press release

News from Progress Michigan 

June 10, 2015

Contact: Sam Inglot,

Ignoring Prison Privatization Failures, Gov. Snyder Signs GEO Group Bill

Gov. Snyder’s signature opens the door for private prisons in Michigan 

MICHIGAN — On Tuesday, Gov. Snyder signed legislation that allows a private prison to house high-level offenders from anywhere in the country, signaling the governor’s intent to double down on his failed Aramark experiment in Michigan prisons. The prison will be run by GEO Group, a Florida-based company that has a spotty record when it comes to running its private prisons.

“Just looking at the Aramark contract, what further proof do you need that privatization in our state prisons has been an abject failure?” questioned Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “We don’t need more out-of-state prison profiteers in Michigan who are more concerned about making money than they are about safety, human rights and the well-being of their employees. Numerous instances across the country make it clear that private prisons have zero accountability to the public and are hotbeds of abuse and mismanagement.”

The GEO Group has had numerous problems with its private prisons across the country. A 2014 lawsuit in Mississippi filed by the ACLU on behalf of inmates at a GEO Group facility claimed that the environment at the facility was “hyper-violent, grotesquely filthy and dangerous.”

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice found that a youth facility run by the GEO Group had problems withexcessive use of force and a lack of proper medical treatment, among other issues.

The company is currently facing further scrutiny from the Department of Justice for misusing almost $3 million of funding at a Texas facility where inmate abuse and understaffing has been reported.


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