Subsequent Events [Abstract] Subsequent Events Subsequent Events [Text Block] Debt Disclosure [Abstract] Schedule of Long-term Debt Instruments [Table] Schedule of Long-term Debt Instruments [Table] Debt Instrument [Axis] Debt Instrument [Axis] Debt Instrument, Name [Domain] Debt Instrument, Name [Domain] 6.00% Senior Notes Six Percent Senior Notes Due 2026 [Member] Six Percent Senior Notes Due 2026 [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, due 2023 Five Point One Two Five Percent Senior Notes Due 2023 [Member] 5.125% Senior Notes Due 2023 [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] Long-term Debt, Type [Axis] Long-term Debt, Type [Axis] Long-term Debt, Type [Domain] Long-term Debt, Type [Domain] Senior Notes Senior Notes [Member] Non-Recourse Debt Non Recourse Debt [Member] Non recourse Debt. Debt Instrument [Line Items] Debt Instrument [Line Items] Term loan Term Loans Term loans. Unamortized discount Debt Instrument, Unamortized Discount Unamortized debt issuance costs Debt Issuance Costs, Net Long-term Debt, Gross Long-term Debt, Gross Revolver Long-term Line of Credit 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. Long-term Debt Long-term Debt Total Non-Recourse Debt Non-Recourse Debt Finance Lease Liabilities 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 finance lease liabilities, long-term debt and non-recourse debt Long-term Debt and Capital Lease Obligations, Current Finance Lease Liabilities, long-term portion Capital Lease Obligations, Noncurrent Non-Recourse Debt, long-term portion Noncurrent Portion of Non-Recourse Debt Noncurrent portion of non-recourse debt . Long-Term Debt Long-term Debt, Excluding Current Maturities Interest rate Debt Instrument, Interest Rate, Stated Percentage Leases [Abstract] New Accounting Pronouncements or Change in Accounting Principle [Table] New Accounting Pronouncements or Change in Accounting Principle [Table] Range [Axis] Range [Axis] Range [Domain] Range [Domain] Minimum Minimum [Member] Maximum Maximum [Member] New Accounting Pronouncements or Change in Accounting Principle [Line Items] New Accounting Pronouncements or Change in Accounting Principle [Line Items] Finance lease, remaining term of contract Lessee, Finance Lease, Remaining Term Of Contract Lessee, Finance Lease, Remaining Term Of Contract Finance lease, renewal term Lessee, Finance Lease, Renewal Term Operating lease, remaining term of contract Lessee, Operating Lease, Remaining Term Of Contract Lessee, Operating Lease, Remaining Term Of Contract Operating lease, renewal term Lessee, Operating Lease, Renewal Term Equity [Abstract] Schedule of Stock by Class [Table] Schedule of Stock by Class [Table] Adjustments for New Accounting Pronouncements [Axis] Adjustments for New Accounting Pronouncements [Axis] Type of Adoption [Domain] Type of Adoption [Domain] Accounting Standards Update 2016-02 Accounting Standards Update 2016-02 [Member] Equity Components [Axis] Equity Components [Axis] Equity Component [Domain] Equity Component [Domain] Common shares Common Stock [Member] Additional Paid-In Capital Additional Paid-in Capital [Member] Earnings in Excess of Distributions Retained Earnings [Member] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Loss AOCI Attributable to Parent [Member] 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 Stockholders' Equity, Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Beginning Balance, shares Shares, Outstanding Proceeds from exercise of stock options Stock Issued During Period, Value, Stock Options Exercised Proceeds from exercise of stock options (shares) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Exercises in Period Stock-based compensation expense Adjustments to Additional Paid in Capital, Share-based Compensation, Requisite Service Period Recognition 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 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 Repurchases of common stock (shares) Stock Repurchased During Period, Shares Repurchases of common stock Stock Repurchased During Period, Value Issuance of common stock - ESPP (shares) Stock Issued During Period, Shares, Treasury Stock Reissued Transition adjustment for accounting standard adoption Cumulative Effect of New Accounting Principle in Period of Adoption Net income (loss) Net Income (Loss), Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Other comprehensive income Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax Ending Balance Ending Balance, shares Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities Disclosure [Abstract] Derivative Financial Instruments Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities Disclosure [Text Block] Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract] Schedule of Condensed Financial Statements [Table] Condensed Financial Statements [Table] 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 STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (Unaudited) Statement of Cash Flows [Abstract] Cash Flow from Operating Activities: Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Operating Activities [Abstract] 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 Taxes paid related to net share settlements of equity awards Payments Related to Tax Withholding for Share-based Compensation Payment for repurchases of common stock Payments for Repurchase of Common Stock Proceeds from issuance of common stock in connection