Leases [Abstract] Operating Leases Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Payment, 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 Total minimum lease payments 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, Liability, Payment, 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, Payment, 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 Equity [Abstract] Shareholders' Equity Stockholders' Equity Note Disclosure [Text Block] Segment Reporting [Abstract] Schedule of Segment Reporting Information, by Segment [Table] Schedule of Segment Reporting Information, by Segment [Table] Consolidation Items [Axis] Consolidation Items [Axis] Consolidation Items [Domain] Consolidation Items [Domain] 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 Operating Income (Loss) Unallocated Amount: Unallocated Amount [Abstract] Unallocated Amount. General and Administrative Expenses General and Administrative Expense Net Interest Expense Interest Income (Expense), Nonoperating, Net Loss on extinguishment of debt Gain (Loss) on Extinguishment of Debt Income before income taxes and equity in earnings of affiliates Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations before Equity Method Investments, Income Taxes, Noncontrolling Interest Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract] COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Text Block] Cash and Cash Equivalents [Abstract] Cash and cash equivalents Cash and Cash Equivalents, at Carrying Value Restricted cash and cash equivalents - current Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents, Current 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 Operating lease assets Operating Lease, Right-of-Use Asset Finance lease assets Finance Lease, Right-of-Use Asset Total lease assets Lease, Right Of Use Asset Lease, Right Of Use Asset Operating lease liabilities, current portion Finance lease liabilities, current portion Operating Lease Liabilities Finance Lease Liabilities Total lease liabilities Lease, Liability Lease, Liability 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] 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] Share-based Payment Arrangement [Abstract] Summary of the activity of stock option awards Share-based Payment Arrangement, Option, Activity [Table Text Block] Summary of the activity of restricted stock Share-based Payment Arrangement, Restricted Stock Unit, Activity [Table 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] Proceeds from sale of assets held for sale Proceeds from Sale of Property Held-for-sale 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 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 Repayment of Long-term Debt, Long-term Lease Obligation, and Capital Security 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 Payment, Tax Withholding, Share-based Payment Arrangement 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 Payment for repurchases of common stock Payments for Repurchase of Common Stock 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 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 and Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents, end of period Debt Disclosure [Abstract] Debt Debt Disclosure [Text Block] Schedule of Cash and Cash Equivalents Schedule of Cash and Cash Equivalents [Table Text Block] Equity Incentive Plans Share-based Payment Arrangement [Text Block] 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 names (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) 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] Recent Accounting Pronouncements New Accounting Pronouncements, Policy [Policy 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 Equity in earnings of affiliates, net of income tax provision Income (Loss) from Equity Method Investments Investment in joint venture Equity Method Investments Investment in affiliate Investments in and Advance to Affiliates, Subsidiaries, Associates, and Joint Ventures Fair Value, Assets and Liabilities Measured on Recurring and Nonrecurring Basis [Table] Fair Value, Recurring and Nonrecurring [Table] Fair Value by Measurement Frequency [Axis] Measurement Frequency [Axis] Measurement Frequency [Domain] Measurement Frequency [Domain] Recurring Fair Value, 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] Derivative Instrument [Axis] Derivative Instrument [Axis] Derivative Contract [Domain] Derivative Contract [Domain] Interest rate swap derivatives Interest Rate Swap [Member] Fair Value, Assets and Liabilities Measured on Recurring and Nonrecurring Basis [Line Items] Fair Value, Assets and Liabilities Measured on Recurring and Nonrecurring Basis [Line Items] 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 Fair Value Disclosures [Abstract] Derivative [Table] Derivative [Table] 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] Debt Instrument [Axis] Debt Instrument [Axis] Debt Instrument, Name [Domain] Debt Instrument, Name [Domain] 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] 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] 6.00% Senior Notes due 2026 Six Percent Senior Notes Due 2026 [Member] Six Percent Senior Notes Due 2026 [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] Debt Instrument [Line Items] Debt Instrument [Line Items] Interest rate Debt Instrument, Interest Rate, Stated Percentage Earnings Per Share [Abstract] 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] Stock Options Share-based Payment Arrangement, Option [Member] Restricted Stock Restricted Stock [Member] Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share [Line Items] Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share [Line Items] Antidilutive securities excluded from computation of earnings per share Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share, Amount Lease Related Assets and Liabilities Assets And Liabilities, Lessee [Table Text Block] Assets And Liabilities, Lessee [Table Text Block] Lease Cost Information Lease, Cost [Table Text Block] Operating Lease Liability Maturity Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Maturity [Table Text Block] Finance Lease Liability Maturity Finance Lease, Liability, Maturity [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] Dividends Payable [Table] Dividends Payable [Table] Dividends [Axis] Dividends [Axis] Dividends [Domain] Dividends [Domain] Dividend Paid 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 Commitments and Contingencies [Table] Commitments and Contingencies [Table] Commitments and Contingencies. Geographical [Axis] Geographical [Axis] Geographical [Domain] Geographical [Domain] 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] 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. 