Posts Tagged ‘GEO Group’

Rick Scott, Mike Pence: When campaign fundraising met tax incentives for Scott’s company

Friday, September 7th, 2018

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Vice President Mike Pence flew into Florida Thursday to fundraise and campaign for Gov. Rick Scott. What you didn’t read in the political coverage of Pence’s short visit was about his previous symbiosis with Scott and how as governor of Indiana in April 2016, Pence helped Scott’s Continental Structural Plastics (CSP) obtain $650,000 in tax credits and grants.
The post Rick Scott, Mike Pence: When campaign fundraising met tax incentives for Scott’s company appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Rick Scott, Mike Pence: When campaign fundraising met tax incentives for Scott’s company

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Two months after Florida Gov. Rick Scott helped then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence fundraise in Fort Lauderdale last year, Pence announced a $650,000 incentives package for a company owned in large part by Scott.
The post Rick Scott, Mike Pence: When campaign fundraising met tax incentives for Scott’s company appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Carlos Curbelo posts two-day haul of $50K in CD 26

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo raised more than $50,000 on Monday and Tuesday according to notices filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Curbelo brought in $7,000 on Monday, followed by another $44,195 on Tuesday, for a total of $51,195 in fundraising across the two days. Congressional candidates are required to report donations of $1,000 or more to the FEC within 48 hours.
Top donors included the National Restaurant Association PAC and the GEO Group, each giving $5,000, though Curbelo also received a $1,000 check Monday from Liz Cheney, the GOP candidate for Wyoming’s lone seat in the House and the daughter of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney.
Curbelo is running against former Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia in Florida’s 26th Congressional District, which is shaping up to be one of closest races in the state.
The incumbent had raised more than $3.5 million for his re-election bid through Oct. 19 and had about $436,000 of that money on hand in his most recent report. Since that report, Curbelo has raised another $108,000, including the flurry of donations to start November.
Garcia had raised about $1.1 million through Oct. 19 and had about $217,000 on hand when the report closed. Since then, the former representative has reported about $116,000 in contributions.
CD 26 covers all of Monroe County and the bulk of southern and inland Miami-Dade County. The majority Hispanic district carries a slight advantage for Democrats in voter registrations and voted in favor of President Barack Obama by 11 points in 2012.
The post Carlos Curbelo posts two-day haul of $50K in CD 26 appeared first on Florida Politics.

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GEO Group says it’s not interested in Fla. reentry services

Friday, October 14th, 2016

Private prison operator The GEO Group says it has “no plans” to provide prisoner reentry services in Florida.
Spokesman Pablo E. Paez responded Friday to a FloridaPolitics.com report this week on nonprofit groups saying the Department of Corrections was shutting them out of continuing to help inmates and probationers readjust to life “outside the walls.”

Bridges of America CEO Lori Costantino-Brown and other nonprofit heads held a press conference Thursday in Tallahassee.
Costantino-Brown was asked about GEO Group’s annual report, which mentions the company’s “commitment to be the world’s leading provider of offender rehabilitation and community re-entry programs,” and whether the company was influencing the state’s decision making.
Costantino-Brown said she had “no evidence of that,” but added “there has been a lot of speculation about their involvement.”
Paez says: Not us.
“The speculation that our company was in any way involved with this decision is 100 percent false,” he said in an email. “Our company does not currently provide reentry services in Florida and has no plans to do so.”
The Boca Raton-based company “greatly respects the Governor’s efforts to improve the ability of state-run institutions to help inmates re-enter society; investing in programs to break the cycle of recidivism is simply the right thing to do,” Paez said.
“We pride ourselves on our rehabilitation services to maximize our inmates’ ability to transition successfully when they leave,” he said. “We have been providing in-custody rehabilitation programs in Florida since the 1990s.”
Costantino-Brown previously had said Corrections recently put out a bid “to bring all (treatment and rehab) in-house in one massive in-prison contract.”
Paez added: “More recently, we have expanded and enhanced our leadership in evidence-based rehabilitation programs around the country through our Continuum of Care initiative that includes comprehensive in-custody offender rehabilitation programming integrated with post release support services such as housing, employment, and transportation assistance. We believe that we are most effective and at our best when those entrusted to our care

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GEO Group says it’s not interested in Fla. reentry services

Friday, October 14th, 2016

Private prison operator The GEO Group says it has “no plans” to provide prisoner reentry services in Florida.
Spokesman Pablo E. Paez responded Friday to a FloridaPolitics.com report this week on nonprofit groups saying the Department of Corrections was shutting them out of continuing to help inmates and probationers readjust to life “outside the walls.”