with ESPP Proceeds from Stock Plans Debt issuance costs Payments of Debt Issuance Costs Proceeds from the exercise of stock options Proceeds from Stock Options Exercised Dividends paid Payments of Ordinary Dividends, Common Stock Net cash used in 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 Increase (Decrease) 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, Restricted Cash and Restricted Cash Equivalents Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents, end of period Income Statement [Abstract] 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 Dividends Payable [Table] Dividends Payable [Table] Dividends [Axis] Dividends [Axis] Dividends [Domain] Dividends [Domain] Dividend Paid [Member] Dividend Paid [Member] Dividends Payable [Line Items] Dividends Payable [Line Items] 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 Fair Value Disclosures [Abstract] Derivative [Table] Derivative [Table] Operating lease cost Operating Lease, Cost Amortization of right-of-use assets Finance Lease, Right-of-Use Asset, Amortization Interest on lease liabilities Finance Lease, Interest Expense Total finance lease cost Finance Lease, Cost Finance Lease, Cost Short-term lease cost Short-term Lease, Cost Total Lease Cost Lease, Cost Operating cash flows for operating leases Operating Lease, Payments Operating cash flows for finance leases Finance Lease, Interest Payment on Liability Financing activities for finance leases Finance Lease, Principal Payments Right-of-use assets obtained in exchange for new operating lease liabilties Right-of-Use Asset Obtained in Exchange for Operating Lease Liability Operating leases Operating Lease, Weighted Average Remaining Lease Term Finance leases Finance Lease, Weighted Average Remaining Lease Term Operating leases Operating Lease, Weighted Average Discount Rate, Percent Finance leases Finance Lease, Weighted Average Discount Rate, Percent Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract] COMMITMENTS, CONTINGENCIES AND OTHER Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Text Block] Class of Treasury Stock [Table] Class of Treasury Stock [Table] Amended Credit Agreement Amended Credit Agreement [Member] Amended Credit Agreement Credit Facility [Axis] Credit Facility [Axis] Credit Facility [Domain] Credit Facility [Domain] Revolving Credit Facility Revolving Credit Facility [Member] Line of Credit Line of Credit [Member] Sale of Stock [Axis] Sale of Stock [Axis] Sale of Stock [Domain] Sale of Stock [Domain] Prospectus Supplement Prospectus Supplement [Member] Prospectus Supplement Class of Stock [Axis] Class of Stock [Axis] Class of Stock [Domain] Class of Stock [Domain] 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 Maximum borrowing capacity Line of Credit Facility, Maximum Borrowing Capacity Maximum common stock value authorized under prospectus supplement Maximum Common Stock Value Authorized Under Prospectus Supplement MaximumCommonStockValueAuthorizedUnderProspectusSupplement Issuance of common stock under prospectus supplement (in shares) Sale of Stock, Number of Shares Issued in Transaction Goodwill and Intangible Assets Disclosure [Abstract] 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] Subsequent Event [Table] Subsequent Event [Table] Subsequent Event Type [Axis] Subsequent Event Type [Axis] Subsequent Event Type [Domain] Subsequent Event Type [Domain] Subsequent Event Subsequent Event [Member] Counterparty Name [Axis] Counterparty Name [Axis] Counterparty Name [Domain] Counterparty Name [Domain] Bureau Of Prisons (BOP) Bureau Of Prisons (BOP) [Member] Bureau Of Prisons (BOP) [Member] Immigration and Customs Enforcement Immigration and Customs Enforcement [Member] Immigration and Customs Enforcement Name of Property [Axis] Name of Property [Axis] Name of Property [Domain] Name of Property [Domain] North Lake Correctional Facility North Lake Correctional Facility [Member] North Lake Correctional Facility [Member] Reeves County Detention Center I & II Reeves County Detention Center I & II [Member] Reeves County Detention Center I & II [Member] Reeves County Detention Center III Reeves County Detention Complex R3 [Member] Reeves County Detention Complex R3 [Member] South Louisiana ICE Processing Center South Louisiana ICE Processing Center [Member] South Louisiana ICE Processing Center [Member] Subsequent Event [Line Items] Subsequent Event [Line Items] Dividends declared per share (in dollars per share) Common Stock, Dividends, Per Share, Declared Contract term Contract Term, Operation Of Facility Contract Term, Operation Of Facility Number of beds in detention facility Number of Beds in Detention Facility Number of beds in detention facility Number of new contracts Number Of New Contracts Number Of New Contracts Retirement Benefits [Abstract] 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 Service cost Defined Benefit Plan, Service Cost Interest cost Defined Benefit Plan, Interest Cost 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, Plan Assets, Amount 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 Leases Lessee, Finance Leases [Text Block] Leases Lessee, Operating Leases [Text Block] Earnings Per Share [Abstract] Earnings Per Share Earnings Per Share [Text Block] Schedule of Finite-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 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 Benefit Plans Pension and Other Postretirement Benefits