Equity [Abstract] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Table] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Table] Equity Components [Axis] Equity Components [Axis] Equity Component [Domain] Equity Component [Domain] Foreign currency translation adjustments, net of tax attributable to The GEO Group, Inc. Accumulated Foreign Currency Adjustment Attributable to Parent [Member] Change in fair value of 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] Total AOCI Attributable to Parent [Member] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Line Items] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Line Items] Components of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Roll Forward] Components of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Roll Forward] Components of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) Beginning balance Stockholders' Equity Attributable to Parent Current-period other comprehensive income Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax, Portion Attributable to Parent Ending balance Business Combinations [Abstract] Schedule of Business Acquisitions, by Acquisition [Table] Schedule of Business Acquisitions, by Acquisition [Table] Business Acquisition [Axis] Business Acquisition [Axis] Business Acquisition, Acquiree [Domain] Business Acquisition, Acquiree [Domain] Community Education Centers Community Education Centers [Member] Community Education Centers [Member] Business Acquisition [Line Items] Business Acquisition [Line Items] Percentage of voting interests acquired Business Acquisition, Percentage of Voting Interests Acquired Acquisition of CEC, net of cash acquired Payments to Acquire Businesses, Net of Cash Acquired Measurement period adjustment Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustments Related to Previous Period Measurement period adjustment, valuation of an unfavorable contract liability Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Financial Liabilities Revenue from Contract with Customer [Abstract] Disaggregation of Revenue Disaggregation of Revenue [Table Text Block] Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract] Schedule of Condensed Financial Statements [Table] Condensed Financial Statements [Table] Consolidation Items [Axis] Consolidation Items [Axis] Consolidation Items [Domain] Consolidation Items [Domain] Reportable Legal Entities Reportable Legal Entities [Member] Eliminations Consolidation, Eliminations [Member] Consolidated Entities [Axis] Consolidated Entities [Axis] Consolidated Entities [Domain] Consolidated Entities [Domain] The GEO Group, Inc. Parent Company [Member] Combined Subsidiary Guarantors Guarantor Subsidiaries [Member] Combined Non-Guarantor Subsidiaries Non-Guarantor Subsidiaries [Member] Condensed Financial Statements, Captions [Line Items] Condensed Financial Statements, Captions [Line Items] CONDENSED CONSOLIDATING BALANCE SHEET Statement of Financial Position [Abstract] Assets Assets [Abstract] Cash and cash equivalents Cash and Cash Equivalents, at Carrying Value Restricted cash and cash equivalents Restricted Cash and Investments, Current Accounts receivable, less allowance for doubtful accounts Accounts Receivable, Net, Current Contract receivable, current portion Contract Work In Process, current Contract Work In Process, current Prepaid expenses and other current assets Prepaid Expense and Other Assets, Current Total current assets Assets, Current Restricted Cash and Investments Restricted Cash and Investments, Noncurrent Property and Equipment, Net Property, Plant and Equipment, Net Assets Held for Sale Assets Held-for-sale, Not Part of Disposal Group Non-Current Contract Receivable Contract Work In Process, Noncurrent Contract Work In Process, Noncurrent Intercompany Receivable Due from Related Parties, Noncurrent Non-Current Deferred Income Tax Assets Deferred Tax Assets, Net of Valuation Allowance, Noncurrent Goodwill Goodwill Intangible Assets, Net Intangible Assets, Net (Excluding Goodwill) Investment in Subsidiaries Investments in and Advance to Affiliates, Subsidiaries, Associates, and Joint Ventures Other Non-Current Assets Other Assets, Noncurrent Total Assets Assets LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY Liabilities and Equity [Abstract] Accounts payable Accounts Payable, Current Accrued payroll and related taxes Employee-related Liabilities, Current Accrued expenses and other current liabilities Accrued Liabilities, Current Current portion of capital lease obligations, long-term debt and non-recourse debt Long-term Debt and Capital Lease Obligations, Current Total current liabilities Liabilities, Current Non-Current Deferred Income Tax Liabilities Deferred Tax Liabilities, Net, Noncurrent Intercompany Payable Due to Related Parties, Noncurrent Other Non-Current Liabilities Other Liabilities, Noncurrent Capital Lease Obligations Capital Lease Obligations, Noncurrent Long-Term Debt Long-term Debt, Excluding Current Maturities Non-Recourse Debt Noncurrent Portion of Non-Recourse Debt Noncurrent portion of non-recourse debt . Commitments & Contingencies and Other Commitments and Contingencies The GEO Group, Inc. Shareholders' Equity Noncontrolling interests Stockholders' Equity Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Total shareholders’ equity Stockholders' Equity, Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Total Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity Liabilities and Equity Consolidated Statements of Income and Comprehensive Income [Abstract] Income Statement [Abstract] Revenues Sales Revenue, Services, Net Operating expenses Operating Costs and Expenses Depreciation and amortization Depreciation, Depletion and Amortization, Nonproduction General and administrative expenses General and Administrative Expense Total operating income from segments Operating Income (Loss) Interest income Investment Income, Interest Interest expense Interest Expense Income before income taxes and equity in earnings of affiliates Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations before Equity Method Investments, Income Taxes, Noncontrolling Interest Income tax provision Income Tax Expense (Benefit) Equity in earnings of affiliates, net of income tax provision Income (Loss) from Equity Method Investments Income before equity in income of consolidated subsidiaries Income from Continuing Operations before Equity in Income of Consolidated Subsidiaries Income From Continuing Operations Before Equity In Income Of Consolidated Subsidiaries. Income from consolidated subsidiaries, net of income tax provision Equity in Income of Consolidated Subsidiaries Net of Tax Equity in Income of Consolidated Subsidiaries Net of Tax Net income Net Income (Loss), Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Net 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 Net income Other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax Total comprehensive income Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax, Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Comprehensive loss attributable to noncontrolling interests Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax, Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Comprehensive income attributable to The GEO Group, Inc. Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax, Attributable to Parent Shareholders' Equity Stockholders' Equity Note Disclosure [Text Block] Fair Value Disclosures [Abstract] Fair Value of Assets and Liabilities Fair Value Disclosures [Text Block] ASSETS Current Assets Assets, Current [Abstract] Restricted cash and cash equivalents Accounts receivable, less allowance for doubtful accounts of $4,902 and $4,574, respectively Restricted Cash and Investments Property and Equipment, Net Deferred Income Tax Assets Current Liabilities Liabilities, Current [Abstract] Current portion of capital lease obligations, long-term debt and non-recourse debt Non-Recourse Debt Commitments, Contingencies and Other (Note 13) Shareholders’ Equity Stockholders' Equity, Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest [Abstract] Preferred stock, $0.01 par value, 30,000,000 shares authorized, none issued or outstanding Preferred Stock, Value, Issued Common stock, $0.01 par value, 187,500,000 shares authorized, 123,853,267 and 124,008,303 issued and 122,005,156 and 124,008,003 outstanding, respectively Common Stock, Value, Issued Additional paid-in capital Additional Paid in Capital Earnings in excess of distributions Retained Earnings (Accumulated Deficit) Accumulated other comprehensive loss Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax Treasury stock, 1,848,111 and 0 shares, at cost, respectively Treasury Stock, Value Total shareholders’ equity attributable to The GEO Group, Inc. Debt Disclosure [Abstract] Summary of Debt Schedule of Debt [Table Text Block] Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract] Commitments and Contingencies [Table] Commitments and Contingencies [Table] Commitments and Contingencies. Litigation Status [Axis] Litigation Status [Axis] Litigation Status [Domain] Litigation Status [Domain] Pending Litigation Pending Litigation [Member] Litigation Case [Axis] Litigation Case [Axis] Litigation Case [Domain] Litigation Case [Domain] Attorney General of Mississippi vs Company, Cornell Companies, Inc., Christopher B Epps And Cecil McCrory Attorney General of Mississippi vs Company, Cornell Companies, Inc., Christopher B Epps And Cecil McCrory [Member] Attorney General of Mississippi vs Company, Cornell Companies, Inc., Christopher B Epps And Cecil McCrory [Member] Balance Sheet Location [Axis] Balance Sheet Location [Axis] Balance Sheet Location [Domain] Balance Sheet Location [Domain] Property and Equipment Property, Plant and Equipment [Member] Commitments and Contingencies [Line Items] Commitments and Contingencies [Line Items] Commitments and Contingencies. Contracts disputed Loss Contingency, Contracts Disputed Loss Contingency, Contracts Disputed Estimate of possible loss Income Tax Examination, Estimate of Possible Loss Estimated construction capital project cost Estimated Construction Capital Project Cost Estimated construction capital project cost. 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. Number of vacant beds at idle facilities marketed to potential customers Number of Vacant Beds at Idle Facilities Marketed to Potential Customers Number of Vacant Beds at Idle Facilities Marketed to Potential Customers Number of marketed idle facilities Number of Marketed Idle Facilities Number of Marketed Idle Facilities Carrying values of idle facilities marketed to potential customers Carrying Values of Idle Facilities Marketed to Potential Customers Carrying Values of Idle Facilities Marketed to Potential Customers Schedule of Long-term Debt Instruments [Table] Schedule of Long-term Debt Instruments [Table] Investment, Name [Axis] Investment, Name [Axis] Investment, Name [Domain] Investment, Name [Domain] Northwest Detention Center Northwest Detention Center [Member] Northwest Detention Center [Member] Ravenhall Ravenhall [Member] Ravenhall [Member] Lender Name [Axis] Lender Name [Axis] Line of Credit Facility, Lender [Domain] Line of Credit Facility, Lender [Domain] National Australia Bank Limited National Australia Bank Limited [Member] National Australia Bank Limited [Member] Debt Instrument [Axis] Debt Instrument [Axis] Debt Instrument, Name [Domain] Debt Instrument, Name [Domain] Construction Facility Construction Facility [Member] Construction Facility [Member] Long-term Debt, Type [Axis] Long-term Debt, Type [Axis] Long-term Debt, Type [Domain] Long-term Debt, Type [Domain] Non-Recourse Debt, Northwest Detention Center Non Recourse Debt Northwest Detention Center [Member] Non-recourse debt Northwest detention center. Non-Recourse Debt, 2011 Revenue Bonds Non Recourse Debt Two Thousand Eleven Revenue Bonds [Member] Non recourse debt two thousand eleven revenue bonds. Australian Subsidiaries, Non-Recourse Debt Australian Subsidiaries Non Recourse Debt [Member] Australian Subsidiaries Non Recourse Debt Member. Non-Recourse Debt Non Recourse Debt [Member] Non recourse Debt. Debt Instrument [Line Items] Debt Instrument [Line Items] Face amount Debt Instrument, Face Amount Interest rate Debt Instrument, Interest Rate, Stated Percentage Non-recourse debt Non-Recourse Debt Current portion of non recourse debt Current Portion of Non recourse Debt Current Portion of Non recourse Debt. Restricted cash and cash equivalents - current Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents, Current Basis spread on variable rate Debt Instrument, Basis Spread on Variable Rate Maximum borrowing capacity Line of Credit Facility, Maximum Borrowing Capacity Capital contribution from GEO Capital Contribution from GEO Capital Contribution from GEO 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 Revolver Long-term Line of Credit Summary of Derivative Instruments [Abstract] Fixed interest rate on cash flow interest rate derivative Derivative, Fixed Interest Rate Financial Instruments, Financial Assets, Balance Sheet Groupings [Abstract] Fair value assets and liabilities measured on recurring basis Schedule of Fair Value, Assets and Liabilities Measured on Recurring Basis [Table Text Block] Disclosure of Compensation Related Costs, Share-based Payments [Abstract] Shares Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Outstanding [Roll Forward] Options outstanding, Beginning Balance, Shares Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Outstanding, Number Options granted, Shares Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Grants in Period, Net of Forfeitures Options exercised, Shares Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Exercises in Period Options forfeited/canceled/expired, Shares Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Forfeitures and Expirations in Period Options outstanding, Ending Balance, Shares Options vested and expected to vest, ending balance, Shares Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Vested and Expected to Vest, Outstanding, Number Options exercisable, ending balance, Shares Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Exercisable, Number Wtd. Avg. Exercise Price Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Outstanding, Weighted Average Exercise Price [Abstract] Options outstanding, Beginning Balance, Wtd. Avg. Exercise Price (in dollars per share) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Outstanding, Weighted Average Exercise Price Options granted, Wtd. Avg. Exercise Price (in dollars per share) Share-based Compensation Arrangements by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Grants in Period, Weighted Average Exercise Price Options exercised, Wtd. Avg. Exercise