Friday, November 24, 2023
Friday, November 24, 2023
Friday, November 24, 2023

Despite deadly history in Delco, private prison giant GEO Group returns to Pennsylvania




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Just one year after the cancellation of their Delaware County contract in Jan. 2020, GEO Group resurfaced on Pennsylvania soil.

Just after a private prison corporation spiraled out of control resulting in a cancellation of their Delaware County contract in Jan. 2020, GEO Group resurfaced on Pennsylvania soil under the cloak of darkness several weeks ago, Your Content is first to report.

An explosive Your Content exposè published Jan. 23, 2020, sent executives scrambling to keep the for-profit private prison empire afloat after a series of body blows from various scandals have tarnished the corporation. 

GEO Group is reopening the Moshannon Valley Correctional Facility as a contracted ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) facility, according to The Progress.

The facility is located in Decatur Township near Philipsburg.

Job listings on GEO Group’s official website indicate the private prison is recruiting 64 individuals to fill the staff the corridors before inmates arrive. The new hires include guards, an assistant facility administrator, and transportation officers.

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GEO Group Delaware County

“I want to make it abundantly clear—we stand absolutely behind the idea that the profiteering on the incarceration of individuals is not something that should be happening in Delaware County and the ignominy of being the only privately-run for-profit prison in the state of Pennsylvania needs to end,” Delaware County Councilman Kevin Madden previously said.

The building is owned by Delaware County but was managed and operated by The GEO Group, a Florida-based company that claims to specialize in privatized corrections, detention, and mental health treatment. They maintain facilities in North America, Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. 

By a 5-0 vote in Dec. 2018, the former prison board signed a $259 million contract with the scandal-scarred corporation for a five-year initial term but includes two 2-year options that could extend it to a nine-year contract at a cost of $495.9 million, according to the Delaware County Daily Times.

GEO Group Colorado

“The Pennsylvania facility is just one out of several dozen that spiraled out of control. GEO hired a firm to conduct ‘crisis management,’” the employee previously told Your Content under the condition of anonymity. “One lie begets another lie begets a bigger lie. When everything comes out, they will become the most hated corporation in America.” 

Conor Cahill, a spokesman for Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, recently told the Colorado Sun rapid closure is “another reason the state should not heavily rely on private prisons, which are clearly motivated by profit margins and which do not help reduce recidivism.”

Gov. Polis was elected governor of Colorado in 2018, defeating Republican nominee Walker Stapleton. He recently expressed interest in closing Cheyenne Mountain Re-Entry Center (CMRC), a Level 3 custody private prison owned by GEO Group. 

But on Jan. 7, hard-nosed corporate divas beat Colorado to it and issued a statement giving over 600 inmates 60 days to leave the facility. 

“I knew that this certainly was going to be a possibility,” Colorado Department of Corrections Executive Director Dean Williams said in a recent statement to the Colorado Sun. “We knew that this could possibly turn south. I thought we were on track, however, that we would continue to work this situation out.”

Williams told the Colorado Independent if lawmakers do not vote to approve the opening of a new facility, several hundred inmates could wind up sleeping on makeshift beds on the floor of single-person cells.

“I would have welcomed that phone call in a heartbeat because we have been maintaining what I thought was cooperative discussions,” Williams said. “You’d have to ask them, but I’m sure it was a corporate decision. That’s the deal that you make with a private prison corporation. You know that if it starts to go south, you don’t really have long-term leverage to keep a prison going that they are operating.” 

The pitiless private prison corporation replied: “The state has made its intentions clear; that it wants to manage this population within its own facilities, and we will work with them toward that end.”

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