The planned transformation of Corrections Corporation of America (NYSE:CXW) has produced an early reward for shareholders. The company has announced that it will hand out a special dividend of $6.63 per share of its common stock. It expects the disbursement to be made on May 20 to shareholders of record as of April 19.

The dividend is being paid as a precursor to CCA's transformation into a real estate investment trust or REIT, which requires the company to distribute its undistributed earnings and profits before this year.

The special dividend yields 17.5% at CCA's current stock price of $37.97.http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=CXW&ql=0 

Fool contributor Eric Volkman has no position in Corrections Corporation of America. The Motley Fool recommends Corrections Corporation of America. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.