Price (in dollars per share) Share-based Compensation Arrangements by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Exercises in Period, Weighted Average Exercise Price Options forfeited/canceled/expired, Wtd. Avg. Exercise Price (in dollars per share) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Forfeitures and Expirations in Period, Weighted Average Exercise Price Options outstanding, Ending Balance, Wtd. Avg. Exercise Price (in dollars per share) Options vested and expected to vest, ending balance, Wtd. Avg. Exercise Price (in dollars per share) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Vested and Expected to Vest, Outstanding, Weighted Average Exercise Price Options exercisable, ending balance, Wtd. Avg. Exercise Price (in dollars per share) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Exercisable, Weighted Average Exercise Price Options, Additional Disclosures Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Additional Disclosures [Abstract] Options outstanding, Remaining Contractual Term Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Outstanding, Weighted Average Remaining Contractual Term Options vested and expected to vest, ending balance, Wtd. Avg., Remaining Contractual Term Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Vested and Expected to Vest, Exercisable, Weighted Average Remaining Contractual Term Options exercisable, ending balance, Wtd. Avg. Remaining Contractual Term Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Exercisable, Weighted Average Remaining Contractual Term Options outstanding, Aggregate Intrinsic Value Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Outstanding, Intrinsic Value Options vested and expected to vest, ending balance, Aggregate Intrinsic Value Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Vested and Expected to Vest, Outstanding, Aggregate Intrinsic Value Options exercisable, ending balance, Aggregate Intrinsic Value Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Exercisable, Intrinsic Value Senior Notes Senior Notes [Member] 6.00% Senior Notes, due 2026 Six Percent Senior Notes Due 2026 [Member] Six Percent Senior Notes Due 2026 [Member] Senior Notes Due 2023 Senior Notes Due 2023 [Member] Senior Notes Due 2023 [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] 5.875% Senior Notes due 2022 Five Point Eight Seven Five Percent Senior Notes Due 2022 [Member] Five Point Eight Seven Five Percent Senior Notes Due 2022 [Member] Notes bear interest at a rate Percentage of subsidiary owned Percentage of Subsidiary Owned Percentage of subsidiary owned. Summary of the activity of stock option awards Share-based Compensation, Stock Options, Activity [Table Text Block] Summary of the activity of restricted stock Schedule of Share-based Compensation, Restricted Stock Units Award Activity [Table Text Block] Fair Value, by Balance Sheet Grouping [Table] Fair Value, by Balance Sheet Grouping [Table] Measurement Basis [Axis] Measurement Basis [Axis] Fair Value Measurement [Domain] Fair Value Measurement [Domain] Portion at Fair Value Measurement Portion at Fair Value Measurement [Member] Carrying Value Reported Value Measurement [Member] Estimate of Fair Value Measurement Estimate of Fair Value Measurement [Member] Fair Value, Hierarchy [Axis] Fair Value, Hierarchy [Axis] Fair Value Hierarchy [Domain] Fair Value Hierarchy [Domain] Level 1 Fair Value, Inputs, Level 1 [Member] Level 2 Fair Value, Inputs, Level 2 [Member] Level 3 Fair Value, Inputs, Level 3 [Member] 5.125% Senior Notes Five Point One Two Five Percent Senior Notes Due 2023 [Member] 5.125% Senior Notes Due 2023 [Member] 6.00% Senior Notes Subsidiary Subsidiaries [Member] Geographical [Axis] Geographical [Axis] Geographical [Domain] Geographical [Domain] AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA Fair Value, Balance Sheet Grouping, Financial Statement Captions [Line Items] Fair Value, Balance Sheet Grouping, Financial Statement Captions [Line Items] Carrying value and estimated fair value of financial instruments Carrying Value and Estimated Fair Value of Financial Instruments [Abstract] Carrying value and estimated fair value of financial instruments. Assets: Assets, Fair Value Disclosure [Abstract] Cash and cash equivalents Restricted cash and investments Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents Liabilities: Liabilities, Fair Value Disclosure [Abstract] Borrowings under senior credit facility Borrowings under Revolver and Term Loans Borrowings under revolver and term loans. Senior notes Debt Instrument, Fair Value Disclosure Retirement Benefits [Abstract] Benefit Plans Pension and Other Postretirement Benefits Disclosure [Text Block] Segment Reporting [Abstract] Operating and Reporting Segments Schedule of Segment Reporting Information, by Segment [Table Text Block] Pre-Tax Income Reconciliation of Segments Reconciliation of Operating Profit (Loss) from Segments to Consolidated [Table Text Block] Goodwill and Intangible Assets Disclosure [Abstract] Schedule of Finite and Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets [Table] Schedule of Finite and Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets [Table] Schedule of Finite and Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets [Table] 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] Facility management contracts Facility Management Contracts And Customer Relationships [Member] Facility management contracts and customer relationships Covenants not to compete Noncompete Agreements [Member] Technology Technology-Based Intangible Assets [Member] Indefinite-lived Intangible Assets by Major Class [Axis] Indefinite-lived Intangible Assets [Axis] Indefinite-lived Intangible Assets, Major Class Name [Domain] Indefinite-lived Intangible Assets, Major Class Name [Domain] Trade names Trade Names [Member] Schedule of Finite and Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets [Line Items] Schedule of Finite and Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets [Line Items] [Line Items] for Schedule of Finite and Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets [Table] Weighted Average Useful Life Finite-Lived Intangible Asset, Useful Life Gross Carrying Amount Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Gross Accumulated Amortization Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Accumulated Amortization Net Carrying Amount Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Net Trade name (Indefinite lived) Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets (Excluding Goodwill) Gross carrying amount Intangible Assets, Gross (Excluding Goodwill) Total acquired intangible assets Components of Net Periodic Benefit Cost Defined Benefit Plan, Net Periodic Benefit Cost (Credit) [Abstract] Service cost Defined Benefit Plan, Service Cost Interest cost Defined Benefit Plan, Interest Cost Net loss Defined Benefit Plan, Amortization of Gain (Loss) Net periodic pension cost Defined Benefit Plan, Net Periodic Benefit Cost (Credit) Cash and Cash Equivalents [Abstract] Restricted cash and investments - non-current Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents, Noncurrent Less Restricted investments - non-current Restricted Investments, Noncurrent Total cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents shown in the statement of cash flows Cash, Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash