Thursday, July 29, 2010

More on GEO INC Complaints

There is more to the GEO INC (Formerly known as Wackenhut Corrections) story. The private correctional and detention management group that's going to operate & oversee the new 1500 Bed Prison in Milldegeville.

Back on June 17, 2010, a $595 million lawsuit was brought against the GEO Group (the total worth of company)by Daniel McCollough following the 2008 death of his father Randall McCullough, who allegedly committed suicide while in custody at the Bill Clayton Detention Center. McCullough senior, an Idaho native, was in solitary confinement for over a year for a fight that was never criminally prosecuted. About a month later, the state of Idaho dropped their contract with GEO and stopped sending their inmates to the facility.


In his complaint in Comal County Court, Daniel McCullough says his father "was found dead after supposedly being monitored by GEO and its personnel."

The complaint states: "McCullough's death was caused by specific breaches of duty by the Defendants... who engaged in grossly inhumane treatment, abuse, neglect, illegal conditions of confinement, and subsequent coverup of wrongdoings." McCullough claims that "GEO and its personnel were found to have fabricated evidence, including practicing 'pencil whipping,' a policy and practice of GEO to destroy and fabricate log books and other relevant evidence."

He claims that GEO and its officers "personally engage in efforts to illegally influence public officials in Austin, Texas and in the Texas counties where the GEO prisons are located, including Laredo, Webb County, Texas. Their goal is to conceal, deflect, hide or exculpate themselves and their company from all forms of personal civil or criminal liability, censure, detriment, or punishment in order to procure and continue their lucrative contracts at the expense of the inmates' and their families' suffering. They and their company, GEO, engage in a pattern and practice of abuse, neglect, public corruption, and cover up."

McCullough claims that GEO and its officers "have a history of illegally neglecting, manipulating, and abusing inmates, and then covering up their wrongful and illegal conduct."

The GEO Group has a long rap sheet of complaints of abuse and neglect, published on the web by the Private Corrections Institute, a watchdog group that monitors "for-profit" prison managment companies. Their record of mismanagement spreads across states as diverse as New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and Alaska and stretching to its interests outside the US as well. It seems that Indiana has now joined that group.

GEO Group has been at the center of numerous scandals involving their facilities and their treatment of prisoners. The most recent occurred just last month, less than two weeks before receiving their contract in Haiti. Gregorio de la Rosa Jr. was beaten to death in a GEO Group facility in 2001. In early January of this year, The GEO Group reached a settlement in the wrongful death suit, agreeing to pay in excess of $40 million.

In 2007, the firm settled a lawsuit with the family of an inmate for $200,000. LeTisha Tapia, a 23-year-old woman incarcerated at the GEO-owned Val Verde Correction Facility in southern Texas, told her family in July 2004 that she had been raped and beaten after being locked in the same cell block with male inmates. Shortly after, she had hung herself in her cell. The nonprofit Texas Civil Rights Project sued GEO on behalf of Tapia’s family.

According to the Institute on Money in State Politics, which analyzed political contributions and lobbying expenditures from private prison companies:

Companies favored states with some of the toughest sentencing laws, particularly those that had enacted legislation to lengthen the sentence given to any offender who was convicted of a felony for the third time. Private-prison interests gave almost $2.1 million in 22 states that had a so-called “three-strikes law,” compared with $1.2 million in 22 states that did not. Remember Georgia has the "Two Strikes" Law.

This Prison deal with GEO INC Stinks & doesn't pass the smell test.

1 comment:

Mike said...

The GEO Group has a horrid track record of human rights abuses, negligence, and deaths within their facilities but continue to win contracts because of the political money they throw around and the relationships that money purchases. Oh and don't forget that Dick Cheney owns a ton of stock in the Vanguard Group, a high-profile hedge fund that invests heavily in GEO; the same Dick Cheney who guided immigration policy in the US while our immigration detention system grew tenfold (almost exclusively with private prison construction). They are even worse than CCA in the operation of their facilities, which is sometimes hard to imagine. I feel bad that the people of Milledgeville will have to suffer through the contract they just signed with them, and I hope they soon realize that privatization is a bad idea and turn control of the facility over to the government, who can run it cheaper and better than a for-profit company, especially the GEO group, could.

For way more on how terrible the whole private prison industry, including the GEO Group, is check out http://whyihatecca.blogspot.com

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