Disclosure [Text Block] Summary of Debt Schedule of Debt [Table 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 Emerging Growth Company Entity Emerging Growth Company Entity Small Business Entity Small Business 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 2019 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Remainder of Fiscal Year 2020 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Two 2021 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Three 2022 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Four 2023 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Five Thereafter Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, after Year Five Net Carrying Amount Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Net Disclosure of Compensation Related Costs, Share-based Payments [Abstract] Schedule of Share-based Compensation Arrangements by Share-based Payment Award [Table] Schedule of Share-based Compensation Arrangements by Share-based Payment Award [Table] Vesting [Axis] Vesting [Axis] Vesting [Domain] Vesting [Domain] Performance metric one Share-based Compensation Award, Tranche One [Member] Performance metric two Share-based Compensation Award, Tranche Two [Member] Title of Individual [Axis] Title of Individual [Axis] Relationship to Entity [Domain] Relationship to Entity [Domain] Certain Employees and Executive Officers Certain Employees and Executive Officers [Member] Certain Employees and Executive Officers [Member] 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] Award Type [Axis] Award Type [Axis] Equity Award [Domain] Equity Award [Domain] Restricted Stock Restricted Stock [Member] Performance Shares Performance Shares [Member] Employee Stock Employee Stock [Member] Stock Options Employee Stock Option [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 Expected volatility rate Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Fair Value Assumptions, Expected Volatility Rate Expected term Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Fair Value Assumptions, Expected Term Risk free interest rate Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Fair Value Assumptions, Risk Free Interest Rate Expected dividend yield Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Fair Value Assumptions, Expected Dividend Rate Options granted (in shares) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Grants in Period, Net of Forfeitures Grant date fair value (in dollars per share) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Grants in Period, Weighted Average Grant Date Fair Value 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 Vesting period Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Award Vesting Period Granted shares Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Equity Instruments Other than Options, Grants in Period Number of annual performance metrics Share-Based Compensation Arrangement By Share-Based Payment Award, Fair Value Assumptions, Number Of Annual Performance Metrics Share-Based Compensation Arrangement By Share-Based Payment Award, Fair Value Assumptions, Number Of Annual Performance Metrics Award vesting rights, percentage Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Award Vesting Rights, Percentage Award performance period Share-Based Compensation Arrangement By Share-Based Payment Award, Fair Value Assumptions, Award Performance Period Share-Based Compensation Arrangement By Share-Based Payment Award, Fair Value Assumptions, Award Performance Period Beta Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Fair Value Assumptions, Beta Coefficient Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Fair Value Assumptions, Beta Coefficient 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 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] Carrying value and estimated fair value of financial instruments Fair Value, by Balance Sheet Grouping [Table 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) Statement of Financial Position [Abstract] 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 Cash and Cash Equivalents [Abstract] Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents Cash and Cash Equivalents Disclosure [Text Block] 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] Earnings Per Share, Basic and Diluted [Abstract] Net income 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 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 (in shares) Incremental Common Shares Attributable to Dilutive Effect of Share-based Payment Arrangements Weighted average shares assuming dilution (in shares) Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding, Diluted Income from continuing operations (USD per share) Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations, Per Diluted Share 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] Construction Facility Construction Facility [Member] Construction Facility [Member] 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. Face amount Debt Instrument, Face Amount 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 Revenues Revenue from Contract with Customer, Including Assessed Tax Operating expenses 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 Income before income taxes and equity in earnings of affiliates Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations before Equity Method Investments, Income Taxes, Noncontrolling Interest Provision for