and Restricted Cash Equivalents Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities Disclosure [Abstract] Derivative [Table] Derivative [Table] Ravenhall, Australia Ravenhall, Australia [Member] Ravenhall, Australia [Member] Hedging Relationship [Axis] Hedging Relationship [Axis] Hedging Relationship [Domain] Hedging Relationship [Domain] Cash Flow Hedge Cash Flow Hedging [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] Operating phase Operating Phase of Asset [Member] Operating Phase of Asset [Member] Other Noncurrent Liabilities Other Noncurrent Liabilities [Member] Derivative Instrument [Axis] Derivative Instrument [Axis] Derivative Contract [Domain] Derivative Contract [Domain] Interest Rate Swap Interest Rate Swap [Member] Derivative [Line Items] Derivative [Line Items] Fixed interest rate on derivative Notional amount coincide with the terms of the non-recourse debt Derivative, Notional Amount Unrealized gain, net of tax, related to cash flow hedge Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Unrealized Gain (Loss) on Derivatives Arising During Period, Net of Tax Fair value of the swap liability Interest Rate Cash Flow Hedge Liability at Fair Value Ineffective portion of Cash Flow Hedge interest rate swap Gain (Loss) on Interest Rate Cash Flow Hedge Ineffectiveness Basis of Presentation Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements Disclosure [Text Block] Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets Goodwill and Intangible Assets Disclosure [Text Block] Document and Entity Information [Abstract] Document And Entity Information. Entity Registrant Name Entity Registrant Name Entity Central Index Key Entity Central Index Key Document Type Document Type Trading Symbol Trading Symbol Document Period End Date Document Period End Date Amendment Flag Amendment Flag Document Fiscal Year Focus Document Fiscal Year Focus Document Fiscal Period Focus Document Fiscal Period Focus Current Fiscal Year End Date Current Fiscal Year End Date Entity Filer Category Entity Filer Category Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding Estimated amortization expense for the remainder Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Net, Amortization Expense, Fiscal Year Maturity [Abstract] Remainder of 2018 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Remainder of Fiscal Year 2019 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Two 2020 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Three 2021 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Four 2022 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Five Thereafter Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, after Year Five Schedule of Segment Reporting Information, by Segment [Table] Schedule of Segment Reporting Information, by Segment [Table] Operating Segments Operating Segments [Member] Statement, Business Segments [Axis] Segments [Axis] Segments [Domain] Segments [Domain] U.S. Corrections & Detention US Corrections and Detention [Member] US corrections and detention. GEO Care GEO Care [Member] GEO Care [Member] International Services International Services Segment [Member] International Services Segment. Facility Construction and Design Facility Constructions and Design [Member] Facility Constructions and Design. Segment Reporting Information [Line Items] Segment Reporting Information [Line Items] Revenues: Segment Reporting Information, Revenue for Reportable Segment [Abstract] Revenues Revenues Operating Income: Operating Income (Loss) [Abstract] Operating income Revenue Recognition Revenue from Contract with Customer [Text Block] 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 Ownership percentage in entity Variable Interest Entity, Qualitative or Quantitative Information, Ownership Percentage Investment in joint venture Equity Method Investments Investment in affiliate Carrying value and estimated fair value of financial instruments Fair Value, by Balance Sheet Grouping [Table Text Block] Accounts Receivable Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Current Assets, Receivables Prepaid and other current assets Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Current Assets, Prepaid Expense and Other Assets Property and equipment Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Property, Plant, and Equipment Intangible assets Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Intangible Assets, Other than Goodwill Favorable lease assets Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Out Of Market Lease Assets Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Out Of Market Lease Assets Deferred income tax assets Business Combination Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Deferred Tax Assets Other non-current assets Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Other Noncurrent Assets Total assets acquired Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Assets Accounts payable and accrued expenses Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Current Liabilities, Accounts Payable Unfavorable lease liabilities Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Out Of Market Lease Liabilities Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Out Of Market Lease Liabilities Other non-current liabilities Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Noncurrent Liabilities, Other Total liabilities assumed Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Liabilities Total identifiable net assets Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Net Goodwill Total consideration paid, net of cash acquired Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired, Goodwill, and Liabilities Assumed, Net Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustments [Abstract] Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustments [Abstract] Measurement Period Adjustments, Accounts Receivable Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Accounts Receivable Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Accounts Receivable Measurement Period Adjustments, Prepaid and other current assets Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Prepaid And Other Current Assets Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Prepaid And Other Current Assets Measurement Period Adjustments, Deferred income tax assets Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Deferred Income Tax Assets Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Deferred Income Tax Assets Measurement Period Adjustments, Total assets acquired Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Assets Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Assets Measurement Period Adjustments, Accounts payable and accrued Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Accounts Payable And Accrued Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Accounts Payable And Accrued Measurement Period Adjustments, Other non-current liabilities Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Other Noncurrent Liabilities Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Other Noncurrent Liabilities Measurement Period Adjustments, Total liabilities assumed Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Liabilities Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Liabilities Measurement Period Adjustments, Total identifiable net