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 Statement of Financial Position [Abstract] 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 $4,228 and $4,183, respectively Accounts Receivable, after Allowance for Credit Loss, 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 Income Tax Assets, Net Goodwill 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 Long-term Debt and Lease Obligation, Current Total current liabilities Liabilities, Current Deferred Income Tax Liabilities Deferred Income Tax Liabilities, Net Other Non-Current Liabilities Other Liabilities, Noncurrent Finance Lease Liabilities Finance Lease Liabilities 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 and Contingencies (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, 125,422,811 and 124,794,986 issued and 121,212,557 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 shares, at cost Treasury Stock, Value Total shareholders’ equity attributable to The GEO Group, Inc. Stockholders' Equity Attributable to Parent 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 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] Estimate of Fair Value Measurement Estimate of Fair Value Measurement [Member] Carrying Value Reported 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 due 2023 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] 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 Non-recourse debt Non-Recourse Debt Subsequent Events [Abstract] 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] Subsequent Event [Line Items] Subsequent Event [Line Items] Dividends declared per share (in dollars per share) Common Stock, Dividends, Per Share, Declared Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities Disclosure [Abstract] Derivative Financial Instruments Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities Disclosure [Text Block] Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents Cash and Cash Equivalents 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 Allowance for doubtful accounts Accounts Receivable, Allowance for Credit Loss, 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 Retirement Benefits [Abstract] Benefit Plans Pension and Other Postretirement Benefits Disclosure [Text Block] Schedule of Long-term Debt Instruments [Table] Schedule of Long-term Debt Instruments [Table] Variable Rate [Axis] Variable Rate [Axis] Variable Rate [Domain] Variable Rate [Domain] 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] Construction Facility Construction Facility [Member] Construction Facility [Member] Non Recourse Notes Non Recourse Notes [Member] Non Recourse Notes [Member] Non-Recourse Debt, 2011 Revenue Bonds Non Recourse Debt Two Thousand Eleven Revenue Bonds [Member] Non recourse debt two thousand eleven revenue bonds. Non-Recourse Debt, Northwest Detention Center Non Recourse Debt Northwest Detention Center [Member] Non-recourse debt Northwest detention center. Non-Recourse Debt Non Recourse Debt [Member] Non recourse Debt. Face amount Debt Instrument, Face Amount Current portion of non recourse debt Current Portion of Non recourse Debt Current Portion of Non recourse Debt. Maximum borrowing capacity Line of Credit Facility, Maximum Borrowing Capacity Debt Instrument, Basis Spread on Variable Rate Debt Instrument, Basis Spread on Variable Rate Revolver Long-term Line of Credit Loss on extinguishment of debt Loan costs Debt Issuance Costs, Gross Reportable Legal Entities Reportable Legal Entities [Member] Eliminations Consolidation, Eliminations [Member] 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 Investment in Subsidiaries Current portion of finance lease liabilities, long-term debt and non-recourse debt Deferred Income Tax Liabilities Intercompany Payable Due to Related Parties, Noncurrent Non-Recourse Debt Commitments & Contingencies and Other Shareholders' Equity: The GEO Group, Inc. Shareholders' Equity Cover page. Document Type Document Type Document Quarterly Report Document Quarterly Report Document Period End Date Document Period End Date Document Transition Report Document Transition Report Entity File Number Entity File Number Entity Registrant Name Entity Registrant Name Entity Incorporation, State or Country Code Entity Incorporation, State or Country Code Entity Tax Identification Number Entity Tax Identification Number Entity Address, Address Line One Entity Address, Address Line One Entity Address, City or Town Entity Address, City or Town Entity Address, State or Province Entity Address, State or Province Entity Address, Postal Zip Code Entity Address, Postal Zip Code City Area Code City Area Code Local Phone Number Local Phone Number Entity Current Reporting Status Entity Current Reporting Status Entity Interactive Data Current Entity Interactive Data Current Entity Filer Category Entity Filer Category Entity Small Business Entity Small Business Entity Emerging Growth Company Entity Emerging Growth Company Entity Shell Company Entity Shell Company Title of 12(b) Security Title of 12(b) Security Trading Symbol Trading Symbol Security Exchange Name Security Exchange Name Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding Entity Central Index Key Entity Central Index Key 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 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 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 APIC, Share-based