Bridges of America CEO Lori Costantino-Brown and other nonprofit heads held a press conference Thursday in Tallahassee.
Costantino-Brown was asked about GEO Group’s annual report, which mentions the company’s “commitment to be the world’s leading provider of offender rehabilitation and community re-entry programs,” and whether the company was influencing the state’s decision making.
Costantino-Brown said she had “no evidence of that,” but added “there has been a lot of speculation about their involvement.”
Paez says: Not us.
“The speculation that our company was in any way involved with this decision is 100 percent false,” he said in an email. “Our company does not currently provide reentry services in Florida and has no plans to do so.”
The Boca Raton-based company “greatly respects the Governor’s efforts to improve the ability of state-run institutions to help inmates re-enter society; investing in programs to break the cycle of recidivism is simply the right thing to do,” Paez said.
“We pride ourselves on our rehabilitation services to maximize our inmates’ ability to transition successfully when they leave,” he said. “We have been providing in-custody rehabilitation programs in Florida since the 1990s.”
Costantino-Brown previously had said Corrections recently put out a bid “to bring all (treatment and rehab) in-house in one massive in-prison contract.”
Paez added: “More recently, we have expanded and enhanced our leadership in evidence-based rehabilitation programs around the country through our Continuum of Care initiative that includes comprehensive in-custody offender rehabilitation programming integrated with post release support services such as housing, employment, and transportation assistance. We believe that we are most effective and at our best when those entrusted to our care

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Fundraising slowed in NE Florida as Hurricane Matthew approached

Friday, October 14th, 2016

With Northeast Florida focused on the approach of Hurricane Matthew last week, fundraising for state level races and political committees slowed throughout the Jacksonville region.
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In House District 11, which includes the hard-hit areas of Jacksonville Beach and Nassau County, Republican Cord Byrd raised $2,000 from 2 PACs: the Florida Conservative Alliance and the Beer Distributors Committee.
Those donations were logged for Oct. 3, the Monday before the storm.
Byrd faces a write-in opponent; no Democrat is on the ballot in heavily Republican HD 11.
Byrd used that money to repay $2,500 of the $5,000 he loaned his campaign; he has roughly $4,300 on hand.
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In House District 12, Clay Yarborough faces a similar scenario: a heavily Republican district, no Democratic opponent, and a write-in still on the ballot.
Yarborough raised nothing in the first week of October; he spent $563.30, including $500 to a consultant and $40 of reimbursement to himself for campaign supplies and gas.
Yarborough’s campaign account is actually in the red by $328.
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In HD 16, Republican Jason Fischer, who likewise faces a write-in in a heavily Republican district, raised $1,500 on Oct. 7, the day the hurricane came through Jacksonville.
The most interesting donation: $250 from the First Coast Manufacturers’ Association, which backed Fischer’s opponent, Dick Kravitz, in the primary.
Kravitz and FCMA head Lake Ray served together previously on the Jacksonville City Council.
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In HD 19, Travis Cummings reported raising $1,500, in three $500 checks: Kraft-Heinz, T-Mobile, and the Florida Cable Telecommunications Association were the donors.
Meanwhile, candidates in two other state house races simply filed W’s for the first week of October.
House District 14 Democrat Kim Daniels reported no financial activity between Oct. 1 and 7. Daniels, a former Jacksonville City Councilwoman running in a heavily Democratic district, faces a Republican challenger who appears unlikely to get meaningful traction.
The same held true for incumbent Republican Jay Fant in HD 15. Fant, running against a write-in, has an ad on Jacksonville television currently.
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Worth watching: At this

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Corrections says ‘we are not limiting services’ to inmates

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

A Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Thursday said speculation about private prison operator The GEO Group muscling out nonprofits that run rehab and re-entry programs in the state “is false.”
Spokeswoman Michelle Glady responded to a FloridaPolitics.com report earlier in the day.
In a press conference, nonprofit heads said the department was shutting down programs that help ex-cons with drug abuse and other problems as they re-enter society, or as one advocate called it, “getting the prison out of the person.”
Bridges of America president and CEO Lori Constantino-Brown said its Orlando facility is the latest on the hit list.
She couldn’t say what was motivating the shutdowns other than a push to consolidate the state’s programs inside prisons themselves.
In an email, Glady provided a copy of a Sept. 26 statement from Corrections Secretary Julie Jones that she said “clearly defines the Department’s actions:”
“Contrary to recent statements made by Bridges of America, the Department is not ending our longstanding partnership with Bridges but rather is inviting them to join with us to expand our community work release and substance abuse treatment opportunities in Orlando.
“This is an exciting time for FDC and I want make it very clear that we are not limiting services or the number of individuals served. In fact, we are soliciting bids for a contract in Orange County that increases the number of work release beds and substance abuse care.
“Today, more than 60 percent of the Department’s substance use disorder budget is dedicated to treating only a small number of individuals. We know we can do better. We want to provide more services to treat an even greater number of individuals with the same resources. That is why … we announced the launch of Spectrum statewide, and with it the reshaping of services being offered to inmates.
“Our data has shown we need to adapt, to offer the right services at the

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Private prison firm GEO Group hires more lobbyists for D.C.