assets Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Assets, Net Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Assets, Net Measurement Period Adjustments, Goodwill Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Goodwill Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Goodwill Measurement Period Adjustments, Total consideration paid, net of cash acquired Business Combination, Provisional Information, Initial Accounting Incomplete, Adjustment, Consideration Transferred Earnings Per Share [Abstract] Earnings Per Share, Basic and Diluted [Abstract] Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests Net income attributable to The GEO Group, Inc. Basic earnings per share attributable to The GEO Group, Inc.: Earnings Per Share, Basic [Abstract] Weighted average shares outstanding (in shares) Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding, Basic Per share amount (USD per share) Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations, Per Basic Share Diluted earnings per share attributable to The GEO Group, Inc.: Earnings Per Share, Diluted [Abstract] Dilutive effect of equity incentive plans (shares) Incremental Common Shares Attributable to Dilutive Effect of Share-based Payment Arrangements Weighted average shares assuming dilution Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding, Diluted Income from continuing operations (USD per share) Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations, Per Diluted Share Disaggregation of Revenue [Table] Disaggregation of Revenue [Table] Counterparty Name [Axis] Counterparty Name [Axis] Counterparty Name [Domain] Counterparty Name [Domain] Department Of Justice, State Of Victoria Department Of Justice, State Of Victoria [Member] Department Of Justice, State Of Victoria [Member] Segments, Business Segments [Axis] U.S. Corrections & Detention GEO Care International Services Facility Construction and Design Facility Constructions and Design Segment [Member] Facility Constructions and Design Segment Products and Services [Axis] Products and Services [Axis] Products and Services [Domain] Products and Services [Domain] Owned and Leased: Corrections & Detention Owned And Leased, Corrections And Detention [Member] Owned And Leased, Corrections And Detention [Member] Owned and Leased: Community-based Owned And Leased, Community Based [Member] Owned And Leased, Community Based [Member] Owned and Leased: Youth Services Owned And Leased, Youth Services [Member] Owned And Leased, Youth Services [Member] Managed Only Managed Only [Member] Managed Only [Member] Facility Construction and Design Non-residential Services and Other Non Residential Services And Other [Member] Non Residential Services And Other [Member] Disaggregation of Revenue [Line Items] Disaggregation of Revenue [Line Items] Domestic performance based revenues percent of consolidated domestic revenues (less than 1%) Revenue, Domestic, Performance Based, Percentage Of Consolidated Domestic Revenues Revenue, Domestic, Performance Based, Percentage Of Consolidated Domestic Revenues Performance obligation, expected timing of satisfaction, period Revenue, Remaining Performance Obligation, Contract Period Revenue, Remaining Performance Obligation, Contract Period Performance obligation, payment required, period Revenue, Performance Obligation, Payment Required, Period Revenue, Performance Obligation, Payment Required, Period Total Revenues Revenue from Contract with Customer, Including Assessed Tax Number of contracts Revenue, Number Of Contracts Revenue, Number Of Contracts Number of beds in detention facility Number of Beds in Detention Facility Number of beds in detention facility Contract term Contract Term, Operation Of Facility Contract Term, Operation Of Facility Interest income, effective interest rate Contract With Customer, Interest Income, Effective Interest Rate Contract With Customer, Interest Income, Effective Interest Rate Subsequent Events [Abstract] Subsequent Events Subsequent Events [Text Block] Basic and diluted earnings per share Schedule of Earnings Per Share, Basic and Diluted [Table Text Block] Business Combinations Business Combination Disclosure [Text Block] Subsequent Event [Table] Subsequent Event [Table] Amended Credit Agreement Amended Credit Agreement [Member] Amended Credit Agreement Credit Facility [Axis] Credit Facility [Axis] Credit Facility [Domain] Credit Facility [Domain] Term Loan Term Loan [Member] Term Loan [Member] Line of Credit Line of Credit [Member] Variable Rate [Axis] Variable Rate [Axis] Variable Rate [Domain] Variable Rate [Domain] London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) [Member] Award Type [Axis] Award Type [Axis] Equity Award [Domain] Equity Award [Domain] Restricted Stock Restricted Stock [Member] Performance Based Restricted Stock Performance Based Restricted Stock [Member] Performance Based Restricted Stock [Member] Subsequent Event Type [Axis] Subsequent Event Type [Axis] Subsequent Event Type [Domain] Subsequent Event Type [Domain] Subsequent Event Subsequent Event [Member] Subsequent Event [Line Items] Subsequent Event [Line Items] Dividends declared per share (in US dollars per share) Common Stock, Dividends, Per Share, Declared Stock options granted (in shares) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Grants in Period, Gross Granted shares (in shares) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Equity Instruments Other than Options, Grants in Period Vesting period Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Award Vesting Period Basis spread on variable rate Derivative, Basis Spread on Variable Rate Long-term portion of the pension liability Liability, Defined Benefit Pension Plan, Noncurrent Condensed Consolidating Financial Information Condensed Financial Statements [Text Block] Income tax provision on equity in earnings of affiliates Income Tax Provision On Equity In Earnings Of Affiliates The sum of the current income tax expense (benefit) and the deferred income tax expense (benefit) pertaining the earnings from its investee (such as unconsolidated subsidiaries and joint ventures) to which the equity method of accounting is applied. Equity Incentive Plans Disclosure of Compensation Related Costs, Share-based Payments [Text Block] Line of Credit Facility [Table] Line of Credit Facility [Table] Letter of Credit Letter of Credit [Member] Revolver Revolver [Member] Revolver. Line of Credit Facility [Line Items] Line of Credit Facility [Line Items] Guaranteed obligations Guarantor Obligations, Maximum Exposure, Undiscounted Number of letters of guarantee outstanding under separate international facilities relating to performance guarantees Number of letters of guarantee outstanding under separate international facilities relating to performance guarantees Number of letters of guarantee outstanding under separate international facilities relating to performance guarantees. Letters of credit outstanding relating to performance guarantees Letters of Credit Outstanding Relating to Performance Guarantees Letters of credit outstanding relating to performance guarantees. Remaining guarantee under letter of credit Remaining Guarantee under Letter of Credit Remaining guarantee under letter of credit. Maximum loan amount under standby facility Maximum Loan Amount under SACS Shareholder's Loan Maximum loan amount under SACS shareholder's loan. Amount funded Line of Credit Facility, Fair Value of Amount Outstanding Ownership