income taxes Income Tax Expense (Benefit) Equity in earnings of affiliates, net of income tax provision of $359 and $706, respectively Income (Loss) from Equity Method Investments Net income 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 Geographical [Axis] Geographical [Axis] Geographical [Domain] Geographical [Domain] 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] Balance Sheet Location [Axis] Balance Sheet Location [Axis] Balance Sheet Location [Domain] Balance Sheet Location [Domain] 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 Derivative, Fixed Interest Rate 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 Condensed Consolidating Financial Information Condensed Financial Statements [Text Block] Equity Incentive Plans Disclosure of Compensation Related Costs, Share-based Payments [Text Block] 6.00% Senior Notes, due 2026 Senior Notes Due 2023 Senior Notes Due 2023 [Member] Senior Notes Due 2023 [Member] 5.875% Senior Notes due 2024 Notes bear interest at a rate Percentage of subsidiary owned Percentage of Subsidiary Owned Percentage of subsidiary owned. New Accounting Pronouncements and Changes in Accounting Principles [Abstract] Recent Accounting Pronouncements New Accounting Pronouncements and Changes in Accounting Principles [Text Block] Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests 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 Loss on sale/disposal of property and equipment, net Gain (Loss) on Disposition of Property Plant Equipment Loss on assets held for sale Increase (Decrease) in Assets Held-for-sale 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 Proceeds from sale of property and equipment Change in restricted investments Taxes paid related to net share settlements of equity awards Cash dividends paid Supplemental Disclosures: Supplemental Cash Flow Elements [Abstract] Non-cash Investing and Financing activities: Cash Flow, Noncash Investing and Financing Activities Disclosure [Abstract] Right-of-use assets obtained from operating lease liabilities upon adoption of new lease standard (Refer to Note 2 - Leases) Right-Of-Use Asset Obtained In Exchange For Operating Lease Liability, Initial Adoption Right-Of-Use Asset Obtained In Exchange For Operating Lease Liability, Initial Adoption Capital expenditures in accounts payable and accrued expenses Construction in Progress Expenditures Incurred but Not yet Paid Consolidation Items [Axis] Consolidation Items [Axis] Consolidation Items [Domain] Consolidation Items [Domain] Reportable Legal Entities Reportable Legal Entities [Member] Eliminations Consolidation, Eliminations [Member] Consolidated Statements of Income and Comprehensive Income [Abstract] Operating income Income tax provision Equity in earnings of affiliates, net of income tax provision 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 attributable to The GEO Group, Inc. 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 Financial Instruments, Financial Assets, Balance Sheet Groupings [Abstract] Financial Instruments Financial Instruments Disclosure [Text Block] 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] Operating Leases Operating Lease Liabilities, Payments Due [Abstract] 2019 Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Payments, Remainder of Fiscal Year 2020 Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Payments, Due Year Two 2021 Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Payments, Due Year Three 2022 Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Payments, Due Year Four 2023 Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Payments, Due Year Five Thereafter Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Payments, Due after Year Five Less: amount of lease payment representing interest Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Payments, Due Less: amount of lease payment representing interest Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Undiscounted Excess Amount Present value of future minimum lease payments Operating Lease, Liability Less: current obligations under leases Operating Lease, Liability, Current Long-term lease obligations Operating Lease, Liability, Noncurrent Finance Leases Finance Lease Liabilities, Payments, Due [Abstract] 2019 Finance Lease, Liability, Payments, Remainder of Fiscal Year 2020 Finance Lease, Liability, Payments, Due Year Two 2021 Finance Lease, Liability, Payments, Due Year Three 2022 Finance Lease, Liability, Payments, Due Year Four 2023 Finance Lease, Liability, Payments, Due Year Five Thereafter Finance Lease, Liability, Payments, Due after Year Five Total minimum lease payments Finance Lease, Liability, Payments, Due Less: amount of lease payment representing interest Finance Lease, Liability, Undiscounted Excess Amount Present value of future minimum lease payments Finance Lease, Liability Less: current obligations under leases Finance Lease, Liability, Current Long-term lease obligations Finance Lease, Liability, Noncurrent Line of Credit Facility [Table] Line of Credit Facility [Table] SACS South African Custodial Services Pty Limited [Member] South African Custodial Services Pty Limited. Letter of Credit Letter of Credit [Member] Revolver Revolver [Member] Revolver. Variable Interest Entities [Axis] Variable Interest Entities [Axis] Variable Interest Entity, Classification [Domain] Variable Interest Entity, Classification [Domain] Geo Amey GEO Amey [Member] GEO Amey. 