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

GEO Group, the Boca Raton-based private prison corporation, recently hired three lobbying firms in Washington D.C.
POLITICO Influence reports that this month, GEO brought on David Olander of Capitol Counsel for real estate investment trust tax issues; David Stewart and Ryan Robichaux of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings – former aides to Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions – to advocate on federal government use of contract correctional facilities; and the Scrivner Leon Group’s Michael Scrivner and Peter Leon for privately operated correctional facilities.
GEO previously retained Leo Aguirre and Da Vinci Group’s Mark Smith.
According to the GEO website, the company operations include the management and/or ownership of 104 correctional, detention and community re-entry facilities with approximately 87,000 beds worldwide. In the U.S., GEO maintains 64 facilities, with 75,152 beds.
In August, the Justice Department announced it will end the use of private prisons, which have lately come under fire for poor conditions and business practices.
The post Private prison firm GEO Group hires more lobbyists for D.C. appeared first on Florida Politics.

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“No evidence” GEO Group behind prisoner rehab grab

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

The head of a nonprofit that runs prisoner reentry programs in the state said she had “no evidence” her group and others were being muscled out by private prison operator The GEO Group.
Lori Constantino-Brown, president and CEO of Orlando-based Bridges of America, held a press conference Thursday in Tallahassee with other care providers.
The Department of Corrections has been targeting Bridges in particular as it winds up outside transitional programs for the state’s inmates and probationers. Bridges’ Orlando facility is the latest on the hit list.
Constantino-Brown couldn’t say what was motivating the shutdowns other than a push to consolidate the state’s reentry programs inside prisons themselves, or “behind the walls,” in the advocates’ lingo.
Then Miami Herald reporter Mary Ellen Klas mentioned she had “spent some time reading the GEO Group’s annual report.” That company, based in Boca Raton, manages the federal government’s 700-bed Broward Transitional Center, for example.
“And one of the things in there is that it indicates it wants to get more into reentry and transition programs,” Klas said. “Do you have any reason to believe that this is part of what is motivating the (Rick Scott) administration?”
“I have no evidence of that,” Costantino-Brown said. “Certainly, there has been a lot of speculation about their involvement.”
Indeed, the company’s 2015 Annual Report says it has “furthered our commitment to be the world’s leading provider oI offender rehabilitation and community reentry programs, … investing more than $5 million annually to expand our ‘GEO Continuum of Care’ platform.”
In the current state budget, records show $330,000 was set aside for “operation of the GEO Continuum of Care rehabilitation and reentry program at Blackwater River Correctional Facility,” the company’s men’s prison in Milton.
“We have begun the implementation of ‘GEO Continuum of Care’ programs at more than a dozen correctional facilities around the country in partnership with our state and federal customers,” the annual

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OPINON: Private Prisons Turn 25, Why Do We Need Them At All?

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Over the past year, MuckRock has been filing nationwide requests for the hard materials that connect the powers­ that ­be to their parasites.
It’s as much about what we can know as what we can’t know. And it requires putting money behind requests and feet on the ground.
That’s why MuckRock took the opportunity to launch its first project page with the Private Prison Project – a place to gather, contextualize, and follow the requests and stories that will help provide the data and dirt to have a real conversation.
Private Prisons in America Are Turning 25 Years Old
Winn Correctional Center opened its doors 25 years ago as the first privately­ run medium security prison in America.
And, soon, its life cycle as one of the country’s oldest for­profit facilities will come to an end, when
the handoff from Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections is completed.
Kissimmee, FL, August 25, 2004 — An Osceola County inmate transfers vegetables he cooked for the Red Cross into a serving container. The Red Cross is providing free meals to residents affected by Hurricane Charley. FEMA Photo/Mark Wolfe
For the first time in the facility’s history, a new ability to scrutinize its inner workings will exist.
Until then, Winn Correctional, just like all privately­ run prisons, will maintain its legal right to secrecy.
Private prisons in America hold 150,000 of America’s incarcerated population. They were born of Reagan­ era privatization policies and lauded as a quick, cost­ effective way to build and staff facilities. They only operate in some states but are popular with agencies of the federal government.
These major corporations are publicly­ traded– albeit as real estate investment trusts aka REITs.
REITs pay no taxes, passing the responsibility for that to investors, and using them for prisons turns our incarceration system into a glorified hotel chain whose

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