percentage in South African Custodial Services Pty. Limited Working capital line of credit issued to GEOAmey Working Capital Line of Credit Issued to GEO Amey Working Capital Line of Credit Issue to GEO Amey Note receivable for GEOAmey Due from Affiliate, Noncurrent COMMITMENTS, CONTINGENCIES AND OTHER Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Text Block] 5.875% Senior Notes, due 2024 5.125% Senior Notes, due 2023 Schedule of Recognized Identified Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed Schedule of Recognized Identified Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed [Table Text Block] Tax provision on defined benefit pension plans Other Comprehensive (Income) Loss, Defined Benefit Plan, after Reclassification Adjustment, Tax Tax provision on loss on derivative instrument classified as a cash flow hedge Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Derivatives Qualifying as Hedges, Tax Schedule of goodwill Schedule of Goodwill [Table Text Block] Schedule of intangible assets Schedule of Changes in Intangible Assets by Major Class [Table Text Block] Schedule of changes in intangible assets by major class. Estimated amortization expense for the remainder Schedule of Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Future Amortization Expense [Table Text Block] Revolving Credit Facility Revolving Credit Facility [Member] Bank Guarantee and Standby Sub Facility Bank Guarantee And Standby Sub Facility [Member] Bank Guarantee And Standby Sub Facility Accordion Accordion [Member] Accordion [Member] Additional Revolver Additional Revolver [Member] Additional revolver. Loan costs Debt Issuance Costs, Net Interest rate Debt Instrument, Variable Rate, Floor Debt Instrument, Variable Rate, Floor Leverage ratio Debt Instrument, Covenant, Leverage Ratio, Maximum Debt Instrument, Covenant, Leverage Ratio, Maximum Accordion feature, increase limit Line Of Credit Facility, Accordion Feature, Increase Limit Line Of Credit Facility, Accordion Feature, Increase Limit Total leverage ratio, maximum Debt Instrument, Covenant, Total Leverage Ratio, Maximum Debt Instrument, Covenant, Total Leverage Ratio, Maximum Senior secured leverage ratio Debt Instrument, Covenant, Senior Secured Leverage Ratio, Maximum Debt Instrument, Covenant, Senior Secured Leverage Ratio, Maximum Interest coverage ratio Debt Instrument, Covenant, Interest Coverage Ratio, Minimum Debt Instrument, Covenant, Interest Coverage Ratio, Minimum Term loan Term Loans Term loans. Long-term debt Long-term Debt Borrowing capacity increase Line of Credit Facility, Remaining Borrowing Capacity Weighted average interest rate Long-term Debt, Weighted Average Interest Rate, at Point in Time Allowance for doubtful accounts Allowance for Doubtful Accounts Receivable, Current Preferred stock, par value (in dollars per share) Preferred Stock, Par or Stated Value Per Share Preferred stock, shares authorized (in shares) Preferred Stock, Shares Authorized Preferred stock, shares issued (in shares) Preferred Stock, Shares Issued Preferred stock, shares outstanding (in shares) Preferred Stock, Shares Outstanding Common stock, par value (in dollars per share) Common Stock, Par or Stated Value Per Share Common stock, shares authorized (in shares) Common Stock, Shares Authorized Common stock, shares issued (in shares) Common Stock, Shares, Issued Common stock, shares outstanding (in shares) Common Stock, Shares, Outstanding Treasury stock, shares (in shares) Treasury Stock, Shares Revenues Operating income Provision for income taxes Equity in earnings of affiliates, net of income tax provision of $706, and $611, respectively Weighted-average common shares outstanding: Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding, Diluted [Abstract] Basic (in shares) Diluted (in shares) Net income per common share attributable to The GEO Group, Inc.: Basic: Net income per common share attributable to The GEO Group, Inc. - basic (in dollars per share) Earnings Per Share, Basic Diluted: Net income per common share attributable to The GEO Group, Inc. - diluted (in dollars per share) Earnings Per Share, Diluted Statement of Cash Flows [Abstract] Cash Flow from Operating Activities: Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Operating Activities [Abstract] Adjustments to reconcile net income attributable to The GEO Group, Inc. to net cash provided by operating activities: Adjustments to Reconcile Net Income (Loss) to Cash Provided by (Used in) Operating Activities [Abstract] Depreciation and amortization expense Depreciation, Depletion and Amortization Stock-based compensation Share-based Compensation Amortization of debt issuance costs, discount and/or premium and other non-cash interest Amortization of Debt Issuance Costs and Discounts Provision for doubtful accounts Provision for Doubtful Accounts Equity in earnings of affiliates, net of tax Dividends received from unconsolidated joint venture Proceeds from Equity Method Investment, Distribution (Gain) loss on sale/disposal of property and equipment, net Gain (Loss) on Disposition of Property Plant Equipment Changes in assets and liabilities, net of effects of acquisitions: Increase (Decrease) in Operating Capital [Abstract] Changes in accounts receivable, prepaid expenses and other assets Increase (Decrease) in Operating Assets Changes in contract receivable Increase (Decrease) in Contract Receivables, Net Changes in accounts payable, accrued expenses and other liabilities Increase (Decrease) in Operating Liabilities Net cash provided by operating activities Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Operating Activities Cash Flow from Investing Activities: Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Investing Activities [Abstract] Insurance proceeds - damaged property Proceeds from Insurance Settlement, Investing Activities Proceeds from sale of property and equipment Proceeds from Sale of Property, Plant, and Equipment Proceeds from sale of assets held for sale Proceeds from Sale of Property Held-for-sale Change in restricted investments Increase (Decrease) in Restricted Cash Capital expenditures Payments to Acquire Property, Plant, and Equipment Net cash used in investing activities Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Investing Activities Cash Flow from Financing Activities: Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Financing Activities [Abstract] Proceeds from long-term debt Proceeds from Issuance of Long-term Debt Payments on long-term debt Repayments of Long-term Debt, Long-term Capital Lease Obligations, and Capital Securities Payments on non-recourse debt Repayments of Other Debt Proceeds from non-recourse debt Proceeds from Other Debt Taxes paid related to net share settlements of equity awards Payments Related to Tax Withholding for Share-based Compensation Proceeds from issuance of common stock in connection with public offering Proceeds from Issuance of Common Stock Under Prospectus Supplement Proceeds from Issuance of Common Stock Under Prospectus Supplement Proceeds from issuance of common stock in connection with ESPP Proceeds from Stock Plans Payment for purchase of treasury shares Payments for Repurchase of Common Stock Debt issuance costs Payments of Debt Issuance Costs Proceeds from the exercise of stock options Proceeds from Stock Options Exercised Cash dividends paid Payments of Ordinary Dividends, Common