Payment Arrangement, Increase for Cost 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 Share-based Payment Arrangement, Decrease for Tax Withholding Obligation Shares withheld for net settlements of share-based awards (shares) Share-based Payment Arrangement, Shares Withheld for Tax Withholding Obligation Issuance of common stock - ESPP Stock Issued During Period, Value, Treasury Stock Reissued Issuance of common stock - ESPP (shares) Stock Issued During Period, Shares, Treasury Stock Reissued Repurchases of common stock Stock Repurchased During Period, Value Repurchases of common stock (shares) Stock Repurchased During Period, Shares 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) Ravenhall, Australia Ravenhall, Australia [Member] Ravenhall, Australia [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] Interest Rate Swap Derivative [Line Items] Derivative [Line Items] Fixed interest rate on derivative Derivative, Fixed Interest Rate Amounts reclassified from other comprehensive income into earnings Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Cash Flow Hedge, Gain (Loss), Reclassification, after Tax Summary of Debt Schedule of Debt [Table Text Block] Income Statement [Abstract] Tax provision on pension liability adjustment Other Comprehensive (Income) Loss, Defined Benefit Plan, after Reclassification Adjustment, Tax Tax provision on change in fair value of derivative instrument classified as a cash flow hedge Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Cash Flow Hedge, Gain (Loss), after Reclassification, Tax Tax provision on change in fair value of derivative instrument classified as a cash flow hedge Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Derivatives Qualifying as Hedges, Tax Statement, Business Segments [Axis] Segments [Axis] Segments [Domain] Segments [Domain] GEO Secure Services 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. Revenues: Segment Reporting Information, Revenue for Reportable Segment [Abstract] Revenues Revenue from Contract with Customer, Excluding Assessed Tax Operating Income: Operating Income (Loss) [Abstract] Operating income 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 Per share amount (USD per share) Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations, Per Diluted Share 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] 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 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 Long-term portion of the pension liability Liability, Defined Benefit Pension Plan, Noncurrent 6.00% Senior Notes, due 2026 Senior Notes Due 2023 Senior Notes Due 2023 [Member] Senior Notes Due 2023 [Member] Notes bear interest at a rate Percentage of subsidiary owned Percentage of Subsidiary Owned Percentage of subsidiary owned. Earnings Per Share Earnings Per Share [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 Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Grants in Period, Net of Forfeitures 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 New Accounting Pronouncements or Change in Accounting Principle [Table] New Accounting Pronouncements or Change in Accounting Principle [Table] Statistical Measurement [Axis] Statistical Measurement [Axis] Statistical Measurement [Domain] Statistical Measurement [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] Remaining lease term Lessee, Remaining Lease Term Lessee, Remaining Lease Term Lease renewal term Lessee, Lease, Renewal Term Lessee, Lease, Renewal Term Business Segments and Geographic Information Segment Reporting Disclosure [Text Block] Revenues Operating expenses Operating Costs and Expenses Depreciation and amortization Depreciation, Depletion and Amortization, Nonproduction General and administrative expenses Operating income Interest income Investment Income, Interest Interest expense Interest Expense Income before income taxes and equity in earnings of affiliates Provision for income taxes Income Tax Expense (Benefit) Equity in earnings of affiliates, net of income tax provision (benefit) of $357, $(269), $716 and $436, respectively Net income Net income attributable to The GEO Group, Inc. 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 Letter of Credit Letter of Credit [Member] Bank Guarantee and Standby Sub Facility Bank Guarantee And Standby Sub Facility [Member] Bank Guarantee And Standby Sub Facility Term Loan Term Loan [Member] Term Loan [Member] Accordion Accordion [Member] Accordion [Member] Revolver Revolver [Member] Revolver. Additional Revolver Additional Revolver [Member] Additional revolver. London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) [Member] Basis spread on variable rate Derivative, Basis Spread on Variable Rate Loss on extinguishment of debt Interest rate Debt Instrument, Variable Rate, Floor Debt Instrument, Variable Rate, Floor Long-term debt Long-term Debt 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. 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 Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets Goodwill and Intangible Assets Disclosure [Text Block] 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 Payment Arrangement, Tranche One [Member] Performance metric two Share-based Payment Arrangement, Tranche Two [Member] Title of Individual [Axis] Title of Individual [Axis] Title of Individual [Domain] Title of Individual [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] Award Type [Domain] Award Type [Domain] Performance Shares Performance Shares [Member] Employee Stock Employee Stock [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 (in shares) 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) 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 Share-based Payment Arrangement, Expense Unrecognized compensation costs related to non vested stock option awards Share-based Payment Arrangement, Nonvested Award, Cost Not yet Recognized, Amount Expected weighted average period to recognize expense Share-based Payment Arrangement, Nonvested Award, Cost Not yet Recognized, Period for Recognition Vesting period Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Award Vesting Period Granted shares (in 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 Basic and diluted earnings per share Schedule of Earnings Per Share, Basic and Diluted [Table Text Block] Line of Credit Facility [Table] Line of Credit Facility [Table] 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 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 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 Payment Arrangement, Noncash Expense 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 Accounts Receivable, Credit Loss Expense (Reversal) Equity in earnings of affiliates, net of tax Dividends received from unconsolidated joint venture Proceeds from Equity Method Investment, Distribution Loss (gain) 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 with Customer, Asset 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 Debt issuance costs 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 New Accounting Pronouncements and Changes in Accounting Principles [Abstract] 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] Distributions In Excess Of Earnings Distributions In Excess Of Earnings [Member] Distributions In Excess Of Earnings [Member] 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] Accounting Standards Update 2018-02 Accounting Standards Update 2018-02 [Member] Operating right-of-use lease assets Operating lease liability 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) Recent Accounting Pronouncements New Accounting Pronouncements and Changes in Accounting Principles [Text Block] Other comprehensive income (loss), 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, $491, $22 and $463, 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 $809, $402, $1,014 and $532, respectively Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Cash Flow Hedge, Gain (Loss), after Reclassification and Tax Change in fair value of derivative instrument classified as cash flow hedge, net of tax provision of $809, $402, $1,014 and $532, respectively Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Unrealized Gain (Loss) on Derivatives Arising During Period, Net of Tax Total 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 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. Leases Lessee, Operating Leases [Text Block] Leases Lessee, Finance Leases [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, number of individuals (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 Unamortized discount Debt Instrument, Unamortized Discount Unamortized debt issuance costs Debt Issuance Costs, Net Long-term debt, gross Long-term Debt, Gross 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 Total Non-Recourse Debt Finance Lease Liabilities 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 Finance Lease Liabilities, long-term portion Finance Lease Liabilities, long-term portion Non-Recourse Debt, long-term portion Long-Term Debt 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 Weighted average remaining lease term, operating leases Operating Lease, Weighted Average Remaining Lease Term Weighted average remaining lease term, finance leases Finance Lease, Weighted Average Remaining Lease Term Weighted average discount rate, operating leases Operating Lease, Weighted Average Discount Rate, Percent Weighted average discount rate, finance leases Finance Lease, Weighted Average Discount Rate, Percent Subsequent Events Subsequent Events [Text Block] Schedule of Goodwill [Table] Schedule of Goodwill [Table] GEO Secure Services GEO Secure Services [Member] GEO Secure Services [Member] GEO Care International Services Goodwill [Line Items] Goodwill [Line Items] Goodwill [Roll Forward] Goodwill [Roll Forward] Goodwill, beginning of period Foreign Currency Translation Goodwill, Foreign Currency Translation Gain (Loss) Goodwill, end of period Condensed Consolidating Financial Information Condensed Financial Statements [Text Block] 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 Gain (Loss), Net, Cash Flow Hedge, 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 Current-period other comprehensive income (loss) before reclassifications Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), before Reclassifications, Net of Tax Amounts reclassified from other comprehensive income into earnings Reclassification from Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income, Current Period, Net of Tax Ending balance 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, 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 Financial Instruments Financial Instruments Disclosure [Text Block] Fair Value of Assets and Liabilities Fair Value Disclosures [Text Block] 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] Shares Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Equity Instruments Other than Options, Nonvested, Number of Shares [Roll Forward] Beginning balance (in shares) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Equity Instruments Other than Options, Nonvested, Number Granted (in shares) Vested (in shares) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Equity Instruments Other than Options, Vested in Period Forfeited/canceled (in shares) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Equity Instruments Other than Options, Forfeited in Period Ending balance (in shares) 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] 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 (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 (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 (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 Ending balance (in dollars per share) Carrying value and estimated fair value of financial instruments Fair Value, by Balance Sheet Grouping [Table Text Block] Consolidated Statements of Income and Comprehensive Income [Abstract] 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. Net current-period other comprehensive income (loss) Basis of Presentation Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements Disclosure [Text Block]