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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida's GEO Group gets boost from Trump victory



From Beth Reinhard of the Wall Street Journal:

Civil-liberties and human-rights groups have long argued that incarceration is a social responsibility that can’t be entrusted to a for-profit industry that they say thrives amid inhumane conditions. Others, by contrast, point to greater efficiencies achieved by the private sector than the older and overcrowded facilities run by government. In recent years, however, a consensus has grown among liberals and conservatives that the U.S. incarcerates too many people and fails to prepare them for re-entry to society.

Now, Mr. Trump’s election is again reshaping the public debate over crime and punishment. Private prison companies’ stocks have continued to rise as industry analysts expect Mr. Trump to throw out the order withdrawing from the private prison sector. They also anticipate a swelling prison population under an incoming administration that has cast the current one as coddling criminals. Mr. Trump’s pick for attorney general, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, has warned that rollbacks of tough drug sentences threaten public safety and has attacked Mr. Obama’s “alarming abuse of the pardon power.”

The president-elect and Mr. Sessions have also vowed to crack down on illegal immigrants, increasing demand for the detention centers that generate more revenue than prisons for Geo Group and CoreCivic. Those facilities have also been the target of faultfinding audits. In December, the Homeland Security Advisory Council urged more rigorous oversight of private detention centers and a gradual shift away from the contracts. But it is unclear whether the new administration will consider those recommendations. ...

... The pro-Trump super PAC was led by Florida Gov. Rick Scott. The governor’s political committee has received $250,000 from GEO Group, which is based in Boca Raton, and its PAC since 2014. The company runs five correctional facilities in Florida.

Full story here.

[Last modified: Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:23am]


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