Stock Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Financing Activities Effect of Exchange Rate Changes on Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents Effect of Exchange Rate on Cash, Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash and Restricted Cash Equivalents Net (Decrease) Increase in Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents Cash, Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash and Restricted Cash Equivalents, Period Increase (Decrease), Including Exchange Rate Effect Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents, beginning of period Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents, end of period Supplemental Disclosures: Supplemental Cash Flow Elements [Abstract] Non-cash Investing and Financing activities: Cash Flow, Noncash Investing and Financing Activities Disclosure [Abstract] Capital expenditures in accounts payable and accrued expenses Construction in Progress Expenditures Incurred but Not yet Paid Segment Reconciling Items Segment Reconciling Items [Member] Pre-Tax Income Reconciliation of Segments Reconciliation of Operating Profit (Loss) from Segments to Consolidated [Abstract] Unallocated Amount: Unallocated Amount [Abstract] Unallocated Amount. General and Administrative Expenses Net Interest Expense Interest Income (Expense), Nonoperating, Net Income before income taxes and equity in earnings of affiliates CONDENSED CONSOLIDATING STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (Unaudited) Net cash provided by operating activities Acquisition of CEC, net of cash acquired Proceeds from sale of property and equipment Change in restricted investments Taxes paid related to net share settlements of equity awards Schedule of Share-based Compensation Arrangements by Share-based Payment Award [Table] Schedule of Share-based Compensation Arrangements by Share-based Payment Award [Table] Plan Name [Axis] Plan Name [Axis] Plan Name [Domain] Plan Name [Domain] 2018 Stock Incentive Plan 2018 Stock Incentive Plan [Member] 2018 Stock Incentive Plan [Member] Employee Stock Employee Stock [Member] Stock Options Employee Stock Option [Member] Range [Axis] Range [Axis] Range [Domain] Range [Domain] Minimum Minimum [Member] Maximum Maximum [Member] Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award [Line Items] Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award [Line Items] Shares available for issuance Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Number of Shares Authorized Options granted (in shares) Share based compensation expense Allocated Share-based Compensation Expense Unrecognized compensation costs related to non vested stock option awards Employee Service Share-based Compensation, Nonvested Awards, Compensation Cost Not yet Recognized Expected weighted average period to recognize expense Employee Service Share-based Compensation, Nonvested Awards, Compensation Cost Not yet Recognized, Period for Recognition Discount on purchase of Common Stock for employee from the current market price Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Discount from Market Price, Purchase Date Maximum shares authorized under ESPP for sale offer to eligible employees (in shares) Common Stock, Capital Shares Reserved for Future Issuance Shares issued (in shares) Stock Issued During Period, Shares, Employee Stock Purchase Plans Changes in shareholders' equity that are attributable to the Company's shareholders and to noncontrolling interests Schedule of Stockholders Equity [Table Text Block] Dividends declared Dividends Declared [Table Text Block] Schedule of accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) Schedule of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Table Text Block] CONDENSED CONSOLIDATING STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS) Condensed Income Statement [Table Text Block] CONDENSED CONSOLIDATING BALANCE SHEET Condensed Balance Sheet [Table Text Block] CONDENSED CONSOLIDATING STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS Condensed Cash Flow Statement [Table Text Block] Minimum percentage of taxable income to be distributed as REIT Minimum Percentage Of Taxable Income To Be Distributed As REIT MinimumPercentageOfTaxableIncomeToBeDistributedAsREIT Distribution Per Share (USD per share) Dividends Payable, Amount Per Share Aggregate Payment Amount Dividends Payable Debt Debt Disclosure [Text Block] Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents Cash and Cash Equivalents Disclosure [Text Block] Long-term Debt, Gross Long-term Debt, Gross Unamortized debt issuance expense Total Senior Credit Facility Senior Credit Facility Total senior credit facility. Non-Recourse Debt Non Recourse Debt Excluding Premium Discount Non-recourse debt, excluding premium discount. Unamortized discount Debt Instrument, Unamortized Discount Long-term Debt Total Non-Recourse Debt Capital Lease Obligations Capital Lease Obligations Other debt Other Long-term Debt Total debt Long Term Debt Non Recourse Debt and Capital Lease Obligation Including Current Portion Net of Discount Long term debt, nonrecourse debt and capital lease obligation including current portion, net of discount. Current portion of capital lease obligations, long-term debt and non-recourse debt Capital Lease Obligations, long-term portion Non-Recourse Debt, long-term portion Long-Term Debt Financial Instruments Financial Instruments Disclosure [Text Block] Shares Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Equity Instruments Other than Options, Nonvested, Number of Shares [Roll Forward] Restricted stock outstanding shares, Beginning Balance Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Equity Instruments Other than Options, Nonvested, Number Vested shares Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Equity Instruments Other than Options, Vested in Period Forfeited/canceled shares Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Equity Instruments Other than Options, Forfeited in Period Restricted stock outstanding shares, Ending Balance Wtd. Avg. Grant Date Fair Value Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Equity Instruments Other than Options, Nonvested, Weighted Average Grant Date Fair Value [Abstract] Restricted stock outstanding Wtd. Avg. Grant Date Fair Value, Beginning Balance (in dollars per share) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Equity Instruments Other than Options, Nonvested, Weighted Average Grant Date Fair Value Granted Wtd. Avg. Grant Date Fair Value (in dollars per share) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Equity Instruments Other than Options, Grants in Period, Weighted Average Grant Date Fair Value Vested Wtd. Avg. Grant Date Fair Value (in dollars per share) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Equity Instruments Other than Options, Vested in Period, Weighted Average Grant Date Fair Value Forfeited/canceled Wtd. Avg. Grant Date Fair Value (in dollars per share) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Equity Instruments Other than Options, Forfeitures, Weighted Average Grant Date Fair Value Restricted stock outstanding Wtd. Avg. Grant Date Fair Value, Ending Balance (in dollars per share) Class of Treasury Stock [Table] Class of Treasury Stock [Table] Class of Stock [Axis] Class of Stock [Axis] Class of Stock [Domain] Class of Stock [Domain] Common shares Common Stock [Member] Share