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. 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 Variable Interest Entity, Qualitative or Quantitative Information, Ownership Percentage Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Table] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Table] Equity Components [Axis] 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 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 (loss) income Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax, Portion Attributable to Parent Ending balance Adjustments for Change in Accounting Principle [Axis] Adjustments for Change in Accounting Principle [Axis] Adjustments for Change in Accounting Principle [Domain] Adjustments for Change in Accounting Principle [Domain] Tax Rate Reduction Related To Pension Liability Tax Rate Reduction Related To Pension Liability [Member] Tax Rate Reduction Related To Pension Liability [Member] Tax Effect Of Tax Reform On Items Remaining In AOCI, Currency Translation Tax Effect Of Tax Reform On Items Remaining In AOCI, Currency Translation [Member] Tax Effect Of Tax Reform On Items Remaining In AOCI, Currency Translation [Member] Distributions In Excess Of Earnings Distributions In Excess Of Earnings [Member] Distributions In Excess Of Earnings [Member] Accounting Standards Update 2018-02 Accounting Standards Update 2018-02 [Member] Accounting Standards Update 2018-02 [Member] Operating right-of-use lease assets Operating Lease, Right-of-Use Asset Operating lease liability Segment Reporting [Abstract] Schedule of Equity Method Investments [Table] Schedule of Equity Method Investments [Table] 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 Investment in joint venture Equity Method Investments Investment in affiliate Investments in and Advance to Affiliates, Subsidiaries, Associates, and Joint Ventures Commitments and Contingencies [Table] Commitments and Contingencies [Table] Commitments and Contingencies. WASHINGTON WASHINGTON CALIFORNIA CALIFORNIA 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] Immigration Detainees Against Company Immigration Detainees Against Company [Member] Immigration Detainees Against Company [Member] Property and Equipment Property, Plant and Equipment [Member] Commitments and Contingencies [Line Items] Commitments and Contingencies [Line Items] Commitments and Contingencies. New claims filed, number Loss Contingency, New Claims Filed, Number 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 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 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] 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 Trade name (Indefinite lived) Indefinite-lived Intangible Assets (Excluding Goodwill) Gross carrying amount Intangible Assets, Gross (Excluding Goodwill) Total acquired intangible assets Intangible Assets, Net (Excluding Goodwill) 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 and NAV [Axis] Fair Value Hierarchy and NAV [Axis] Fair Value, Measurements, Fair Value Hierarchy [Domain] Fair Value Hierarchy and NAV [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] 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 Debt Securities, Held-to-maturity, 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 Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets Goodwill and Intangible Assets Disclosure [Text Block] 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 Options exercised, Shares 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 Fair value assets and liabilities measured on recurring basis Schedule of Fair Value, Assets and Liabilities Measured on Recurring Basis [Table Text Block] Schedule of Goodwill [Table] Schedule of Goodwill [Table] 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. Goodwill [Line Items] Goodwill [Line Items] Goodwill [Roll Forward] Goodwill [Roll Forward] Goodwill, beginning of period Goodwill Acquisition Adjustments Goodwill, Purchase Accounting Adjustments Foreign Currency Translation Goodwill, Foreign Currency Translation Gain (Loss) Goodwill, end of period Basis of Presentation Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements Disclosure [Text Block] Schedule of Segment Reporting Information, by Segment [Table] Schedule of Segment Reporting Information, by Segment [Table] Operating Segments Operating Segments [Member] Segment Reconciling Items Segment Reconciling Items [Member] Segment Reporting Information [Line Items] Segment Reporting Information [Line Items] Pre-Tax Income Reconciliation of Segments Reconciliation of Operating Profit (Loss) from Segments to Consolidated [Abstract] Operating income from segments 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 Business Segments and Geographic Information Segment Reporting Disclosure [Text Block] 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) 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 U.S. Corrections & Detention GEO Care International Services Facility Construction and Design Facility Constructions and Design [Member] Facility Constructions and Design. Revenues: Segment Reporting Information, Revenue for Reportable Segment [Abstract] Operating Income: Operating Income (Loss) [Abstract] Operating Lease Right-of-Use Assets, Net Property and Equipment, Net Finance Lease, Right-of-Use Asset Total lease assets Lease, Right Of Use Asset Lease, Right Of Use Asset Operating