingency, Amount Change in valuation allowance Effective Income Tax Rate Reconciliation, Change in Deferred Tax Assets Valuation Allowance, Amount Other, net Effective Income Tax Rate Reconciliation, Other Reconciling Items, Amount Goodwill and Intangible Assets Disclosure [Abstract] Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets, Net Goodwill and Intangible Assets Disclosure [Text Block] Subsequent Events [Abstract] Subsequent Event [Table] Subsequent Event [Table] Facility Management Contracts Facility Management Contracts And Customer Relationships [Member] Facility management contracts and customer relationships LCS Corrections Services, Inc. LCS Corrections Services, Inc. [Member] LCS Corrections Services, Inc. Subsequent Event [Line Items] Subsequent Event [Line Items] Repayments of debt Repayments of Debt Options, grants in period Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Grants in Period, Gross Vesting period Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Award Vesting Period Dividends declared Common Stock, Dividends, Per Share, Declared Renovation costs of detention facility Costs Incurred, Renovation Costs Costs Incurred, Renovation Costs Schedule of Finite-Lived Intangible Assets [Table] Schedule of Finite-Lived Intangible Assets [Table] Finite-Lived Intangible Assets [Line Items] Finite-Lived Intangible Assets [Line Items] Amortization expense Amortization of Intangible Assets Weighted average period before renewal or extension Acquired Finite-lived Intangible Asset, Weighted-Average Period before Renewal or Extension Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Net, Amortization Expense, Fiscal Year Maturity [Abstract] Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Net, Amortization Expense, Fiscal Year Maturity [Abstract] 2016 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Next Twelve Months 2017 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Two 2018 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Three 2019 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Four 2020 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Five Thereafter Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, after Year Five Finite-lived intangible assets Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Net Dividends Declared Dividends Declared [Table Text Block] Schedule of Goodwill [Table] Schedule of Goodwill [Table] Segments [Axis] Segments [Axis] Segments [Domain] Segments [Domain] U.S. Corrections and Detention US Corrections and Detention [Member] US corrections and detention. GEO Community Services GEO Community Services [Member] GEO Community Services International Services International Services Segment [Member] International Services Segment. Goodwill [Line Items] Goodwill [Line Items] Changes in the Company's goodwill balances Goodwill [Roll Forward] Beginning balance Goodwill acquired Goodwill, Acquired During Period