Repurchase Program [Axis] Share Repurchase Program [Axis] Share Repurchase Program [Domain] Share Repurchase Program [Domain] February 2018 Stock Buyback Program February 2018 Stock Buyback Program [Member] February 2018 Stock Buyback Program [Member] Equity, Class of Treasury Stock [Line Items] Equity, Class of Treasury Stock [Line Items] Stock repurchase program, authorized amount Stock Repurchase Program, Authorized Amount Treasury stock, shares acquired (shares) Treasury Stock, Shares, Acquired Treasury stock, value acquired Treasury Stock, Value, Acquired, Cost Method Number of beds Number of Beds in Facility Which Has Notice of Intent to Award Contract For Number of Beds in Facility Which Has Notice of Intent to Award Contract For Correctional, detention and residential treatment facilities including projects under development Correctional, Detention and Residential Treatment Facilities Including Projects Under Development Correctional, Detention and Residential Treatment Facilities Including Projects Under Development. Provision of monitoring services tracking offenders (more than 192,000) Provision of Monitoring Services Tracking Offenders Provision of monitoring services tracking offenders. Provision of monitoring services tracking offenders using technology products (in detainees) Provision of Monitoring Services Tracking Offenders Using Technology Products Provision of Monitoring Services Tracking Offenders Using Technology Products Earnings Per Share Earnings Per Share [Text Block] Fair Value, Assets and Liabilities Measured on Recurring and Nonrecurring Basis [Table] Fair Value Measurements, Recurring and Nonrecurring [Table] 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, Measurements, Fair Value Hierarchy [Domain] Quoted Prices in Active Markets (Level 1) Significant Other Observable Inputs (Level 2) Significant Unobservable Inputs (Level 3) Interest rate swap derivatives 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] Restricted investment: Restricted Cash and Investments [Abstract] Rabbi Trust Rabbi Trust Rabbi trust. Fixed income securities Held-to-maturity Securities, Fair Value Liabilities: Financial Instruments, Financial Liabilities, Balance Sheet Groupings [Abstract] Interest rate swap derivatives Derivative Liability Accounts receivable, transferred to third party Accounts Receivable, Transferred To Third Party Accounts Receivable, Transferred To Third Party Proceeds from sale of receivables Proceeds from Sale and Collection of Receivables Schedule of Cash and Cash Equivalents Schedule of Cash and Cash Equivalents [Table Text Block] Business Segments and Geographic Information Segment Reporting Disclosure [Text Block] Schedule of Stock by Class [Table] Schedule of Stock by Class [Table] Equity Components [Axis] Additional Paid-In Capital Additional Paid-in Capital [Member] Earnings in Excess of Distributions Retained Earnings [Member] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Loss Treasury shares Treasury Stock [Member] Noncontrolling Interests Noncontrolling Interest [Member] Class of Stock [Line Items] Class of Stock [Line Items] Changes in shareholders' equity that are attributable to the Company's shareholders and to non controlling interests Increase (Decrease) in Stockholders' Equity [Roll Forward] Beginning Balance Beginning Balance, shares Shares, Outstanding Proceeds from exercise of stock options, value Stock Issued During Period, Value, Stock Options Exercised Proceeds from exercise of stock options (shares) Stock-based compensation expense Adjustments to Additional Paid in Capital, Share-based Compensation, Requisite Service Period Recognition Restricted stock canceled Stock Issued During Period, Value, Restricted Stock Award, Forfeitures Restricted stock canceled (shares) Stock Issued During Period, Shares, Restricted Stock Award, Forfeited Dividends paid Dividends, Common Stock, Cash Shares withheld for net settlements of share-based awards Adjustments Related to Tax Withholding for Share-based Compensation Shares withheld for net settlements of share-based awards (shares) Shares Paid for Tax Withholding for Share Based Compensation Issuance of common stock - ESPP Stock Issued During Period, Value, Treasury Stock Reissued Re-issuance of treasury shares - ESPP (shares) Stock Issued During Period, Shares, Treasury Stock Reissued Purchase of Treasury Shares Purchase of Treasury Shares (shares) Other comprehensive income Ending Balance Ending Balance, shares 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 [Axis] Antidilutive Securities [Axis] Antidilutive Securities, Name [Domain] Antidilutive Securities, Name [Domain] Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share [Line Items] Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share [Line Items] Antidilutive securities excluded from computation of earnings per share Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share, Amount Derivative Financial Instruments Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities Disclosure [Text Block] 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 Acquired Finite-lived Intangible Asset, Weighted-Average Period before Renewal or Extension Other comprehensive income, net of tax: Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax [Abstract] Foreign currency translation adjustments Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Foreign Currency Transaction and Translation Adjustment, Net of Tax Pension liability adjustment, net of tax provision of $28 and $25, respectively Other Comprehensive (Income) Loss, Defined Benefit Plan, after Reclassification Adjustment, after Tax Change in fair value of derivative instrument classified as cash flow hedge, net of tax (provision) benefit of $(130) and $83, respectively Total other comprehensive income, net of tax Change in Projected Benefit Obligation Defined Benefit Plan, Change in Benefit Obligation [Roll Forward] Projected benefit obligation, beginning of period Defined Benefit Plan, Benefit Obligation Actuarial loss Defined Benefit Plan, Benefit Obligation, Actuarial Gain (Loss) Benefits paid Defined Benefit Plan, Benefit Obligation, Benefits Paid Projected benefit obligation, end of period Change in Plan Assets Defined Benefit Plan, Change in Fair Value of Plan Assets [Roll Forward] Plan assets at fair value, beginning of period Defined Benefit Plan, Fair Value of Plan Assets Company contributions Defined Benefit Plan, Plan Assets, Contributions by Employer Benefits paid Defined Benefit Plan, Plan Assets, Benefits Paid Plan assets at fair value, end of period Unfunded Status of the Plan Defined Benefit Plan, Funded (Unfunded) Status of Plan Schedule of Goodwill [Table] Schedule of Goodwill [Table] Goodwill [Line Items] Goodwill [Line Items] Goodwill [Roll Forward] Goodwill [Roll Forward] Goodwill, beginning of period Acquisition Adjustments Goodwill, Purchase Accounting Adjustments Foreign Currency Translation Goodwill, Foreign Currency Translation Gain (Loss) Goodwill, end of period Components of Company Plan Benefit Expense Schedule of Defined Benefit Plans Disclosures [Table Text Block] Components of Net Periodic Benefit Cost Schedule of Net Benefit Costs [Table Text Block] New Accounting Pronouncements and Changes in Accounting Principles [Abstract] Recent Accounting Pronouncements New Accounting Pronouncements and Changes in Accounting Principles [Text Block]