lease liabilities, current portion Current portion of finance liabilities, long-term debt and non-recourse debt Total lease liabilities Lease, Liability Lease, Liability 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 and NAV [Axis] Fair Value Hierarchy and NAV [Domain] Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 5.125% Senior Notes 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 Cash and Cash Equivalents, at Carrying Value 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 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 Components of Net Periodic Benefit Cost Defined Benefit Plan, Net Periodic Benefit Cost (Credit) [Abstract] Net loss Defined Benefit Plan, Amortization of Gain (Loss) Net periodic pension cost Defined Benefit Plan, Net Periodic Benefit Cost (Credit) Shareholders' Equity Stockholders' Equity Note Disclosure [Text Block] Schedule of Cash and Cash Equivalents Schedule of Cash and Cash Equivalents [Table Text Block] Fair Value of Assets and Liabilities Fair Value Disclosures [Text Block] 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] Assets And Liabilities, Lessee Assets And Liabilities, Lessee [Table Text Block] Assets And Liabilities, Lessee [Table Text Block] Lease, Cost Lease, Cost [Table Text Block] Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Maturity Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Maturity [Table Text Block] Finance Lease, Liability, Maturity Finance Lease, Liability, Maturity [Table Text Block] 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 $11 and $28, 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 of $205 and $130, respectively Total other comprehensive income, net of tax ASSETS Assets [Abstract] Current Assets Assets, Current [Abstract] Cash and cash equivalents Restricted cash and cash equivalents Restricted Cash and Investments, Current Accounts receivable, less allowance for doubtful accounts of $4,276 and $4,183, respectively 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 Contract Receivable Contract Work In Process, Noncurrent Contract Work In Process, Noncurrent Operating Lease Right-of-Use Assets, Net Deferred Income Tax Assets Deferred Tax Assets, Net of Valuation Allowance, Noncurrent Goodwill Intangible Assets, Net Other Non-Current Assets Other Assets, Noncurrent Total Assets Assets LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY Liabilities and Equity [Abstract] Current Liabilities Liabilities, Current [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 finance lease liabilities, long-term debt and non-recourse debt Total current liabilities Liabilities, Current Deferred Income Tax Liabilities Deferred Tax Liabilities, Net, Noncurrent Other Non-Current Liabilities Other Liabilities, Noncurrent Operating Lease Liabilities Finance Lease Liabilities Long-Term Debt Non-Recourse Debt Commitments, Contingencies and Other (Note 12) Commitments and Contingencies 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, 125,397,214 and 124,794,986 issued and 121,186,960 and 120,584,732 outstanding, respectively Common Stock, Value, Issued Additional paid-in capital Additional Paid in Capital Distributions in excess of earnings Retained Earnings (Accumulated Deficit) Accumulated other comprehensive loss Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax Treasury stock, 4,210,254 and 4,210,254 shares, at cost, respectively Treasury Stock, Value Total shareholders’ equity attributable to The GEO Group, Inc. Noncontrolling interests Stockholders' Equity Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Total shareholders’ equity Total Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity Liabilities and Equity 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. Long-term portion of the pension liability Liability, Defined Benefit Pension Plan, Noncurrent 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] Basic and diluted earnings per share Schedule of Earnings Per Share, Basic and Diluted [Table Text Block] CONDENSED CONSOLIDATING BALANCE SHEET Assets Restricted cash and cash equivalents Accounts receivable, less allowance for doubtful accounts Restricted Cash and Investments Property and Equipment, Net Intercompany Receivable Due from Related Parties, Noncurrent Deferred Income Tax Assets Investment in Subsidiaries Current portion of finance lease liabilities, long-term debt and non-recourse debt Intercompany Payable Due to Related Parties, Noncurrent Finance Lease Liabilities Non-Recourse Debt Commitments & Contingencies and Other The GEO Group, Inc. Shareholders' Equity Debt Debt Disclosure [Text Block] Recent Accounting Pronouncements New Accounting Pronouncements, Policy [Policy Text Block] Bank Guarantee and Standby Sub Facility Bank Guarantee And Standby Sub Facility [Member] Bank Guarantee And Standby Sub Facility Accordion Accordion [Member] Accordion [Member] Term Loan Term Loan [Member] Term Loan [Member] Additional Revolver Additional Revolver [Member] Additional revolver. Variable Rate [Axis] Variable Rate [Axis] Variable Rate [Domain] Variable Rate [Domain] London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) [Member] Basis spread on variable rate Derivative, Basis Spread on Variable Rate Interest rate Debt Instrument, Variable Rate, Floor Debt Instrument, Variable Rate, Floor Loan costs 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 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